Almost six years since the release of their album ‘Veil Of Ignorance’, Raised Fist have finally returned with record number six to add the adrenaline and fury to 2015 as it’s just beginning. ‘From The North’ showcases their first release in the new chapter of their career, as the hardcore punk Swedes recently signed to heavyweight label Epitaph Records, with vocalist Alexander Hagman claiming “This time, everything has connected, like pieces in a perfect puzzle. You know when you have a classic album recorded”.
A classic it may not be, but it’s difficult to argue with the lasting formula of hardcore Raised Fist produce. Opener and lead single ‘Flow’ is truly the band at their best; Hagman‘s vocals emulate the lovechild of Benji Webbe and David Draiman for a gritty fast-paced nu-metal approach that helps Raised Fist stand out from their rivals.
The template of hardcore is relatively consistent throughout the album, with ‘Chaos’ too close to ‘Flow’ for similarity, but ‘Gates’ ups the tempo with a fast circle pit inspiring song with a killer breakdown to finish. The stencil the band have used since their debut in 1998 has seen them through, and why change now? It may not be new or as creative as possible, but they excel and their own brand of carnage.
‘Sanctions’ brings the bouncing chorus, and fittingly is sure to get fists in the air in a live setting; ‘From The North’ is clearly written with the impact at gigs at the forefront of the band’s minds. Interestingly, the highlight of the album comes when Raised Fist step out of their comfort zone in ‘We Will Love Forever’ for a more melodic track with clean(er) vocals in the form of fun rock ‘n’ roll.
Raised Fist fans should be all over this album, as it’ll be spot on your taste buds as the band have been for the last decade and a half. You get to a stage in your career when the main priority is pleasing the fans and tightening your live show for the future. Raised Fist have done this and more with a decent return to the fold, playing directly onto their strengths with this well packaged pacey, riff-filled burst of rage. Bring on Epitaph album number two.
Written by Michael Heath (@MikeBeef)