Following 2015’s tremendous From the North, Raised Fist are back at it once again to champion the spirit of hardcore punk with Anthems. The album’s title instantly gives the impression the band are particularly proud of the new collection of tunes on offer; when we think of an anthem, we think of something memorable and something inspiring. Raised Fist has set the bar extremely high for themselves as they attempt to deliver a potentially career-defining record. The Swedish five-piece has already gained a following of dedicated fans, and I can safely say that Anthems will not disappoint them while bringing even more followers to the table.
Opening briefly with a light drum beat, “Venomous” erupts into a full-on hardcore punk blast to the senses, along with one of the greatest opening lines - song or album - that I’ve heard in years as Alexander Hagman belts out, “top of the morning to you all” in his rasping, throaty voice. The tune has it all, from air guitar worthy riffs to sing-along lyrics that would make any live show an event to participate in.
“Anthem” then starts with an almost-chill vibe with a hypnotic guitar riff, but this is short-lived before the full band chimes in and turns up the intensity tenfold. The track maintains the vibe established in the album’s opening and fully lives up to the song and album’s chosen title!
Get amped up with the title track, “Anthems.”
All the songs on this record follow the same formula, which is both a blessing and a curse. They’re each insanely catchy and, even though they follow a similar style, have their own identity. That said, because the tunes all follow the same blueprint, Anthems lacks the variety that would truly make it really stand out from the crowd.
All in all, Anthems delivers on its promise, to a degree. It’s catchy, fast-paced, and a kick-ass listen; all the elements needed to make a record of anthems. Its only let down is the lack of variety on offer, but please don’t let this last comment put you off. Frankly, Raised Fist may have delivered their best recording to date.
Anthems Track Listing:
05. Into This World
09. We Are Here
10. Unsinkable II
Run Time: 29:27 Record label: Epitaph Records Release Date: November 15, 2019