Raised Fist

The Veil Of Ignorance

Written by: PP on 08/01/2010 11:25:03

I missed out on Raised Fist at this year's West Coast Riot because I was starving, but was nearly deafened anyway because these guys were FUCKING LOUD, easily one of the loudest band's I've experienced live to date - and one of the most energetic as well. After having a second listen to their borderline amazing previous album "Sound Of The Republic", I kinda regret to have missed them, especially because the fifth album "Veil Of Ignorance" basically picks off where that album left off, delivering more of the band's easily identifiable hardcore sound that stands out from the stale genre as a glimpse of originality. The record charted at #22 on the Swedish charts, which should surprise anyone given how abrasive this stuff is...why can't the Danish charts be like this?

So anyway, if you're not previously familiar with Raised Fist, then there's one definition I like to use about the band: if there ever was a contest for a band worthy of the tag "in your face", Raised Fist would win without a challenger in sight. Vocalist Alexander Hagman's unique yell/scream is one of the most aggressive voices in the genre - if not in any genre - and the band prides itself on a tight hardcore punk platform with fast guitar riffs and a strictly hardcore based, uncompromising song-writing approach. Kind of like if you put together Comeback Kid, Bane, Refused and early Death By Stereo and give them some steroids to play around with. From the get go, they aren't the band to turn you to hardcore despite being one of the best in the genre, simply because they are the most abrasive band around, and it'll take a long while before you get used to Hagman's tearing vocal style. But as "Veil Of Ignorance" so well shows, Raised Fist are also masters of varying song structure and injections of melody in just the right places to make their songs interesting compared to most hardcore bands. Lyrically, too, Hagman shows his understanding of the music scenes: "Does it make a difference if we play punk rock, and unlock the mysteries of hardcore and walk around the block, in trendy clothes, pretending to be superstars, or younger than we are? We just want to play drums, bass and guitar.", and has a few stabs at the usual hardcore topics like socio-political commentary etc.

The strongest songs on "Veil Of Ignorance" are "They Can't Keep us Down", "Slipping Into Coma", "Words And Phrases", and the slow tempo "Wounds". These all match the standard set by "Sound Of The Republic" by being intelligent, remotely catchy songs, but the real reason why they stand out is Hagman's relentless vocal delivery that shouldn't leave anyone cold. The rest of the songs are all pretty good as well, but even as a Raised Fist 'fan', I have to admit that there's only so long one can withstand his vocals before your ears start bleeding. It's not that he is monotonous, but he's not super varied either. All in all, I can't really put a finger on why I feel "Veil Of Ignorance" isn't as good as "Sound Of The Republic", but it's missing something that'd elevate it from merely good to something special. It could be just me though, considering the album has been nominated for the Swedish version of the Grammy award: Grammi

Download: They Can't Keep Us Down, Words And Phrases, Slipping Into Coma
For the fans of: Refused, Comeback Kid, Bane, Death By Stereo
Listen: Myspace

Release date 07.09.2009
Burning Heart

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