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Songs to Fan the Flames of Discontent

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Album Review

The second full-length release from Sweden's Refused, Songs to Fan the Flames of Discontent was released in 1996 to uniform praise as the group's worldwide following grew in both numbers and intensity. Signifying a musical evolution that culminated with their masterpiece The Shape of Punk to Come, Songs to Fan the Flames of Discontent is perhaps the most metal offering in the group's catalogue. Consistently aggressive, the staccato guitar riffs and drumming rest directly on top of the beat, giving this tighter, later-era Refused material a thick sound that retains its punk energy. Highlights include the almost-death metal grooves on "Life Support Addiction" and "Worthless Is the Freedom Bought," the latter being a somewhat scattered but still monumental hardcore epic. Quiet sections on cuts like "Return to the Closet" are an ambitious surprise that fans of the group's more single-minded early-career demos and EPs might not feel any special affinity for. But this range just broadens the band's unique appeal. A truly definitive late-'90s hardcore disc, Songs to Fan the Flames of Discontent is a first-rate record from one of the best, most aggressive hardcore bands of this or any era.

Biography

Formed: 1991 in Umeå, Sweden

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '10s

Influential Swedish hardcore band Refused were formed in 1991 by vocalist Dennis Lyxzén, guitarists Jon Brännström and Kristofer Steen, bassist Magnus Höggren, and drummer David Sandström. Debuting in 1993 with the EP This Is the New Deal, the group issued the full-length This Just Might Be...the Truth later that same year. The Everlasting EP followed in 1994, and in 1995 Refused returned with another EP, Refused Loves Randy. After 1996's Songs to Fan the Flames of Discontent, they issued the EP...
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Songs to Fan the Flames of Discontent, Refused
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