Raised Fist - Sound of the Republic (Cover Artwork)

Raised Fist

Raised Fist: Sound of the RepublicSound of the Republic (2006)
Burning Heart

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:

Contributed by: AubinAubin
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Raised Fist's Dedication is a near-classic piece of modern hardcore. The band developed a unique blend of Slayer-style guitar heroics, and combined it with a firm footing in old-school hardcore. It never fell into the metalcore trap, always maintaining the pace and simplicity of hardcore, just amped.
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Raised Fist's Dedication is a near-classic piece of modern hardcore. The band developed a unique blend of Slayer-style guitar heroics, and combined it with a firm footing in old-school hardcore. It never fell into the metalcore trap, always maintaining the pace and simplicity of hardcore, just amped up with shredding guitars and the angriest vocals on the planet. Now, nearly four years later, the band delivers the followup to that album with Sound of the Republic, and despite my unwavering faith in the band, I must confess that it's not as flawless as its predecessor.

The album embraces a number of new sounds, increasing the dynamic of the album dramatically. Like labelmates Refused, the band understands the rules of hardcore and is just as capable of bending or breaking them when necessary. "Some of These Times," for example, spends time playing with tempos and effectively building aggression along with a far more rock-oriented riff structure in the tradition of peers like the Suicide File.

"Killing It" takes a more groove-oriented approach than previous material, and features a dominant melody plus a nice heavy guitar line. The song breaks down into a clean vocal bit, which does turn down some of the intensity but works fairly well. "Bleed Under My Pen" is a near-perfect approximation of Dedications' solid formula: blazing fast, and neck-snappingly intense.

The most obvious complaint that many will raise, is that the band has added some unncessarily theatrical vocals in the style of countrymen In Flames, with many songs featuring those kinds of major key melodies while Alle Hagman maintains his raging vocals over top. Despite the sheer power of Hagman's deliver, the melodic lines unfortunately subdue the intensity substantially. It's a minor complaint though, and doesn't hurt the album too much.

However, that flaw would be remedied if the record didn't lack one key ingredient on a few songs: follow-through. The best hardcore bands, both older ones like Minor Threat and newer ones like Modern Life Is War, understand the value of restraint. Take the bridge in "Screaming at a Wall," when Ian finally makes the shift from spoken to shouting; it has an unmistakable climax -- honestly, it's a thing of beauty.

In Republic, Raised Fist continuously wrenches up the intensity but in a few tracks lacks that forward momentium. As a result, the visceral power of hardcore becomes frustrating instead of freeing. Take "Sound of the Republic" with its riff-heavy structure; the song seems to promise nothing it never delivers. It's an odd frustration to explain verbally, but one that becomes increasingly clear when listening and one that is unfortunate.

Experimenting is not the problem, however. The melancholy "Time Will Let You Go, All Alone" is a major departure for the band, but manages to channel all the sound into a contrasting mix of rage and sadness. Similarly, "Perfectly Broken" replaces distortion with a mix of clean-sounding guitars and keyboards in the verses, while the rest of the band plays on; the contrasting sounds make the explosive chorus even better.

In many ways, the album exhibits many of the good and bad features of a transition album; on one hand, the free experimentation with their sound delivers some truly memorable moments, but other experiments fall flat. The real question is how long we'll have to wait to see where the transition leads.


People who liked this also liked:
Ignite - Our Darkest DaysBouncing Souls - Anchors AweighRefused - The Shape of Punk to ComeRancid - Let's GoRancid - ... And Out Come The WolvesPropagandhi - Supporting CasteRancid - Rancid (2000)Descendents - Cool To Be YouPropagandhi - Potemkin City LimitsBad Religion - Suffer

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (May 31, 2006)

Just the best band in the whole world .
Not there so best record but I JUST CALL THAT ENERGY
My favorite band so far i cant wait to see them in the pit
Ignoring the guidelines and stronger than ever were better
but they played it in show
So what can i say
NONE BAND HAD MADE A better record this year!!!

Anonymous (May 27, 2006)

this is really really bad

matthall (May 25, 2006)

Well, I didn't get into Raised Fist until after Dedication came out, but I was lucky enough to hear their discography in chronological order, just by chance.
So when I heard news of the new drummer and Meshugga's producer doing this album, I had high hopes.
I knew the direction I wanted them to go-hardcore with a death metal delivery.
The older RF records often had an electronic sounding production, I was excited to hear something different.
this missed the mark.
It sounds great production wise- but the melodic parts kill the intensity of the songs, especially since when he sings, the vocalist sounds like Korn's Jonathan Davis.
The songs were slower here too.
I was really hoping for an incredibly brutal hardcore album, with a touch of death metal.
Instead I got watered down Raised Fist with nu metal influences.
Worth downloading to give a few listens.....maybe....but not worth purchasing.
Some exceptions would be:
Hertz Island Escepades
and maybe one or two more that I can't think of

Songs to avoid:
Killing It
Sound Of The Republic
and a few more I blocked from my memory.

Anonymous (May 25, 2006)

I like how Weezer's Pinkerton is in the "people also like..." suggestions. Weezer and Raised Fist is a complimenterary listen for sure.

Anonymous (May 25, 2006)

"I like the comment where the kid doesn't know that "Screaming at a Wall" is a Minor Threat song"

ah, its kind of cute. Just think about what he has to look forward to. I feel happy for the kid, he's got awesome records still to discover. I almost wish I could go back to not having heard jawbreaker so i could do it again.


Jesse (May 24, 2006)

I like the comment where the kid doesn't know that "Screaming at a Wall" is a Minor Threat song. Even if it wasn't stated right before in the review that it was.

Anonymous (May 24, 2006)

its so boring with all those bands making oh so great experiments, why does negative approach still blow them away if they are so clever?

Anonymous (May 24, 2006)

I really want to like this album but the more I hear about it the more disillusioned I get. Oh well I will ber picking it up when I get paid and hoping for a pleasant surprise


SlowStupidHungry (May 24, 2006)

Hey rkl, go back to calling Nazi germany "socialism."

Anonymous (May 24, 2006)

is it me or the section 'if you like this band you will like this one' have nothing to do with the actual. Why Lawrence arms and against me ! is always there. I don't know, put refused or H2O.

rkl (May 23, 2006)

Posted by WilliamMarinovic on 2006-05-23 18:59:31

Hardcore songs over two minutes long? Fuck that. Go listen to F Junkies- I think I will!

is there anything you wont bitch about? youre like the punknews.org mascot.

LeightonESmith (May 23, 2006)

'Nation of incomplete' should have been the lead single

LeightonESmith (May 23, 2006)

This cd is not the spectacular one that I envisioned it would be and it may have slightly tempered my undying affection for this band. Just not as consistent as guidelines, or dedication but I give them points for evolving. I still regard Raised Fist as one of the best international hardcore bands and would do a lot to see em if they ever came to Australia. Please don't take as long for the next one Raised Fist.


Anonymous (May 23, 2006)

I agree that the experimentation paid off to a certain degree. It has it's bright moments ("Time Will Let You Go, All Alone", "You Ignore Them All") but it lacks the power Dedication had. Good for now.


SlowStupidHungry (May 23, 2006)

Hardcore songs over two minutes long? Fuck that. Go listen to F Junkies- I think I will!

Aaronfromsweden (May 23, 2006)

This album is great, my favorite among Raised Fist albums of all time, and why is that? Mainly because they have developed their sound in a hillarious way. I know some long time fans are gonna go bezerk because of this, but honestly, a band should at some point show some kinda progress in some kinda direction, and that's exactly what Raised Fist does with this one. Ok, so they included melodic parts in some songs, but they didn't over use it. Maybe three or four songs have some kind of melodic choruses or just short fragments. It's not bad, it makes the album last longer. Now don't get me wrong, I liked Dedication a lot, but honestly, at some points it could end up sounding slightly monotonous. Same goes for earlier Raised Fist albums. Also, this one is a tad slower than the earlier works which suits me better. Now, this is of course my humble opinion, but the way I see it, a band should develope their sound. Look at Pennywise for instance. Sure, I still like their sound, but you can't expect anything new even though they spit out album after album, year after year. The same kinda goes for NOFX... their sound basically stays the same, which gets boring after 23 (or whatever) years. I guess you get my point. However, this si definetly a 9!

Anonymous (May 23, 2006)


ElVaquero (May 23, 2006)

Dedication will forever remain a hardcore staple but I just couldn't get into this. All the experimentation worked out well for them but I just didn't find myself wanting to listen to it all that much.

Anonymous (May 23, 2006)

I don't see a song called "Screaming at a Wall". What one are you speaking of?

AcidPolice (May 23, 2006)

Great Album.

Raised Fist was always in my headphones in highschool but now I can't get into them like I used too.

Anonymous (May 23, 2006)

this sucks

leifkills (May 23, 2006)

This album rocks but.... you can tell the drummer's not the same as he was for the rest of their albums. I want the old drummer back.

rkl (May 23, 2006)

i hate metal or hardcore and i only want songs about gurlz this is so shitty loldongz

just kidding.

Anonymous (May 23, 2006)


danperrone (May 23, 2006)

this album is olay, but it gets stale after the first few songs

Anonymous (May 23, 2006)

aah nup.. ignoring the guidelines was goods, dedication was the awkward one and this is their best yet.
their 1 dimensional style needed this slight experimentation and the album has greater longevity because of it.

Anonymous (May 23, 2006)

The comp version of ??Time Will Let You Go..." is a bit better than here, but thats nothing.

Really, I was hoping the whole record would go the way ??Time Will Let You Go....." was going, and that comp came out awhile back. I was suprised how straight some of the songs structures were.

Still a pretty good record. I prefer it to Dedication, and hope they keep going.

The experimentation paid off.


Anonymous (May 23, 2006)

this sucks

Anonymous (May 23, 2006)

this is so shitty

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