It’s always nice when a band delivers everything their name suggests, especially when said name seems to promise nothing less than a beautifully brutal smack in the mouth.
So you’ll forgive this writer for being a little excited to hear hardcore veterans Raised Fist throw themselves with guns ablazin’ into their first new release in six years.
Doing more than simply living up to their moniker, with From the North, Raised Fist channel untapped aggression into a violently delightful album custom made for the mosh pit.
The snarling riff and frenetic vocal of opening track Flow work in unison to set an impossibly high standard that the rest of the album works full-tilt to meet, sometimes falling short, but more often than not only raising the bar even higher.
Carried along by huge, meaty grooves and shotgun drums, each track slams triumphantly into the next in an unrelenting fury. At times, this actually works to the album’s detriment.
Left pounding away to itself in the background, From the North’s seamless assault means that large parts of it do pass by largely unnoticed, which is perhaps why the band seem so determined to grab your attention by the throat and deliver a much-welcomed kick in the ass.
Background music this is not, folks. To get the most from what they have to offer here, Raised Fist practically demand that you stand up and take note, throwing yourself around to soaring choruses, punishing riffage and euphoric rage.
Not that you should need much convincing to do so. With tracks like Ready to Defy, album highlight Depression and the blistering Man & Earth, the Swedish quintet make it incredibly difficult to do anything but submerge yourself completely in every moment of beautiful brutality.
And by the time closing track Unsinkable fades triumphantly into oblivion, there’s really only one thing for it, return right back to the beginning and go with the Flow.
Recommended tracks: Flow, Depression, Man & Earth