August 16, 2006 | | 3

Raised Fist, Sound Of The Republic

Raised Fist is a band that I’ve been listening to for quite some time now. While their sound may shift slightly from album to album, there are always four things you can count on being there: thunderous drumming, driving bass, no-nonsense straight forward guitars, and Alexander “Alle” Rajkovic’s shouted delivery. Sporting a sound rooted in hardcore tradition, the band has evolved their method of delivery to include bone crushing metal influences. Pushing messages on politics, the state of the environment and society in general, Rajkovic shouts, screams, and even sings cleanly on their latest release.

The high powered, quick paced attack that has been hallmark in previous releases is back with a vengeance on Sound of the Republic. The band utilizes a few new concepts in their sound to push themselves further. On Ignoring the Guidelines and more so on Dedication the band began muting their sound a bit so that Rajkovic’s vocals had that extra attention and punch to it. On their latest release, the band uses that technique quite prevolently, often backing down the music to a soft drum or thick bass solo while, Rajkovic shouts his balls off.

There are a couple of tracks that incorporate a cleanly sung chorus that adds an interesting touch to the mix. That said, those instances have an odd 1980’s pop synth feel to them that doesn’t really fit with the intensity of the album. It’s an interesting touch, but one I could have probably done without.

You Ignore Them All
The band starts it off hard and heavy immediately out the gate. The rapid fire beat and shouts are vintage Raised Fist. It makes for a seamless transition from their last two albums.

Perfectly Broken
After the brief slow down at the end of “You Ignore Them All,” the band comes back with a groove filled riff and melodic undertones. They quickly shift to a soft bass and drum combo while Rajkovic shouts with his gruff delivery. The backing vocals while he’s shouting adds a nice layered dynamic. Here’s another track that would have fit perfectly on Dedication.

This one is a bit slower, but still fairly quick paced. There’s a bit more melody in this one than the previous tracks. Toward the second half the music is a bit ambient right before Rajkovic screams and the band hits hard.

Sound Of The Republic
The title track introduces us to the first cleanly sung chorus. Rajkovic does a decent job, but as stated before the technique has an odd retro 80’s feel to it. It’s an interesting addition to the band’s sound. The song ends with some pretty heavy riffing.

Killing It
“Killing It” is a killer track. It starts of with a driving beat and melodic riffs in the background before toning it down a bit for Rajkovic to start it up. The shouted chorus is damned catchy.

This one starts off slow before the band coordinates itself with a high paced attack. Here’s a bit more of that Raised Fist sound.

Hertz Island Escapades
The lyrics for this one quite introspective, as the band reflects on their youth and the start of the band. For a look inside of the band you would think that this one would be a bit softer. You’d be wrong. Very wrong. “Hertz Island Escapades” has thick crushing riffs reminiscent of Dedication‘s “Between the Demons” but without the black metal influences. This is one of the more intense tracks on the album.

Some Of These Times
With a half spoken, half shouted delivery over soft drums, this one starts off fairly dramatically. The rest of the band kicks in briefly right before the one minute mark before they go back to the softer, slower delivery.

Nation Of Incomplete
After the brief lull of “Some Of These Times,” the band comes back strong and aggressive with this track.

And Then They Run
A driving push from the drums and overlayed melodic riffs get this one going. It’s got a great groove to it.

Bleed Under My Pen
The band continues the momentum from the last track with more classice Raised Fist. The echoed vocals are a good touch, adding another layer of deapth to the band’s sound.

Time Will Let You Go All Alone, I Break
The final track is also the longest, coming in at just under four minutes. It starts off with a great drum track and thick, raspy bass before melodic guitars come in. Rajkovic uses a bit of a new delivery on this one — longer, tortured screams. The melodic group chorus makes for a nice combination with the screams.

~ ~ ~

Possibly using the “vocal over muted music” technique one too many times, the band still delivers their heavy handed, thunderous message. Sound Of The Republic feels like a natural progression for a band gthat has successfully straddled the hardcore and metal boundary. If you’re a fan of this band, you will not doubt want to pick this one up. As for new fans of the band, you can expect fast paced hardcore with intelligent lyrics and a bit of melody thrown in for good measure.

Favorite Tracks:
You Ignore Them Al
Perfectly Broken
Killing It
Hertz Island Escapades
Nation Of Incomplete

Additional Notes: