Review || Refused - "The Malignant Fire" EP

Friday, November the 20th of 2020 will see the release of Refused’s new EP album titled “The Malignant Fire” on Spinefarm Records. Almost a year ago to the date, Swedish hard/core legends are set to release the accompanying EP to what was an excellent record number five for them, namely “War Music”. I had the pleasure of reviewing and being irrevocably enamoured by that LP which still holds a treasured position in my collection and made my top 10 of best records in the year of 2019, back when even music made more sense than it does now. 

“The Malignant Fire” finds me with a sense of non sensical gratification, as it connects this EP with its predecessor by showcasing and opening with my favourite song on “War Music”; "Malfire" basically beckons to be explained by the EP’s title and is clearly the band’s choice of a special song to start another “small” record with (i.e. it feels good to be right). It’s such a good song, that even a year after its coming-out to the music world, it still feels fresh and amazing as hell. However, by far the most interesting aspect of this record is song number two on the bill, a cover song for the instrumental hit track of Swedish House Mafia’s “Greyhound” with anti-fascist lyrics added by Refused - thus re-titled “Born on the Outs” - and an astonishing video clip, one hundred percent in Refused fashion. If you haven’t heard of SHM, they are a DJ/dance/electro power trio and their video for their song “Greyhound” is equally pleasing but in sort of an aesthetic way alone. It also serves (pun intended) perfectly as a vodka commercial. By all means absurd, but totally incredible choice of cover song.       

The three remaining songs on “The Malignant Fire” are very suitable - probably outtakes of “War Music” but still new, by reason of their production sound. “Organic Organic Organic (Go Fuck Yourself)”, “Faceless Corporate Violence” and “Jackals Can’t be Bothered to Dream” are classic contemporary-Refused hard/core songs, as you can clearly tell by every title, but only the first one really stood out for me, which totally explains the “cut” of these songs from the full length. If you’d read my review on “War Music” you’d know that the one thing I didn’t and still don’t love about both “War Music” and “The Malignant Fire” is the production of the record in some aspects, particularly how all of these songs deserved a bit of a heavier and rounder approach to my ears. In any case, this EP is worth alone for the masterpiece that “Born on the Outs” comes to be.     
“Can’t stop a nazi with good intentions” - “It’s not my nation, until it’s everyone’s”  

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