After teasing a 30-second snippet last week, Swedish hardcore punks Refused have offered up the entirety of “Blood Red” — the lead single from the band’s forthcoming new album, War Music, out October 18th. Stream the retrospective music video for the track below.
Last week’s audio clip was indicative of a heavy post-hardcore screamer, and “Blood Red” delivers on its promises. The breakdown-heavy song puts vocalist Dennis Lyxzén’s charismatic howls in the forefront, with some subtle artistic embellishments — like the unexpected acoustic guitars in the chorus — that elevate the song beyond mere riffs and mosh-inducing drops, of which there are still aplenty.
“At a soundcheck somewhere on the road (Austin?), Kristofer [Steen] started playing this riff and we all got into it (jamming, as it were),” the band commented in a press release. “So as we were settling into the riff proper and it started rolling and bouncing the way you’re hearing it today, whatever we felt had been missing, it was clear that we had begun to fill that gap. The riff turned into ‘Blood Red’, the first song we finished for the new record and the first song we played live off of it.”
The video sees Refused performing against archival footage from their lengthy history of chaotic live performances, including many microphone twirls, brutal stage dives, and circle pits. Reflecting on their last album, 2015’s Freedom, the band called it a “studio record” and that War Music would be closer in spirit to these legendary live shows.
“It’s fitting that it’s now the first song you’re gonna hear from the new record,” the band added, “because it was truly inspired by you, our live audience, the old and the new, who come out and help us turn every venue into a boiling hot mess. This one’s for you.”
Pre-orders for War Music on physical and digital formats are available here.