EP Review: Refused – The Malignant Fire EP

The Malignant Fire EP is the latest release from hardcore punk legends Refused, showing that the band have not lost their fire yet!

By Jane Howkins

It’s become something of a tradition for Refused to release an EP in between their full length albums, with The Malignant Fire EP providing a nice interlude between releases. Fans of the band should know what to expect here, as their sound hasn’t really changed too much, with each of the 5 tracks on offer here providing a short burst of frenetic activity. Huge riffs and intense half-screamed vocals are the name of the game here, and the band’s politics are on show once again, displaying their anti-capitalist stance. It all makes for very good punk music, although those into more melodic styles may struggle.

Our only real issue was that the mix on the vocals didn’t sound quite right to us, with the vocals sounding a little distant at times. You can still make them out, but there were times that we felt the sung vocals were too quiet – the screamed vocals sound fine though. The production seemed a little raw at times, but this rawness suits this style of music somewhat, so this may not be seen as a negative thing for Refused fans.

The Malignant Fire EP is a solid release and one that fans of Refused and the hardcore punk genre in general should enjoy. The EP acts a good stopgap between albums, and the 5 songs on the EP provide an intense 15 minutes that should not be missed. Here’s hoping Refused’s next full length album won’t take too long to appear!