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4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars

VINE VOICEon 14 November 2006
The influence of this seminal album, especially now that emo is the zeitgeist, is extremely prominent at the moment. This album is a punk landmark, and its title is prophetic. Released in 1998 after their short, sharp Songs To Fan The Flames Of Discontent, as the liner notes state, it is the sound of a band pulling in different directions, and making the album of their career, before splitting up. Frankly, when you've made an album like this, where could they possibly have gone afterwards?

The album is around twice as long as the last one, most songs are five to eight minutes long and there are several songs with cellos and synthesisers on. It couldn't be much more different to its predecessor. This is no bad thing.

Whereas previously their songs were short blasts of punk extremity, here, the music is heavier, louder and longer. Opener 'Worms Of The Senses/Faculties Of The Skull' sets the scene perfectly. Opening with traffic noises and a soundbite about style, its opening gambit is 'I've got a bone to pick with capitalism/and a few to break.' It's seven minutes long, the last minute of which is a borderline comedic, wandering synth loop. It's punk, Jim, but not as we know it.

The sheer anger on display here seems to put hardcore to shame. Not just due to the segues between most tracks, this album works perfectly both as an hour-long masterpiece and as individual blasts of political hardcore. 'Liberation Frequency' goes from restrained clicking drums to one of the heaviest riffs on this album (and that's saying something); 'The Refused Party Program' is the closest to their prior material, but even that ends in an overloading synth; 'New Noise' is their definitive track, boasting one of the most massive-sounding guitar riffs ever put to tape; and 'Tannhauser/Derive' blends cello, riffs and a throat-shredding vocal to breathtaking effect.

Anyone who is even slightly a fan of punk or hardcore needs to own this album. Anyone who listens to emo or post-hardcore needs to own this album and see the stronger music that came beforehand.

This heart-stopping meisterwerk is absolutely essential.
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on 26 February 2005
"The Shape of Punk to Come" cheekily borrows its title from jazz saxophonist Ornette Coleman's seminal album, "The Shape of Jazz to Come". Recorded in 1959, Coleman and trumpeter Don Cherry moved jazz to a different level with the range and infectiousness of their improvisational melodies. Similarly, Refused's witty patchwork of May-day mayhem, though quite an assault on the senses, rewards patience and repeated listening. An album that asks its listener to have a conscience doesn't deserve to be hustled into categories like 'metalcore' or 'hardcore'. Coleman once said, "Jazz is the only music in which the same note can be played night after night but differently each time." Though it's unlikely we'll ever have the pleasure, if Refused, like the Mars Volta, are able to use their recorded material as a depature point for their live set, then "The Shape of Punk to Come" would be truly deserving of its title.
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on 12 July 2005
Okay, I realise it's annoying that most Amazon reviews boil down to people loving or detesting an item, but bear with me on this!
This album is an absolute masterpeice, one of those unifying albums (like Queen, Ramones, etc) that everyone seems to like - no matter what particular genres they're into. From the opening roar of "I've got a bone to pick with capitalism...and a few to break" to the poignant final lines "sabotage will set us free...throw a rock in the machine", the album is like a flaming letterbomb burned to a disk.
Musically the album is astounding. The guitar work is fantastic -technically stunning without sounding pretentious; the drumming and bass are also great but it is Dennis's singing which ties the whole thing together. His furious screams carry more emotion than any number of emo bands could. And then there are the curious sonic experimentations that are scattered throughout.
In conclusion, add this to your basket now and discover your new favourite album.
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on 10 March 2003
When people tell you that an album is going to change your life, you dont tend to believe them. It is a claim that is bandied around with ceaseless abandon these days, and so often falls short of the mark. When i heard the band Refused referred to in reverential tones by a number of music journalists, i thought about checking them out. i then promptly forgot. a while later, i miraculously stumbled on a copy of their album "The Shape Of Punk To Come" in a record store, and decided on a whim to buy it. Well, 12 songs later, and i was a different person. the ceaseless sonic invention, surging guitars, and dennis lyxzen's impassioned screams. this album was a pure work of art from start to finish. i spent many a lazy teenage day flicking through the political manifesto in the linear notes, listening to the bands furious musical protest. this was the album that opened my mind, politically and musically. from then on, no more pop chart nu metal tat for me. it was black flag, minor threat, the dead kennedys. refused changed my life for the better. theyll change yours too. believe it.
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on 3 March 2002
This is the way music should be. Full of emotion, not forced, not packaged and promoted, but real passion, anger, emotion. This is a revolutionary album, even now, four years after its release. And yes, it still is the hardcore of the future. The music contained on the disc is timeless. It is revolutionary. Refused seem to have captured the very essence of what punk is supposed to be, and captured it in twelve songs. And they are by no means all the same either. Every track is different, with different and distinct messages, and each seems to get better every time you hear it.
And when listening to the CD, and flicking through the booklet with it, reading not just the lyrics to each song, but the descriptions, inspirations, and meanings behind each song as well, a dawning realisation comes over you.
This is not music. It is art.
Refused are dead. Long live Refused.
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on 4 January 2002
On first play of this album i fell in love with it. The melodic anxiety in the guitar playing and the passion in the whole feel of the music hit me like a tonne of bricks. Never had i heard such an inspiring piece of work in all my life. When i found out that this band had split up way before i bought the album i was almost reduced to tears. This is one of those albums that hasn't got a high point but is an actual high-point in the new world af redundant emotionless metal/punk/rock. I got two words!!! GET IT!!!
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on 4 September 2002
Refused...an amazing and dynamic hardcore group from Sweden,released one of the 1990's best albums in this release.It is simply a work of genius by singer/songwriter Dennis Lyxzen.The albums main single.."new noise"..was a big underground hit in 1998..and it is clear to see why with the songs passionate vocals and fantastically dynamic guitar work
This band quickly worked its way into my list of fave hardcore bands,and i was so disapointed when i heard they split up 4 years ago.The album is a must buy for any fan of hardcore and punk in general,as its raw power and intuition are not to be found anywhere else.This album is a nightmare to get hold of in the uk,but persevere and you will not be sorry.
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on 23 September 2010
I read the reviews on this album earlier this week having been curious about it from seeing it on sale in vinyl at Banquet Records in Kingston. Thought I'd check it out on CD as it sounded good on paper.

Was I correct to do so? Hell yes - it is utterly awesome. The reviews are right - as is the title. I am not a punk fan but like a wide range of music and this ticks so many The Shape Of Punk To Come (Deluxe)boxes I am frankly amazed.

This gets 5 stars from me - I've never rated a recording on Amazon before but more people need to know how good this is. 5 large gold stars.
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on 12 October 2005
It is a must for those passionate about exploring music and working within and outside of boundaries. I played this constantly whilst writing my final year project at uni, kept pressing the repeat button as there are so many textures to the songs on this album to explore. There are constant genius moments of musicianship and imagination, and beyond the overwhelming power of the music itself is the political charge of the lyrics and vocals. It is an amazing, amazing album and to me sets the standard for any punk band today. It's as perfect a hardcore album as you could ever get, and to me is a landmark album that ups the ante for future hardcore punk bands.
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on 1 July 2002
When i first heard this album i was both shocked and amazed at how amazing it was. Refused have a sound like no other band, being both powerful, melodic and agressive without ever loosing their artistic and musical talents. Dennis Lyxzen's vocal's are brilliant throughout, screeching with the wailing guitars in songs such as "Protest Song '68" and peacefulling harmonising with beautiful chords in songs such as "Liberation Frequency". Refused have a rare talent of being able to suddenly turn a song on its head, changing its direction and increasing its intensity to levels most bands could only dream of. "The Shape of Punk to Come" is one of the most complete albums you are ever likely to hear, there is not a wasted second on the entire album which aims to make as much of a political statement as it does a musical statement. There really is nothing else quite like it and I would highly reccomend it to any fan of the "Punk Hardcore" genre.
This is the last album the band made, with Dennis Lyxzen going on to form "The (international) Noise Conspiracy" and the other 4 members forming the band "Text".
Just listen to "New Noise" and experience the energy and power, it *will* change your life...
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