Sound — 10
Pre-"The Shape Of Punk To Come", Refused were known for their powerful political lyrics and extremely energetic straight up punk rock. With the release of this album they broke down tons of barriers and shed new light on what punk was about to become, ironically. Each song blends pounding guitars, technical elements, and other exotic instruments like flute, cello, violin, you name it. This is an album definitely worth listening to on headphones, so you can hear the true perfection of it. Each song if put together beautifully and shows you how talented these guys are. Before "The Shape Of Punk To Come", Refused kept their music to guitars, drums, bass, and very political lyrics, tackling everything from poverty to beauty. With this album they got a lot more technical, while still sticking to their roots. In the end, the sound of this album is unlike any other, and is definitely worth a 10, even without the lyrics/vocals.
Lyrics — 10
Refused definitely had some of the most controversial and well thought out lyrics to ever appear in the punk rock scene. With lyrics like "Rather be forgotten than remembered for giving in" and "Steal a sentence and make a catch phrase parole for our revolution" it's hard not to take these guys seriously. Each line Dennis spews speaks the utter and complete truth about what is, or was, going on in the corporate modern world today (or back in the late '90s). The thing that makes Refused's lyrics so great is that they don't hold back. They write what they want to write, they sing what they want to sing, and most importantly they say what they want to say. If you can't respect that, I don't know what you can.
Overall Impression — 10
Compared to all of their other albums, and massive amounts of EPs and Compilations, "The Shape Of Punk To Come" is definitely Refused best release of their career, and their shining achievment. My favorite tracks on the album are "The Deadly Rhythm", "Refused Party Programme", "Worms Of Senses/Faculties Of The Skull", and one of my favorite songs of all time, "New Noise". I love everything about this album, and I feel that it is one of the best albums ever put out, by any singer/artist/band. Nothing Refused did on this album I can look on in a negative way, not even remotely close. Refused were right on point when they named their album "The Shape Of Punk To Come", because with the release of this album, and later, Thursday's "Full Collapse" we have all seen as witnessess, exactly where punk went. The quality of sound and lyrics may not be up to the standards of Refused, but just being the major influence in the movement, is an honor. This album is as close to perfection as I could say. There is not many albums out there that you can listen to straight through, without skipping a track, and this is one of them. To sum up this album in one word, it would definitely be: Revolution.