Total Raw War by Raw War

Release date: February 9, 2024
Label: Sentient Ruin Laboratories

I’ll scream this so the folks in the back can hear me. BUY THIS DAMN ALBUM! It’s a perfect distillation of the frenetic energy that was Raw War. A legendary d-beat collective from British Columbia, they disbanded in a chaotic frenzy in 2013 before any of this glorious noise saw the light of day. Total Raw War, released by Sentient Ruin earlier this month, collects all of the band’s previously unreleased material in one package. This includes the untitled full-length they recorded in the spring of 2012 at Incus Carnage Studios, coupled with the almost mythical Raw Terror EP.

Through the course of 17 tracks, the album displays a sound rooted in UK d-beat/anarcho-punk legends such as Doom and Anti System, with a mix of Scandinavian crust along the lines of Anti Cimex. With an appropriately no-frills, raw production, once you’re through the first track, a somewhat meandering collage of sound and riffs, the listener is thrown headfirst into the fury that this band encapsulates. With titles such as ‘Cycle of Bullshit’, ‘Class War’, and ‘Monetary Hell’, you know you’re in for a full frontal assault on the system of oppressive fuckery that surrounds us. No track, except for the album’s closer ‘Voluntary Manipulation’, is longer than two minutes and 45 seconds, with many clocking in around 2 minutes, proving that almost nothing beats a tightly focused ball of pounding anger and energy.

To this day, you hear the echoes of Raw War throughout British Columbia, the Pacific Northwest, and beyond. One need look no further than excellent bands like Phane or Baptists, to name only two from BC. Further south, the spirit of Raw War can also be felt in the woods of southern Washington, where the 2-day Concatenate Fest showcases the PNW’s rich crust, d-beat, hardcore, and extreme metal scenes. Putting on Total Raw War is like entering a time machine and returning to the chaotic beer-soaked gigs that have become legendary in the region and continue to influence bands from the area. Listen to it now and add it to your collection!

Pin It on Pinterest