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DISCHARGE End Of Days

By Peter Atkinson, Contributor
Friday, May 6, 2016 @ 4:59 PM


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DISCHARGE
End Of Days

Nuclear Blast Records




The more things change for U.K. legends DISCHARGE, the more they stay the same. Eight years after its last album Disensitise, the band is back with End Of Days now as a five-piece with original drummer Terry “Tezz” Roberts having returned – this time to share guitar duties with his brother Tony “Bones” Roberts - Jeff “JJ” Janiak taking over for longtime frontman Tony “Rat” Martin and a shiny a new deal with Nuclear Blast.

Yet as DISCHARGE approaches its 40th anniversary – give or a take a couple short hiatuses, hiatii?? – the band's music remains the sort of hardcore/metal crossover blunt object it’s been since the early '80s – save for the ill-fated foray into glam metal with Grave New World that prompted one said hiatus. End Of Days, the band's seventh full-length, leans a bit more toward thrash metal – especially in its buzz-sawing riffs, driving hooks and surprisingly ample leads - but with a snub-nosed delivery that keeps things short, sweet and punchy, which serves as a perfect platform for Janiak's apocalyptic diatribes.

It sounds a bit like Iron Fist-era MOTORHEAD in a bar fight with AGNOSTIC FRONT. And while that doesn't exactly break the sort of ground as DISCHARGE's revered debut, the furiously noisy Hear Nothing, See Nothing, Say Nothing from all the way back in 1982 – an album that influenced countless heavy bands and birthed the term “d-beat” to describe its bull-dozing tempos – End Of Days is loud, fast and offers plenty of spunk.

The lineup shuffling seems to have given the band – which along with the Roberts' includes fellow original member bassist Roy “Rainy” Wainright – a bit of a jolt. The two-guitar attack adds bite and weight to the manic riffing – especially on the opener “New World Order”, the title track and “The Broken Law” - and provides some backbone for the soloing, crude though it often is. This, alone, accentuates the “metal” aspect of the band's sound – though there is still plenty of d-beat battery to go around here.

And Janiak proves himself a tenacious frontman. Though his delivery may be rather one-dimensional, his attack-dog shouting sounds as abrasive and assertive on the thrashier tracks as it does on the more straight-up hardcore of “False Flag Entertainment”, “The Terror Alert” or “Meet Your Maker” and the infectious pummel of “Hatebomb” and “Population Control”. And there is plenty of conviction in his message, grim though it is. End of days, indeed.

While DISCHARGE doesn't do a whole lot here that it hasn't, in one way, shape or form, done before, it does avoid the potential misstep of trying to overly modernize its music - a lesson learned the hard way with Grave New World way back when. The production may be crisper and the overall sound punchier though still plenty raw, but there are no breakdowns, good cop/bad cop vocal tradeoffs or tech-metal contrivances that so many contemporary bands have come to rely on. And we can thank them for that.

3.5 Out Of 5.0

Pre-order your copy of End Of Days in the KNAC.COM More Store right HERE.


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