End of Days
Nuclear Blast Records
Release date: May 13, 2016
Hardcore punk has always been the voice of the disaffected. It’s also been the most dangerous music on the planet. When it comes to this genre bands come and go quickly, often having disbanded before their initial album can even be released upon the masses. Only a handful have the kind of determination to stick it out for the long haul, and even those that do are often left with but a sole member to give legitimacy to the brand. Bands like Discharge are a brilliant anomaly. The British hardcore band was founded in 1977 and has been active since, with only a few years off in a career that has spanned nearly four decades. End Of Days, the latest sonic attack in the Discharge catalog, features three members from the band’s classic lineup, guitarists Terrence “Tezz” Roberts and Anthony “Bones” Roberts, as well as bassist Royston “Rainy” Wainwright. 2016 sees the band as pissed off as ever on their current release.
Discharge doesn’t alter their classic formula for this release, nor do they need to. Fans expect to hear the kind of hardcore punk that influenced not only future generations of punks but the thrash and speed metal scenes birthed in the 1980s. The barked vocals of Jeff “JJ” Janiak are a staple of the genre. Bones’ lead guitar work on songs like “Killing Yourself To Live” evoke the days when hardcore and metal began to coalesce into the dirty bomb that would eventually give us the heaviest, sickest music of our time. David “Proper” Caution’s drums are frantic and pummeling. Lyrics are direct, pointed and scathing, and as always, full of righteous indignation. This is the music that made hardcore not just a musical movement, but an act of defiance meant to shape the world by feeding the mind and the rage of millions.
Of these fifteen tracks, only the opening salvo, “New World Order,” reaches the three-minute mark. The songs are short, sharp shocks reminiscent of bands like The Crumbsuckers and early Ringworm. “Population Control” is a pummeling, threatening track that begs the listener to scream along. Political commentary flows thick on songs like “Looking At Pictures of Genocide,” “The Terror Alert,” and “False Flag Entertainment.” The title track opens with a public service announcement concerning what to do if under attack by nuclear weapons before launching into a prime slab of venomous hardcore attitude. All in all, End Of Days is exactly what you would expect from a classic hardcore band. Maybe more, as the sound and most of the classic lineup has endured. Discharge shows no signs of letting up or slowing down on this release, and that is a testament to everything that’s right in the world of hardcore.
Reviewed by Jim 1340