End of Days
Heart-D-beat of a nation
dB rating: 8/10
Release Date: April 29th, 2016
Label: Nuclear Blast
Discharge has now been around long enough (since the late ’70s, in fact) that its ex-members number in the high double-digits. And like any multi-decade musical career, there’s been an album or two issued along the way that the band would love to permanently erase from existence forever (see, for instance, 1987’s glammy screech-fest Grave New World). So, nearly 40 years along, what should we expect from a band that gave the world the Hall of Fame-worthy (but it ain’t happenin’, so don’t ask) Hear Nothing See Nothing Say Nothing, a D-beat manifesto that continues to be a blueprint for the style?
Well, the first thing you can obviously expect is a different lineup. Only guitarist Anthony “Bones” Roberts and bassist Royston “Rainy” Wainwright remain from Discharge’s early ’80s salad days. Though Terence “Tezz” Roberts, a founding member, plays on End of Days, he was out of Discharge before the band became the wall-of-sound juggernaut that was so influential. And, unfortunately, the bellowing vocals of Kelvin “Cal” Morris are long gone. The spirit of that era, and the non-embarrassing ones that followed, however, are captured here with gusto.
End of Days sees Discharge finding a balance between the metal-punk D-beat rage and the thrash/speed metal influences it adopted later. New vocalist Jeff “J.J.” Janiak clearly got the job based on his ability to channel Morris’s hoarse roar, and he pays tribute without sounding exactly the same. The material is fast, raw, angry and punishing—everything you want/expect Discharge to be. For a band with a stone-cold classic to its name, as well as some serious missteps, End of Days is as good as any longtime fan could hope for, and it’s completely free of any pseudo-retro musical posturing.
This review taken from the June 2016 issue.