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Gleaming, if slightly cracked metal. - 76%

hells_unicorn, October 10th, 2014
Written based on this version: 2003, 2CD, Nuclear Blast (Limited edition)

Destruction was counted among the many tragic victims of that monstrosity known to most as the 1990s, a time where thrash metal somehow morphed into a 4-letter word and everybody started to get their groove on. There was a failed attempt to revive the band in the heat of said time period by Mike Sifringer with an entirely different lineup that culminated in 3 releases that were well outside of thrash and sounded more like an attempt at going hard rock. Thankfully the 1990s had an antidote, known as the 2000s, and with it came 2 extremely well realized lessons in modernized spine-destroying mayhem in All Hell Breaks Loose and The Antichrist. Immediately on the heels of these spectacular fits of pure revitalization is what can be best described as an inferior, yet still pleasing afterthought in Metal Discharge, an album that can be best described as that period of still sprinting just after hitting peak speed in the race and crossing the finish line, followed by the inevitable winded slow down.

To be fair, this album is miles ahead of where most of thrash metal was 5 years prior, and definitely manages to pull out a few impressive numbers amid what is otherwise a moderately redundant affair. If there is a comparable album that most would be familiar with, it would be Slayer's Divine Intervention, which was itself noteworthy for being a majority thrashing affair in 1994, when most had jumped off said ship. The riff work, while a bit too repetitive at times, is still possessed of the needed edge to keep from degenerating into coasting half-thrash the way Machine Head still tends to do, and Mike's guitar tone is definitely more on the modern end of things, having more of a massive punch sound that is somewhat reminiscent of Exhorder circa 1992. Schmier is likewise sounding as pissed off as usual, thrusting forth a punk-infused shouting vocal quality that's akin to a mutant version of Death Angel's vocal sound, which is a fitting voice for such angry sounding anthem titles as "Rippin' The Flesh Apart" and "Made To Be Broken".

In stark contrast to most of Destruction's absolute classic LPs where picking a best song is a fool's errand, here the preferred head-banging fodder jumps out at the listener from the very start, whereas the lesser songs stand out for their sheer lack of doing so. "The Ravenous Beast" is the best example of the former, plunging ahead at full speed and never stopping for a breath. It's closely followed by the very next song, title track "Metal Discharge", which is a little on the repetitive side but has a similarly unrelenting, go straight for the jugular approach with a more blurring riff set. On the less inspired side is a somewhat rock-infused affair in "Mortal Remains", which varies in tempo but loses focus while trying to straddle between a fast Teutonic sound and a Megadeth inspired riff set. The same story tends to hold true for "Historical Force Feed", which hangs around mid-tempo land a bit more but similarly meanders around a couple of similar sounding riffs and coasts more than it thrashes. The weaker songs on here don't become outright boring, but they seem to drag on given the lack of definitive hooks or well-timed change ups, and the lead guitar work that would normally cut the monotony a bit is pretty sparse.

It's a safe bet that anyone with a taste for Destruction's modern 2000s sound will not find this release an outright throwaway, but it takes the back seat to several other albums from this era and is more middle of the road in terms of quality. It's one of those albums where there are only a few things to really quake about, and a lot of other stuff that tends to be good while it's on, then just sort of fades into the ether of countless semi-memorable modern thrash anthems that have been floating around. A good analogy would be to view this album's 2 predecessors as skull-pulverizing sledgehammers, where as this is more akin to a one-handed mallet that puts a respectable series of cracks into whichever cranium ends up at the wrong end of it.

Disappointing, but not dishonorable - 72%

autothrall, March 4th, 2011

There was absolutely no way in hell that Destruction were going to surpass their 2001 album The Antichrist. Not on its immediate follow-up, and most likely not EVER, so we can't really come down too hard on Metal Discharge for what it is: a series of similar sounding songs that follow in the same punctuation, with the same general production standards and a new drummer in place: Mark Reign. That being said, their 8th-full length (counting The Least Successful Piece of Shit) does maintain all of the band's trademark viciousness with a consistency that shouldn't have crushed the loyal Destruction fan's expectations, and if you were paying attention throughout the 90s, you'll realize that this is far from their worst offense against all creation.

Where Metal Discharge lacks is the songs that immediate grasp the listener, like the legendary "Thrash 'Til Death" or "Nailed to the Cross" from the previous album. "The Ravenous Beast" is fast and manic, and there are some intricate melodic guitars woven into its midst, but it conjures nothing more than the appropriate thrashing momentum. The chorus fails to dominate, and it's but a warm-up for the slightly superior, frenzied title track. This is obviously the self-referential attempt at a new "Thrash 'Til Death", but despite a pretty pumped chorus it just doesn't catch. Do we really picture a crowd of people shouting 'Metal Discharge'? Sure, they'll mock Jesus or celebrate their own favorite pastime with the infamous crowd pleasures from The Antichrist, but I just don't picture them discussing their discharge. Eww. After this, the album takes a turn with the more melodic, melancholic drudging of "Rippin' the Flesh Apart", which breaks momentum with its slower verses, but isn't all that bad.

"Fear of the Moment" and "Mortal Remains" represent some of the stronger tunes on the CD, the former screaming along and leaving bullet cases in its wake, the latter using a catchier, mid paced riff sequence that wouldn't have been out of place on Cracked Brain, but then even these are pale in comparison to the 3rd and 4th seats on The Antichrist wagon ("Bullets from Hell" and "Godfather of Slander"), and the album proceeds to get worse with "Desecrators of the New Age" or "Made to Be Broken", songs I wouldn't be able to remember if you had me trained to respond via jarring electrical stimulation. "Savage Symphony of Terror" is most likely the best on the latter half of the album, with hammering, bloodied brutality coursing through its veins, but it also fails to leap out from the page.

Metal Discharge is not mandatory listening by any measurement, but if you're planning on acquiring it then you'd likely want the extended version, which features a handful of solid covers and some demo material. Schmier and the gang do a naturally bang-up job of "Whiplash" and Iron Maiden's "Killers", and they also tackle "Fuck the U.S.A." by The Exploited, which is, well, not a great song to begin with. Demo versions of "Metal Discharge", "The Butcher Strikes Back" and "Nailed to the Cross" are not necessary in lieu of their official album counterparts, but some might enjoy the remake of "Bestial Invasion" (though the one on Thrash Anthems is superior). With these tracks included, the album falls safely into the 'good' category, but it's really only worth owning if you collect all the band's studio releases. Metal Discharge might have had the unfortunate task of cleaning up after one of the greatest thrash albums in German history, but even had it not, there is not an excess of praise to be said for it.

-autothrall
http://www.fromthedustreturned.com

Destruction - Metal Discharge - 65%

Orbitball, March 15th, 2010

This German thrash metal based band was arguably the first thrash metal outfit in existence. They were founded back in 1982 under the name Knight of Demon. For whatever reason, the band changed their name to Destruction after only a few weeks. From then onto 1990, they had managed to release five full-length studio albums. After 1990, their involvement in the metal scene was almost totally void. Marcel "Schmier" Schirmer left the band back in 1989, but despite his departure from the band, their spirit over the silent years survived. After a decade of pretty much zero involvement in the metal scene, vocalist/ bass guitarist Schmier and rhythm/lead guitarist Mike Sifringer reunited along with a new drummer named Sven Vormann. Their "All Hell Breaks Loose" release back in 2000 was a strong comeback album by the band. "The Antichrist" was released in 2001, which also was a monumental piece of work. After "The Antichrist" was released, Sven left the band due to personal reasons. Marc Reign replaced him on drum duties. "Metal Discharge" was their follow-up, of which didn't achieve the level of success that their two predecessors received.

This album remains to fall under the thrash metal category. However, the guitar riffs were not as prevalent as was featured on their previous album. It seemed that their guitar riff structures lacked complexity and innovation to them. The music doesn't display much thought put into it, and lacks originality. Mike apparently threw together some guitar parts without putting forth many interesting qualities to them. However, the first track entitled "The Ravenous Beast" was probably the most memorable song. It has a wicked bridge/chorus section to it, and it seems as though that song is the most original sounding one. Many of the tracks on here didn't really stick in my head. I think that Mike was really lazy when he wrote the music for this release. The title track was a decent song, but still not too catchy. The riffs that were apparent on their two previous releases were more intriguing to listen to. "Rippin' the Flesh Apart" was another decent sounding track, but still not that great of a song. As the album progressed, the rest of the songs seemed to be pretty stale and monotonous.

"Savage Symphony of Terror" begins with a pathetic guitar/vocal output, though as the song continues, it works into a little bit better riff-writing structure to it. This album contains a lot of aggression, and doesn't letup any throughout its entirety. This is a good thing though; Destruction was able to put forth somewhat of an energy filled release. I just wasn't impressed with their approach here in terms of the guitar riffs. They failed to captivate me and were not at all as good as on their two previous releases. The bridge/chorus sections for all of their songs were the best album features. The songs take some time getting used to, so don't expect to be intrigued by them when you first take a listen. When I first heard it, I was totally turned off. The reason again was because their guitar work failed to capture my interest. After a few additional spins, I grew to like it a bit more.

The production/mixing sound to it exhibits a flat tone to the music and wasn't as crisp as on their two previous releases. It was difficult to hear the bass guitar, so this left Schmiers' efforts to be lacking in this department. The double bass kicks to Marc's drumming exhibits with it another example of the failure in the mixing process. The vocals, however, were quite audible and prominent. From this aspect, I'd say that it was the highlight of the album. Marc's backup vocals were also very well heard, and success for this section was well achieved. Mike's guitar rhythms/leads lacked a real crunch tone to them. Their two previous releases were examples of a better distorted guitar sound to them. Here, they failed to capture that nice crunchy guitar feature to it. If they carried that component with them on here, then I think that it would've been a stronger release sound wise.

Mike's rhythm guitar playing was much more successful than his lead guitar efforts. I say this because he doesn't seem to initiate any useful strategies when he comprised his solos for this album. It's as though his leads were merely improvised upon; this is evident the entire way through the album. His rhythm works are no doubt much stronger then his leads. It was quite a disappointment to Destruction fans, myself included. Marc's drum work was solid though despite the poor mixing. There were a lot of double bass kicks and the drum parts were formulated to fit well alongside the guitar rhythms. Schmier did a good job on vocals, but unfortunately his bass guitar work wasn't well heard again because of the poor mixing.

The lyrics focused on metal of course, and surprisingly enough politics as well. They abdicated from singing about anti-religion/Satanism topics. This is good because they were better thought out than on earlier releases. I still think that they could've been more intriguing to read, but that wasn't the case. "The Ravenous Beast" was an example of a total lack of ingenious lyrical writing. It was not only on this track, but holds true for all of them. Schmier's efforts showed his total lack of education, and poor in-depth writings. He could've taken a smarter, and less nonsensical approach to his work. However, it's better that he talks about more intriguing things than just Satanic ramblings. This album would've been a bit more interesting if he put in a broader range of writing. On another note, if you purchase the limited edition version to this album, it features a few cover songs as well as some earlier recorded demo tracks.

In conclusion, this album had some strengths and many weaknesses. This holds true for any band, but for Destruction fans, it was a total disappointment. They did not abdicate their throne in terms of putting out aggressive thrash metal, but it was difficult for the band to come up with more intriguing songs than on their two previous releases. This album really failed in putting forth effective guitar riffing that would be stunning for a listener. Mike's leads again fell short in his attempt to dish out any type of arpeggios, sweep picking and tremolo picking licks. Schmiers' vocals I still praise because of his unique sounding qualities. His voice on the album remains to be totally original. He doesn't sing like any vocalist within this thrash metal genre. This is a positive aspect to the band and album. Marc's drumming/backing vocal efforts were very well orchestrated. Because of the less than average points to the albums' overall mixing, his drum abilities didn't do him the justice that he deserved. Overall, this album fails in its efforts to persuade me to recommend it to any thrash metal fans. If you wish to hear some unique and originally sounding thrash metal music, don't pick up this one, pick up their two predecessors, "All Hell Breaks Loose" and "The Antichrist."

All my respect for them... - 87%

CHRISTI_NS_ANITY8, December 23rd, 2008

Metal Discharge was a bit of a letdown for those who were expecting the same blowing production of the previous albums by Destruction. The production in the recent past was just massive and maybe a bit too much for them, so with this new album Schmier & Co. decided to return a bit to the classic rawness of the thrash. However, this rawness is not the one we could find twenty years ago because the volumes are very good and the instruments have always that unmatched heaviness but everything is just more human and the guitars are far less loud. The drums are metallic and the newcomer Marc Reign is even more various than the recently discharged Sven Vormann.

Back to this album, we can notice the always great Destruction trademarks at the schizophrenic riffage and the mad vocals. Schmier is always strong and in shape while Mike is just relentless in putting out everything that could sound extreme and catchy at the same time. The opener is for the best track on this album “The Ravenous Beast”. The style is immediately “in your face” like a train and we can immediately notice the new production. The new drummer’s skills are well-displayed and his way of playing the instrument is really old school for the vicious beats. Here the band is truly brutal and everything, from the verses to the refrain, is catchy and incredibly fast. The title track follows the same direction with more riffs and fast drums passages.

The band seems restless and really passionate for what they are doing. Even the more mid-paced sections are always dynamic and full of fast restarts. “Rippin' the Flesh Apart” should have been far less long because the first two minutes are not good, being full of slow, derivative parts. They show fewer ideas than the ones on furious bass drums restarts. “Fear of the Moment” has an unbelievable drums intro to clearly show the newcomer’s skills while the rest in just furious and always catchy. The importance for the form of the songs is essential, as well as for the catchiness. A demonstration of this is the brutal but recognizable refrain.

“Mortal Remains” is a bit more mid-paced at the beginning but the riffs are just great. Once again the refrain is catchy and the tempo changes are very well-played. Mike here does a superb work in switching some many parts without losing a note. “Desecrators of the New Age” has its violence on the fast bass drums beats while some parts are a bit too melodic, especially for the vocals. These parts sound strange to my ears and not that Destruction style. However, the riffs are always quite intricate and the refrain in once again here to stay, along with the main riff. “Historical Force Feed” has its strongest point on the catchiness of the refrain because the riffs are not great and the song is a bit too monotonous.

“Savage Symphony of Terror” is faster, the bass drums parts are great and that is good before the more mid-paced but dark “Made to be Broken”. Here the stop and go parts by the guitar are more present even if they are not annoying thanks to the metallic and sharp production. By the way, more canonical parts can be found near the refrain, where the riffs are thrasher in style and more compact. “Vendetta” is a quite slow song and it ends the album. The speed restarts are always present but the refrain is more focused on the mid-paced tempo and the low vocals. The dark atmosphere is the most remarkable point for this song.

All things considered, Destruction are still going strong in playing thrash metal. Yes, the energy is not that savage one of the old days anymore, but who cares. They still thrash and this is important, especially during this period in which nothing is sure…

Raw but Still Modern - 80%

darkreif, June 18th, 2007

Despite how good their last two albums were (The Antichrist and All Hell Breaks Loose respectively) Destruction decided to take their latest effort, Metal Discharge, and reduce the production values for it. They took away most of the clean production and slick mixing of their previous albums and took their music to a "raw" feeling again. For fans of the classic thrash albums of the 80s this means a little throwback - but for fans of the newer Destruction sound this is a hindrance.

Destruction have been on a killer track record since their reunion with vocalist/bassist Schmier and the writing for Metal Discharge stays in a similar fashion to these newer Destruction records even if the production steps back about 15 years or so.

The guitar work is still modern in writing. The riffs are heavy as hell and although not as complicated as some of the previous material still catchy as hell and will have you throwing horns in no time. The leads and solos are good and are harder to hear with the lower production (even though they have taken a step back to the riffs now). The solos are good and thrashy - so don't expect too much "emotional" variety to the sound. Anger and chaos pretty much describe the Destruction sound since the beginning and nothing changes on Metal Discharge.

The bass work is a little more in the forefront this time around (partially because of the older production sound brings the bass forward). The bass is a good rhythm that keeps the guitars and songs moving in forward direction and gives a little order to the chaos. The drums present a similar concept and one of the most interesting parts of the drums on Metal Discharge is how remarkably good the cymbal sounds are. The cymbal work on "Ripping the Flesh Apart" is some of the most fun drum writing I've heard on a thrash album in a long time. These lead into some cool drum parts that are expertly played (the intro to "Fear of the Moment" is damn awesome.)

The vocals haven't changed that much even with the lower production. Schmier sounds as harsh as ever and with less layers to the vocals it really gives him a raw edge that hasn't been seen in a while. The collective band shouts are always a great thrash sound that Metal Discharge uses quite often. I must add too that it is pretty amazing that Schmier can hit high notes as time wears on. Not as often, but there are a couple on this album that shocked me. Good for him.

Overall this is a great album. I would like to hear it with the modern production that Destruction used prior to it - because I think this album would have been a killer then. The older production has a nostalgic feel to it - but in the end it does hinder the album in general.

Songs to check out: The Ravenous Beast, Desacrators of the New Age, Fear of the Moment.

Modern Thrash Done Right - 69%

LOGrules88, February 25th, 2007

Wow isn’t this album a rare gem. It's a modern Thrash Metal album that doesn’t suck huge ass. This album isn’t great or for that matter really good, but hey it's just about the best we have got.


The one thing that I really like about Destruction is that they are one of the few Thrash bands that haven’t been infected by Groove, Gothenburg, or any other trendy bullshit. For there whole career they have played pretty straight ahead Thrash. This album is really no exception. This album is filled with bare knuckles, no bullshit Thrash, which keeps the same basic formula for the whole thing.


Now while I praise Destruction for not falling into stupid trendy traps that many other Thrash bands have fallen into, in the last few years, it would be nice to hear a little more variety in the songs. Most of the songs on this album are pretty damn good, but there are a few that are just way to boring and mediocre for my tastes. Namely "Made To Be Broken" and "Historical Force Feed". There is only one complete throw away track on this and that is "Rippin' the Flesh Apart". It is really boring and has stupid verses.


There are some highlights on this album. The riffs on it are still very potent and crushing. They definitely have not forgotten how to riff. The best example of this is the song "Savage Symphony of Terror". Check out the riff at around 0:40, fucking killer. Another really good song is "Mortal Remains". It has great intro riffing and some powerful lead guitar. I have always liked Schmier's vocals and he delivers another great vocal performance on this album.


So overall this sadly is probably some of the best modern Thrash we are gonna get. It not great, but it’s pretty good, and for now all we can really do is listen to this and pray for another Tempo of the Damned.

Mindless fun... - 75%

Snxke, October 15th, 2004

Destruction just won't give up. This isn't a BAD thing really, but the band just seems to battle on without a clue as to what is going on around them. Unlike a lot of people, I enjoy Destruction's newer material as much as I like the "old-skool" of the band. "Metal Discharge" is wonderfully produced with a throbbing bass mix and cutting guitars. The drums are percussive and driving while not distracting from the music and spite-laden vocals that seem to tear themselves from the throat of front-kraut Schmier. The musicianship is top notch, the production is top notch, the lyrical themes and song-craft are typically time-warped and mindless as a Termintor - but we all dig those flicks in the same way we dig this album. (With a grain of salt, for those of you new to these sorts of things.) Destruction won't quit, they won't change and if we're lucky they'll keep kicking it until they stop believing in mindless thrash as much as the world around them has. This sort of sincerity is what carries a record like this in a cynical time...it must be commended.

While only "Made to be Broken" has any slow-down-and-groove parts this CD manages to kick along pretty well. From beginning to end we have the ultra-clattering drums (in a good way), roiling bass and buzzsaw the guitar have been known for all these years. These songs bounce along with enough random dueling (yeah - one guy duels himself) and pissed-off pointlessness to match much of the work on the earlier records. Sure, there are no big hit-style choruses like on "All Hell Breaks Loose" but we have a thrashfest that is tougher than nails. Destruction have deftly avoided art in terms for good craft that praises the "thrash" idea with an honest-to-goodness edge that can take an old skeptic like me and get his foot tapping. Sure - they're ain't a classic to be found here - but who cares? It's thrash-metal junk food and it tastes GOOD when it's in the spinner. These boys know how to get the job done - if only for a momentary release of thrashing rage...

Destruction are Destruction...not as primal as Sodom nor as self-important as Kreator. In many ways these are the true "tough guys" of German thrash and deserve a bit more attention than they have gotten. While only "Made to Be Broken" will last beyond the next record in terms of memory one can claim that "Metal Discharge" has a deep spirit that may help keep kraut-thrash thrashing into the next few years.

Pick it up with a six pack and a bullet belt...

I've left genius behind... - 65%

UltraBoris, January 25th, 2004

They said it, not me. Specifically, in the song 'Ripping the Flesh Apart', and it unfortunately sums up the album perfectly. After the amazing and lethal The Antichrist, how the fuck is Destruction supposed to top it? Let's just say, they didn't.

Now this is not a bad album at all. If you like Destruction, you will enjoy it. Mike's insane riff style is still here, and Schmier still sounds like someone just pissed in his Jagermeister.

So what's wrong with it? It's sort of a 'fun' album, and since the Antichrist was so brutal, it seems a step down. Also, some of the songs tend to run their course a bit too fast, and are reliant on too few riffs. A good example: Mortal Remains, which has that great intro riff, and then that riff keeps coming back again and again, and after 4 minutes, 11 seconds, it seems a bit annoying.

Then there is the opener, The Ravenous Beast, which pulls a 'Ghosts of War' in that the first few seconds are demo quality, and then the song really kicks in. But that's one fucking Hell of a demo, with the guitars really loud, and if the entire album sounded like that, I'd have given it another 5 points, because that part is just vicious and crippling. Then when the song 'kicks in' it never quite gets going. The multiple vocal attack of the chorus just seems a bit forced, and Schmier's vox are the weakest in the middle track ... I'd quote lyrics except I have no clue what he's saying. Something about fear and ripping. You know what part.

Some of the songs could be complete Antichrist material... Fear of the Moment, for exampel, and the second track Metal Discharge and Desecrators of the New Age recalls a bit of melodicism that is most reminiscent of Cracked Brain, though really it just sounds like staple Destruction.

As for the rest, Historical Force Feed has a great fucking title, but the rest of the song doesn't really match. It is just a bit plodding and the riff just a bit pedestrian, and then there's that bass-and-vox section that is just a bit annoying. Then, Made to be Broken totally sounds like a ripoff of early 90s Pantera, with a riff sounding like what Walk would be like if it weren't obnoxious. Somehow, it still manages to become obnoxious. The final track, Vendetta, is also relatively forgettable - it has the usual riffs in the usual places, but the chorus is very forced, and at times the song - representative of the album as a whole - sounds like Mike just sat down and started spewing out whatever riffs he could come up with, and they just took the riff tape at face value.

In conclusion, it's kind of a weak album. Given that hardly anyone's playing thrash nowadays, it's a welcome addition to the market, and again anyone that likes Destruction is going to at least somewhat enjoy this. 'Least Successful Human Cannonball', this is not. But it's also not the new Exodus...