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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.