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Hatebomb! - 95%

Napalm_Satan, June 25th, 2016

Aah Discharge; one of the very best hardcore punk bands. With their revolutionary first full length they changed the face of both punk and metal forever, with its minimalist thrashy riffing, ambient drums and commanding lyrics delivered in a dogmatic fashion by an equally commanding vocalist resonating for far longer than the album's length. And right from the off this album proceeds to smack you in the face with that very same spirit and energy in the distinctly trademark End of Days. We've seen what a revitalised Discharge could do on the Propaganda Feeds EP, which was about as classic Discharge as one can get in these modern times.

We should all know what the 'classic Discharge sound' is by now (if you don't I suggest doing some 'research', necks will be ruined!). Monolithic, discordant, highly metallic and yet distinctly hardcore punk flavoured riffs with one or two making up a song are the order of the day here, and are about as dogmatic and memorable as a political mantra itself. The bass works with these to give the album a big ol' dirty low end, and together they drive the songs for their 1 - 3 minute run times like a bulldozer. The drumming is of course the 'd-beat', Discharge's single greatest specific contribution to music. The drums are an ambient hiss in the background that hammer away like a marching militia in unison with the riffs as well to create a tense, cold, intense and unconventionally 'industrial' atmosphere.

The vocals are as commanding and aggressive as they should be, blasting the listener left right and centre with the simple, memorable politically charged chants that this band has always used. In fact, the vocalist sounds a bit meatier and gruffer than the usual hardcore punk vocalist, and is one of the few indicators (aside from the modern, slick and heavy as a brick production) that this is a product of 2016, having a slight -core inflection to his yelling. The songwriting is actually quite hook-orientated, with ranting verses leading to a massive war cry of a dogmatic hook.

No, this doesn't re-invent the wheel (though this sound did nearly 35 years ago) but it shows how utterly timeless this style is, sounding fresh even when the album adheres to the orthodoxy this band set. It also shows that Discharge certainly aren't done yet, nearly 40 years into their career. The old dogs still have a lot of life left in them, and I can only salute them as they soldier on.