Discharge – End of Days (Nuclear Blast)

Genre: D-beat/Hardcore Punk

When you’ve invented a musical genre, influenced the likes of Metallica and spawned generations of acolytes from Finland to Japan, then any new material you create will come under close scrutiny.

Discharge’s first album in eight years was always going to grab the headlines, especially as it’s the first to see Jeff ‘JJ’ Janiak behind the mic stand. And while End of Days doesn’t top the best work by this act’s more illustrious spawn (Disfear, Wolfpack, Unkind et al), it captures the raw power and defiant spirit that made Discharge such a game changer back in ’82.

Take the title track, for instance; after an ominous public service broadcast about a nuclear attack warning, you’re straight into a firestorm of raging riffs and chaotic soloing reminiscent of the best moments of Hear Nothing See Nothing Say Nothing. It’s an incendiary little tune, the kind of short sharp shock that is synonymous with early Discharge.

Opener New World Order is similarly devastating, with JJ giving us the heads-up about FEMA concentration camps over Tezz and Bones’ wall of noise: the singer’s similarities to original vocalist Cal Morris only adds to the feeling that this is back to basics for Discharge… and what basics they are.

End of Days isn’t a classic – there are a couple of dull tracks to contend with, such as Infected –  but the quintet have nevertheless lived up to their legendary name here. This could have been pub rock d-beat best confined to punk reunion shows, instead it’s a tight, venomous album that shows Discharge are still relevant in 2016.

RUSHONROCK RATED: 8/10 Recharged