From the likes of Anthrax, Metallica, Napalm Death, Sepultura, Machine Head and Soulfly to lesser known bands such as Swedish hardcore punk band Mob 47, Canadian industrial band Monster Voodoo Machine, French doom/sludge band Monarch! and UK doom metal band Solstice, all have been influenced and flavoured in varying degrees and effect by legendary UK hardcore punk band Discharge. The list of bands is far longer and genres touched by the band wide and upon listening to the reissued albums “Desensitise” and “War Is Hell” via Candlelight Records this is firmly brought home. As the combined 32 tracks of both albums re-released in one package show their immense worth the number of bands that have taken their sound in some way or been influenced by them through other bands having taken Discharge as their influential ingredient, is obvious and large. Discharge is either underrated or just not recognised for their immense touch and influence on music and bands across an array of rock genres not just the punk sphere, but with this package maybe that will deservedly change to some extent.
Discharge came out of the late 70’s punk scene amongst the likes of The Damned, UK Subs, and Angelic Upstarts, finding their feet and beginning to make their distinct and powerful mark on music from the early 80’s alongside the likes of The Exploited, Crass, and Chaos UK to mention a few. Notable successes on the indie charts ensued but never quite making the mark at the time that others achieved and it is only through the decades that their much deeper print on music: punk, rock and metal, as well as a multitude of band has been recognised, eclipsing their contemporaries in music history though even now it is still something to be discovered by many. Continuing their career perspective releases Candlelight Records hopefully will make many more aware of Discharge’s strong influence with the “Desensitise” and “War Is Hell“ package.
“Desensitise” is the last studio album from the band and originally released in 2008. Bursting with all the venom and political sense and scathing commentary the band always bring, its effective simplicity and forthright power is just as essential and fresh as the songs from the band early days. A crisp production lets the full breath and intensity of the tracks to strike incisively. In contrast the tracks on “War Is Hell” have a less clean production but are no less effective and enjoyable. The album also first saw the light in 2008 and is a compilation of re-recorded older Discharge songs from previous years and releases. Both albums had a limited opportunity to be heard and found when released by the band themselves, but luckily with Candlelight now re-issuing them the world has the chance to hear the gems within them.
With tracks as irresistible and rampant as ‘Blood Of The Innocent’, ‘What Method What Madness’, and ‘Persuasion = Power’ from “Desensitise” as well as ‘State Violence Stage Control’, ‘The More I See’, and ‘Corpse of Decadence’ on “War Is Hell”, the package is essential for all newcomers and fans of real punk and metal from thrash though to death metal. For existing followers the addition of a strong array of bonus tracks and of course the albums small availability outside of the UK previously makes this release just as important and indispensable.
Discharge has made a stronger and deeper mark on and in the shaping of so many sounds and directions a varied and enormous amount of bands has taken over the decades. Raw, angry, with senses stripping riffs and their renowned D-beats attacks, the insurgent delivery and attitude has never changed or lessened in effect and satisfaction over the decades from Discharge. Listening to “Desensitise” and “War Is Hell” puts current punk especially in perspective and at times in a lesser light against a band that truly should be up there with the legends of rock for their indisputable influence in music.