Review Summary: Punk is dead, and in comes Discharge to its funeral wearing leopard print pink spandex.
Discharge were always "Hardcore Punk's Sweethearts". By that, I mean that whereas other hardcore punk bands were constantly slagged by critics and the general public, people just couldn't seem to get enough of Discharge, mostly because they always had elements of hard rock on their sound. They eventually began to experiment with thrash and heavy metal as the eighties went on- Hear Nothing See Nothing Say Nothing
is the perfect example of the band experimenting with metal elements. And then something else happened as 1986 approached: they went fully heavy metal, and while it may have seemed like a good idea at a time, the result was but sadly an awful mess. If anything, Grave New World
is the perfect example of a band going too far with their sound.
Grave New World
has many problems, the first being that the completely heavy metal sound just plain wasn't a good idea. They would later try it again in 1991 with more of a thrash sound and succeed that time; this album tries to emulate a King Diamond sound, and even throws in some Glam metal elements in there for good measure, and it's just sad to listen to. The most noticeable problem is Cal Morris' voice- his voice has always been a cut above the rest for hardcore punk, but here he sings in an unintentionally hilarious high pitch/falsetto. It's even sad
to listen to at times. The moment you hear him whine his way into the mix on the opening eponymous track, you can't help but burst into an uncontrollable giggle. When he's not downright aping King Diamond, he's trying many stupid things with his voice and none of them work.
Other problems include the lack of memorable riffs, hooks, and, well, songs, even. Every track floats in through one ear and out the other- the songs are too long and at times too goddamn slow
. The lyrics are pretty insipid too and consist mostly of angsting and whining- one hilarious example is "The Downward Spiral". Straight edge agenda may be alright in punk, but in metal, they're comedy gold. And not to mention, the production is much too tight and "clean" for a band of their kind. The moment you hear the over-reverbed drums on the eponymous track and on the equally bad "In Love Believe", you find yourself asking if this is the same band that recorded classics like "State Violence State".
Unsurprisingly, the band broke up not long after its release; the album was a major flop, and tensions between the band heightened to almost unbearable levels. Thankfully, the band returned to awesomeness in 1991 with Massacre Divine
, which had more of a thrash metal sound to it. But this album is long forgotten for a reason, and a good one too- it's simply awful, a nine track long exercise in stupidity and thankfully, we won't be hearing any songs from this album any time soon. Avoid this album at all costs, and I'd also be careful mentioning it around any of Discharge's fans, if I were you.