Review Summary: Sometimes falling flat on your face is really entertaining to the masses.
It is shocking how Discharge went from the most influential D-beat bands of all time to a shockingly inept hair metal and thrash metal band. The band’s fall from grace was a shocking drop, as the band went from the classic punk release Hear Nothing See Nothing Say Nothing to Grave New World, with only one EP between. Grave New World was a boring and repetitive slog that is widely regarded as a gigantic failure. Despite this, Discharge pressed on, but a problem arose. Where do you take this new sound when you have hit the absolute bottom? The band’s answer was to go past the bottom and enter the land of no return. For you see, Discharge, despite not intending to, created Massacre Divine, one of the funniest albums of all time.
But the album is not hilarious in a traditional way, as it doesn't have any witty lines, purposefully humorous song structure, or a general sense of comedic intent. What Massacre Divine has is unapologetically stupid hair-thrash that lacks any form of self-awareness. Every single grating and vapid element one could hate about the glam metal movement is here, complete with shallow guitar riffs, tacky bass playing, weak drums, and some of the worst vocals the band could find. Why they decided to attach a dying cat to a microphone and proceed to beat it with a mallet is beyond me, but I digress. All of this is mixed together haphazardly, leaving the album's production feeling severely unfinished, and the record sounds mismatched as a result. The songwriting doesn't get much at all done, with repetitive structures that go nowhere and refuse to progress in any significant way. The whole disjointed mess is sprinkled with failed attempts to sound macho and “bad-ass,” but these methods are pointless, as this mess was a limp-dick fever dream from the start.
The levels of pure sleaziness are enough to warrant many a chuckle, in pity, disbelief, or possible insanity. No matter how depressing it is that Discharge never reached their former glory again, this is a definite pick me up. This is an album that is purely made up of nothing but the worst the metal and hard rock scene had to offer in the early 90's and the 80's. All of these missteps and tumbles not only make this record a strikingly atrocious hodgepodge, but an enjoyable train-wreck, complete with grisly mistakes and a certain level of guilt from the observer, as if they are doing something wrong. As for Discharge, they would go on to never make anything worth listening to again, but we do have this failure to gawk at.