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The End A.D. – Badlands

The End A.D.
by John Paul Romero at 15 February 2020, 6:23 AM

Hardcore punksters from Philadelphia THE END A.D. released their sophomore album 29th of November last year. The 10-track record “Badlands” was released through Fastball Music and distributed through Soulfood.

The only way to open a Punk album is with no holding back, and that’s what “Addiction” did. While I used the term “Punk,” always bear in mind that this album is actually a hybrid of Thrash and old school Punk. That is what they quickly established with the opening track with the sharp riffs and aggressive vocals on top of a raw production. The single “Why Won’t You Die” follows it up in the most ruthless way – wreaking further havoc after the album took off with its much faster tempo.

“Be Here Now” is where they started to make a little shift in terms of the pace. As compared to the two-punch combo of the opening tracks, they held back a bit and declined into a slower tempo giving room for heaviness. Meanwhile, “I Feel Like Death” stood out as the peak of the album despite it being the shortest of the ten songs. The shortened play time reduced the track into a series of sudden outbursts – a style where the band evidently excels the most. It’s almost like a mob attack tearing down an establishment part by part and then leaving immediately leaving no mark besides the ruins they have caused.

In “Tundra,” they leaned more into their metal side, showing some shadows of VENOM and even reminding me of the German Speed Metal band WARDANCE. Ami’s harsh voice has a very thrash-y sound in it, the kind that will remind you of Bobby Blitz. And not only that, she nails those cleans very masterfully as well. “Alien Face” is a testament to that – where she used more of her cleans than the primal screams.

Closing the album is “I Wanna Be Alone.” It came to me as a surprise. I almost thought it was going to be a SLAYER cover. That intro is a pretty sinister rendition of the notorious “Raining Blood.” The content is just completely vicious and it is easily the most chaotic track off the album. It has lots of push and pull moments and some really sick breaks. I love how Lorin and Steve took over at some points in the song, and Paul only spiced it up even more with his heavy riffs and a solid solo – all on top of Ami’s proven microphone violence.

The kind of sound that “Badlands” has is something I don’t usually get to hear a lot. We know the fact that Thrash and Punk, while having lots of similarities in terms of themes and motivation, started as arch rivals with very distinctive sounds. Hearing something like this in the year 2020 is such a treat to fans of Thrash and Punk and something both parties would definitely enjoy regardless of their genre preferences. The album is fast, heavy, raw, and vicious which means there is only one way to enjoy it: play it LOUD!!

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 7

4 Star Rating

1. Addiction
2. Why Won’t You Die
3. Be Here Now
4. Junkie Logic
5. Bitch Magnet
6. Enemy Action
7. I Feel Like Death
8. Tundra
9. Alien Face
10. I Wanna Be Alone
Ami Friend – Vocals
Lorin Savadove – Drums
Paul Juestrich – Guitars
Steve Rodgers – Bass
Record Label: Fastball Music


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Edited 05 February 2023

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