Struck By Lightning, True Predation

Struck By Lightning: True Predation

I was never a fan of the expansive atmospheres offered up by Mouth of the Architect, whose Gregory Lahm holds down the fort on vocals and lead guitar for Ohio’s Struck By Lightning. I just don’t have the attention span to sit through 10 plus minutes of ambient, metal-gaze, what-the-fuck-ever. Thankfully, we get none of that nonsense here on True Predation.

Based on a d-beat sludge combination, Lahm and crew — Travis Kline on drums, Mike Leach on guitar and Thomas Owens on bass — deliver one hell of a sophomore album that’s packed full of crusty riffs, vicious barks, thundering rhythms and just enough progressive elements to keep you on your toes. Don’t let album opener “Sickening Reality” fool you. This isn’t going to be some simple minded, tough-guy styled hardcore. There’s a good deal more within True Predation.

After the slow moving and pummeling “Sickening Reality” has moved along, leaving you bruised and battered, “Stalk and Prey” unleashes a ferocious and brash eruption of dense, sludgy metal. It’s quickly followed up by “Rabid Hysteria” and its cold introductory guitars before the guys let loose with a solid groove and crusty destruction. So far, the opening triad of songs have a common feel, but also unique enough elements within each that shows the band has gone out of their way to make each song compelling in its own right. “We Are All Just Rotting Corpses” and it’s full, thick riffs is closely trailed by some seriously sick guitars and rabid performance of “Funereal.”

It’s not until the chorus of the trudging “Mindfucker” that the band really gives you an opportunity to get involved with the album. There’s just no way that you’re not barking along with Lahm when he vehemently spits out “Fuck you forever!” And like that you’re hooked. True Predation gets under your skin and festers, causing you to itch for more. It may take a couple of spins in the CD player for the effect to fully take hold, but it’s inevitable. Struck By Lightning have themselves one hell of an album here.