Struck by Lightning

True Predation

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Anyone still wondering just what possessed Mouth of the Architect's Gregory Lahm to turn his back on his former band's more, shall we say, ethereal song constructions and esoteric lyrics, will find a clear and forceful answer in Struck by Lightning's sophomore album, True Predation. Rage. That's right: rage. And does one really need a better motivating emotion when it comes to heavy music? The good news is that, unlike the common, unwashed hordes of crustcore bandwagon jumpers all over the planet, Struck by Lightning aren't just going through the motions -- as evidenced by the noticeable injection of clever ideas throughout. "Rabid Hysteria" shifts gears (i.e. tempos) as incessantly as a formula one driver negotiating chicanes, and, along with other stellar tunes like "Mindfucker" and "Harbinger," it eschews the one-riff per song austerity of hardcore with constant diversions and counterpoints. The especially memorable "Slavocracy" even boasts an astonishingly musical guitar solo, ratcheting up the album's widespread diversity -- in spite of its extremism -- in ways not heard arguably since England's similarly eclectic Mistress breathed their last. Sure, there are also several nose-to-the-grindstone d-beat slammers for the easier-to-please purists out there (see "Stalk and Prey," "Funereal," "Plague Culture," etc.), but one doubts they'd be half as compelling without the less conventional change-ups all around them. So even though Lahm's musical ingredients and intensity of attack have clearly changed, perhaps there's more in common between Mouth of the Architect and Struck by Lightning than initially meets the eye…or ears, as it were.

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