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Struck By Lightning – True Predation by endlessgonzo

Alright, time to kick off a new month filled with great metal and sounds heavy enough to blot out the springtime sun. When I wasn’t wringing my hands over my fantasy baseball team (Cliff Lee with a pulled butt muscle? Shoot me now), I was perusing some of the fresh harvest of full lengths that are getting ready to hit your ghetto blasters/car stereos/mpfree players. Among the releases that stuck out to me was Struck By Lightning’s newest full-length, True Predation. In case anyone didn’t hear their previous release Serpents (and shame of fucking shames on you if you didn’t), Struck is a band fronted by Gregory Lahm of Mouth of the Architect and Kline, Leach and Owens of Menorrhagia. I’ve never heard Menorrhagia, but MotA are one of my favorite doom bands of recent memory, so let’s get the comparisons out of the way; well…there really aren’t any.

Yes, Struck By Lightning has virtually no sonic relation to Lahm’s previous stuff with MotA, so fuck that. It’s far more aggressive, has almost no focus on the drifting, meditative doom that Mouth spat out, and would be more comfortable on a live show lineup with Black Tusk and Mastodon than Cult of Luna or Rosetta. These guys pretty much rip into all of the tracks with the same unyielding intensity, alongside a heavy emphasis on post-hardcore rhythms, rainforests of pummeling toms, and the best use of the word fuck in lyrics  this year, “Mindfucker.” That one is a doozy on its own, making me fist pump at my desk harder than anything since the last Tragedy record. Sweet, sweet goodness to soothe that sunburnt soul as we head into the hotter months down here in America’s peen. Pick this up and prepare to thrash. Avoid if you feel betrayed by Lahm no longer being willing to swim in the arctic sludge ocean.

Out this month on Translation Loss Records!

– Chris Nunez

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Mountain Folk – My friend. My enemy. We are all beast. by orlandooom407

Happy Doom’s Day to everyone! This afternoon I spent a little time soaking up the debut EP by Orlando post-hardcorers Mountain Folk. Right away I felt familiar with the presentation of such a short stinted piece of auditory fiction. Lyrically a dialogue is established between narrator and an anonymous entity personified by his eyes. Other details include the man beast’s claws, but also pays special notice that this “fallen angel” puts our narrator “back on his feet”. A solid homage to the primal application of man in the modern world. I really enjoy when bands post their lyrics having had several credit hours of literary analysis on my resume.

My Friend. My Enemy. We are all beast. consists of four roughly two and a half minute songs, but also contains three brief thirty second spoken word tracks accompanied by choral backing vocals. Think Sikth‘s spoken word poetry tracks, but significantly more brief, with a southern American dialect rather than a deranged elderly English man.

Musically I immediately drew parallels to early era Thursday. The guitar tracks are exceptionally sharpened, clever, and provide appropriate counter rhythms with the snare centralized percussion. Time changes occur seamlessly from half-time, to brief chaotic fills from the toms, and with a crisp organization of chords and individuated staccatos.  Verb saturated guitar solos provide the beef to climaxes, but most songs have a summoned a prominent leading vocal presence no matter what’s occurring in the song itself. I feel the bass guitar tones could stand out a bit more, but like I said before I enjoy the major vocal presence despite whether it was intentional. That leaves tons of room for experimentation though, because I feel Mntn Flk could transform to emphasize instruments in differing ways. It would still procure a head nod from me. Definitely warrants a hand full of listens to build an attention to each instrument.

It’s difficult for me to say much more on the musicianship with just under ten minutes of music to evaluate. I would however, encourage one to take a gander at their lyrics on their Bandcamp page while you take your first listen. It’s better than an audio book, it’s an auditory journey complete with polished musicianship and enough passion to end a war.

Summative Sentence: An encompassing ten minute pilgrimage into thought provoking first person lyricism, succinct post-hardcore guitar attacks and convergent lymphatic percussion.

Favorite Track: Clever Smile

Click here to download the debut Mountain Folk EP for [NAME YOUR PRICE].

Click here to get in touch with Mountain Folk on Facebook.

And remember. Believe.

– Jared Oates Haggard