Befitting their name, Struck by Lightning stimulates the listening senses with a punishing first “strike” (no pun intended; well, maybe pun intended). “Sickening Reality”, the first track, enters with a flourish of feedback coined by a slow, heavy climb to what then becomes a punk drumbeat with unblemished guitar chugs. The natural transition from the build-up to the verse is executed with ease and Struck By Lightning then surprises by trading the punk-ridden mid-section of the song for an ending that balances both the slow beginning and the furious verse and chorus like that of a tightrope walker juggling fire. True maturation is seen already just in this first track as the musicianship and musical choreography wholly sets the tone for the rest of their sophomore release, True Predation.
On April 24th 2012, Columbus, Ohio’s Progressive punk/metal quartet, Struck By Lightning released their second full-length album, True Predation on Translation Loss records. Vocalist, Gregory Lahm, heads the collective up. His visceral but penetrating scream is haunting yet very applicable to the genre and compliments the overall sound of his fellow band members effortlessly. What is even more impressive is that he also carries an axe and showcases that ability on the record as well. On my personal favorite track, “Stalk and Prey”, not hitting the two-minute mark doesn’t seem to bother the band as their true musical capabilities emerge. Although holistically I wouldn’t classify this band anywhere near Between the Buried and Me, this track definitely has some similar qualities, which they perform very well. The full and driving bass drum and tom-ridden fills pitter-patter the backdrop while the rhythm guitar and bass respectfully position themselves at a place where they all sonically unite into a progressive punk riff.
For me, there is a bit of monotony in this genre towards the end of albums where bands can’t seem to find their own unique way to fill a ten to twelve song recording, but Struck By Lightning doesn’t seem to struggle with this. From track to track, there is a progression that not only befits their name but their musical endeavors. It is loud, furious and unrelenting but in the end is something I believe that they should be proud of. A punishing listening experience is not always a bad thing and in this case getting Struck By Lightning could be a welcome change to any progressive metal head’s musical existence.