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Surgical Strike “24/7 Hate Album Review by Curtis J. Dupree

SURGICAL STRIKE Band Members

One thing that makes thrash metal such an interesting genre to listen to is the vast range of quality it can manifest. When thrash is poorly written and performed it can be downright difficult to listen to. But when thrash is well-written and well-performed it can be among the most exhilarating music known to man. I’m thankful to say that Surgical Strike falls solidly on the latter end of that spectrum.

24/7 Hate is the German band’s second full-length release and is 44 minutes of pure thrash metal assault. The production is clear and even allows the bass to be heard. The vocals, courtesy of Jens Albert, are delivered with an appropriate thrash metal sneer, but also contain some deeper growls, all of which is delivered in a nicely intelligible fashion. The drums (Joshua Jo) are precise but allow for various rhythms and are thankfully not overplayed. Florian Seybecke provides a solid bottom end. The riffwork is mostly top-notch, with two guitarists in the form of Marcelo Vasquez Rocha (rhythm) and Frank Ruhnke (lead). Ruhnke is really the band’s secret weapon. Most thrash guitar solos feel like afterthoughts composed of some noodling or shredding, but with little thought to composition and melody. Ruhnke’s solos, however, are often highlights of the songs. He plays to fit the song, which sometimes means speedy shredding and sometimes means slower, more emotive playing. Combine Ruhnke’s solos with the excellent performances of the rest of the band, plus some truly great riffs, and you have the recipe for a thrash metal winner.

The album kicks off with a short instrumental track, “Initium.” It’s not too lengthy, but it builds and it contains a good guitar melody. 

The title track gives us a cool riff and it kicks in immediately. We get a bunch of good riffs thrown at us in this song, but Surgical Strike isn’t afraid to let the music slow down a bit, either. The band also delivers a catchy chorus, great melodic leads, and an appealing solo. 

Fear Monger” provides us with screaming guitar work and hammer-on/pull-off riffing. The chorus is driving and memorable, and the solo is high quality. We also get some nice rhythmic variety within this tune. 

The Lesson” is quite speedy and has a very catchy, mid-paced chorus. The bass is nice and audible on this track. We have another great solo. My only critique here is that the song could use a slightly more memorable main riff. 

The main riff on the next track, “Discover the Evil,” is more memorable. The chorus is solid, although not quite as catchy as the previous track’s. The solo is fantastic. 

Lonely Decision” boasts a great, catchy riff followed by a cleaner riff, both reminiscent of classic thrash metal. The song utilizes mid-paced rhythm excellently. The chorus doesn’t boast a big hook, but the main riff most certainly does. 

A well-done acoustic opening begins “Alienated.” There’s some appealing lead work that gives way to a great riff. The chorus is decent, but sports a nice melodic guitar part. The riffs are strong on this tune and we hear some more quality soloing. 

Rose War” is probably the heaviest track overall, and it is also one of the shortest. There are some brutal vocals used here, but they’re not overbearing. The song is not the catchiest on the album, but it makes up for it with solid riffing, melodic leads, and a speedy pace.

A driving riff highlights “Circle Jerk.” This is just a solid thrash tune with a great solo. 

Sorrow of War II” gives us some cool riffs with an appropriate use of dissonance. There’s also an appealing softer bridge with ringing guitar and a slow, melodic lead. The only thing this song is missing is a big chorus hook. 

The album concludes with “Blinder.” We get an appealing lead, good riffs, memorable vocal hooks, and lovely melodic playing at the song’s end. This track is a great way to conclude the album. 

As much as I love thrash metal, modern thrash can be a frustrating listen, because bands are often committed to a general sound without concentrating enough on quality songwriting. But Surgical Strike has both the ethos and the songs. We’ve got good riffs, excellent solos, a powerful and precise rhythm section, and strong vocal hooks. While not every song is as strong as the best, every song is at least solid, and most of the songs are very good indeed. Ruhnke deserves special mention again for his wonderful soloing. It’s hard to imagine any thrash fan being disappointed with 24/7 Hate. It’s easily one of the best thrash albums I’ve heard in the last few years and I cannot wait to see what Surgical Strike unleashes on us next. 

Curtis’ rating: 8.75/10

Pre Order “24/7 Hate” here: 👉 https://surgicalstrike.lnk.to/247Hate

SURGICAL STRIKE Album Covers

Tracklist

01 Initium 2:03
02 24/7 Hate 3:52
03 Fear Monger 3:58
04 The Lesson 4:46
05 Discover The Evil 4:30
06 Lonely Decision 4:48
07 Alienated 4:01
08 Rose War 2:38
09 Circle Jerk 3:21
10 Sorrow Of War II 4:54
11 Blinder 5:34

LINEUP
Jens “Stöpsel” Albert – lead vocals
Marcelo Vasquez Rocha – rhythm guitar, backing vocals
Frank Ruhnke – lead guitar
Florian Seybecke – bass, backing vocals
Joshua Jo – drums

MORE INFO:
www.surgicalstrike.de

www.facebook.com/surgicalstrikemetal
www.metalville.de
www.facebook.com/metalville

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