Surge Assault - Lust & Misery - (7/10)
Published on December 24, 2015
Out from the whiskey drenched and smoke filled bars of Italy crawls Surge Assault, a black/thrash metal band carrying on the grand tradition of combining rather primitive black metal with sleazy thrash metal. It’s a sound that’s quite to similar to fellow Italian bands Whiskey Ritual and Bunker 66, yet Surge Assault brings a unique twist to the sound. The band’s debut EP, The First Division, was released in 2012 through Lo-Fi Creations, a label stopped putting out music despite not shutting down. In 2015, the Italian label Earthquake Terror Noise released the band’s debut full length album, Lust & Misery; a nine track run through forty minutes of drunken, blackened thrashing.
Rather than firing away with blasts and trem riffing, Surge Assault brings a slightly less traditional approach to their sound with a focus on fast paced power chord progressions and sporadic minor key picking. The band’s black metal-isms are still undeniably in the Carpathian Forest school, but there’s a less frenetic air to the blackened sounds. In order to keep things abrasive and chaotic Surge Assault delves into grooving thrash riffs with just a dash of crusty hardcore. There are also a few rocking, almost speed metal infused solos, but it usually trails off quickly,lest one come to expect more than just a dose of melody.
The majority of the album is spent between knuckle dusting thrashing grooves and cold forged blackened metal. When combined with the hoarse, scraped throat shouting, Lust & Misery morphs into something that sounds like the bastard lovechild of Carpathian Forest, Motörhead and Discharge. These guys can surely play their instruments well, but the songwriting style keeps the band from being too showy, and the production is crystal clear and extremely professional (maybe a bit too professional for the style). Regardless, it’s still an entertaining slab of blackened thrash metal. It’s not quite as headbangingly catchy as some contemporaries, but Surge Assault surely makes up it with attitude. Looking at the cover will tell you exactly what to expect: bullet belts, sleaze; and lots of leather.