Review by Felix on March 8, 2022.
Bands with an affinity for playing techniques and complexity are sometimes a little bit over-ambitious. Home Style Surgery can look back on a history spanning more than ten years from their first steps until the release of Trauma Gallery and they have increased their musical skills constantly. Even though they belong to these aforementioned formations which are interested in slighty complicated song patterns, the dudes from Finland also do not forget to keep an eye on relatively transparent structures – and that’s a good thing.
From time to time, Trauma Gallery brings the glorious debut of Angel Dust (“Into The Dark Past”) back to my mind, but only those of you who have been born before World War II will remember this great vinyl from Germany. However, there is a further parallel to another Teutonic group from the ‘80s. The phrasing and the pitch of lead singer Joel remind me very much of Heinz Mikus from Risk. Moreover, the stylistic approach of Home Style Surgery is not too far away from Risk’s vital first full-length. I enjoy mid-harsh thrash with a little technical component that does not focus on an overload of brutality. Nevertheless, there are a lot of edges and corners. The album never falls prey to an inadequate mildness.
Unfortunately, a few parts of the album meander aimlessly, for example sections of the opener. But in general, the protagonists do not lose sight of their objective, the creation of fiery, intelligently designed high-energy songs. They even do not forget a small number of catchy lines. The excellent 'Atomosophobia' scores with a lot of strict leads and 'Beware The Lurkers' could be a highlight on a modern Artillery album (but with a much more aggressive lead singer). The lively guitar work constitutes a big advantage of the compositions and the mostly smooth linking of the different parts speaks for the maturity of the line-up. Still better, the differentiated production fits the compositional sophistication and therefore it comes as no surprise that songs like 'Haunted Mindscape' come into their own. The same applies for the most compact crusher called 'Verge Of Confrontation'. This ferocious piece is followed by the extra-long title track. It summarizes all musical visions of a band that does definitely not lack potential.
Some might say this is just another thrash album, but I have a different point of view. Maybe these dudes stand at the threshold of becoming something great. They have a certain degree of individuality, they do not run out of ideas and the well-coordinated interplay leaves a tight impression. Finally, the album grows – I wrote the first version of this review in 2018 for the “Metalegion” mag and gave 7,5 out of 10, but that’s actually not enough for this inspiring work. Therefore now I am more generous… Let’s see what the second output will offer. I am curious and will check it soon.
Rating: 8.2 out of 10254