Grip Inc. - Incorporated
Dave Lombardo and Waldemar Sorychta met while participating in Voodoo Cult that was a project created by Philip Boa and later a band named Grip Inc saw the daylight. The line up was complete with Gus Chambers (ex-21 Guns) and Jason VieBrooks (ex-Heathen) and their debut Power Of Inner Strength were released in 1995, and that album is in my opinion one the best debut albums ever. The two albums that followed, Nemesis (1997) and Solidify (1999) were never nearly as good as their first effort, so after nine years since the debut and five years since their last album what would they sound like?, this time as a three piece band.
Grip Inc. is not the easiest band to describe on how they
sound, you got one of the best drummers in the world with Lombardo,
he handles the drums in Slayer if that should have passed anyone by
and is also to be found in Fantomas. Sorychta on the other hand might
not be so well known but has played in Despair and is a well renowned
producer including acts like: Tiamat, Lacuna Coil, Moonspell, The Gathering
and Therion amongst others.
With Curse (of the Cloth) we are off with brutal and heavy start, just the way I like it, a good song in a traditional Grip Inc. manor, heavy guitars with furious drums. The promising start is followed by at least some strong songs on the album like The Prophecy and Enemy Mind that sees the use of Spanish sounding guitars that helps to breath a little more life and diversity into the heaviness. Built To Resist is slower track with a hint of Rammstein monotony, and with the use of a cello in that one the track gets more depth, a really great way to go and a thought towards the sound of the Finnish band Apocalyptica is inevitable, not what I was expecting. The Prophecy is one hell of a track and is one of their best songs ever only to be outdone by Ostracized from Power Of Inner Strength, it is energetic, ongoing with a mighty drive and propaganda-ish with parts as made for live performances where the crowd is to shout along hey, hey, hey, as Gus Chambers delivers the lyrics with authority, do I need to tell where the adrenaline level is during that song? But there end sadly the better parts of Incorporated
Incorporated is definitely better than Solidify and Nemesis but not nearly close to Power Of Inner Strength, it has great intensity and there is nothing wrong with the attitude and aggression. The problem here is of the same nature as on the last two albums, the lack of songwriting, bits and pieces works really great but in the end those mentioned are the only tracks that feels completed.
I have waited so long and wanted so much from this album, and it hurts me to not be able to give this album an higher grade, I really wanted this album to be great but I must obtain objective and simply state that Incorporated isn't better than this. Perhaps I set my expectations too high and when the disappointment has settled this album will grow, but I have listened to it many times with hopes that it well get better, but it hasn't so far.
The drumming is explicit, seriously now, there aren't
many drummer that are better than Mr. Lombardo, in the track Skin Trade
he attacks his drums and makes them sound as a helicopter with his rapid
basskeg trampling. And there is nothing wrong with the guitars nor the
production either from Sorychta, that is not what is the problem with
this album, it doesnt matter that the band sounds tighter than ever
and the energy is almost as you can touch it when the quality of the
songs isn't good enough. Chambers sings/screams out his aggression just
as good as he ever has done even more flexible than before, but it just
isn't there, the material just isn't strong enough to hold. It gets
to sprawling, one minute I love it but in the next I hate it, it is
simply to rugged and weak, but anyway you look upon it, a track like
The Prophecy will be hard to outmatch but when it comes to the album
in whole. Well, I suggest that you let Power Of Inner Strength have
another spin on your CD instead, you'll be happier that way.