Grip Inc. - _Solidify_
(Steamhammer / Media 7, 1999)
by: David Rocher (
In the space of three albums, it has become perfectly clear to me that referring to Grip Inc. as "Dave Lombardo's mob" any longer is a dire mistake, and may no longer even hope to do this band's immense talent justice. Agreed, _Power of Inner Strength_ probably -did- sound rather Slayer-ish, but who can decently blame skinsman extraordinaire Lombardo for bearing the musical stigmata of the once awesome thrash outfit he was once the flawless backbone of? The band's revenge upon this gratuitous flak saw the light in the shape of 1997's _Nemesis_, as Grip Inc. adopted a style that was far more personal, atmospheric and mature, and widely as efficient as the no-holds-barred metallic violence of _PoIS_. And here is the flawless fulfilment of the revenge Grip Inc. sought: _Solidify_ is the impeccable attainment of the goal _Nemesis_ reached towards, a definite milestone containing eleven tracks of metal that encompasses so many influences, styles and atmospheres that words fail to describe it correctly. The distance between the thrashing cavalcades of "Amped", the monstrous, nearly tribal grooves of "Griefless" and the obscure, angered melancholy of "Human?" is so immense that _Solidify_ unquestionably is the birthchild of four minds working together, not just a rockstar and his three stooges. Dave Lombardo's drumming is as intricate and energetic as ever, Gus Chamber's vocals have now extended to include low, disquieting complaints, and the band have found a very suitable replacement for bassist Jason Viebrooks in the person of Stuart Carruthers. For this almighty, crowning achievement, though, my reverence goes to the amazing axeman and songwriter Waldemar Sorychta -- not only for the bewildering, powerful, animal, -supreme- guitar work that _Solidify_ teems with, but also for the enrapturing atmospheres and huge sound he so finely crafts. Beyond all doubt, _Solidify_ embodies the violent, intense, multi-facetted osmosis of four competent and inspired musicians -- truly a lesson in the fine art of musical murder.
(article published 3/14/1999)
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