GRIP INC. vocalist Gus Chambers passed away on October 13, 2008
at the age of 52. Chambers, who resided in
Grip Inc. - Power Of Inner Strength (Metal Blade) 1995
De Muerto" [instrumental] (1:23)
"Power Of Inner Strength" is cold, mean, and mechanical heavy metal. It is also a fantastic debut from a band whose immediate claim to fame was ex-Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo. Grip Inc. combines elements of thrash and hardcore, along with some more experimental parts that are harder to define. However, it is the straight forward thrash tracks that I like best. Songs like "Ostracized" with it's thrash groove are downright infectious. Combined with some excellent musicianship, downright mean and nasty barked vocals and strong production, "Power of Inner Strength" has to be on of the gems of the metal underground. Not sure why these guys have taken such a beating in reviews. Perhaps it is the experimental elements, or the fact that Grip Inc. is not a Slayer rip-off. Regardless, I remain impressed.
The "official" single off this album was "Ostracized". The Japanese release of "Power of Inner Strength" has an extra track "Dragging Me Down"
Grip Inc. - Nemesis (Metal Blade) 1997
1. "Pathetic Liar"
Sophmore release that is quite the scorcher. 'Nemesis' mixes some straight ahead thrash metal, a la Slayer, mixed with more modern metal (i.e. Machine Head/Pantera) and some more ethereal and experimental parts as well. Still, "Nemesis" is heavy as a freight train going 100 mile per hour. My favorite songs, however, are the more straight forward thrashers like opener "Pathetic Liar", "Portrait of Henry" or "Silent Stranger". Vocalist Gus Chambers has adopted a more Tom Araya -like yell and dropped the punk rant of the band's debut. Dave Lombardo is front and center in the mix, although not annoyingly so. Dave is a virtual tornado on the drums. His drum sound on this album is absolutely incredible as is his performance. Don't know why it took me so long to finally pick up a copy of this CD.
Grip Inc. - Solidify (Metal Blade) 1999
Colder, more mechanical and certainly more angry than their past two CDs, "Solidify" drops most of the Slayer parallels for a more modern, almost industrial metal sound. Of course there are still plenty of crunchy guitar riffs intermixed, however, I think I prefer the more straight forward thrash riffing of the first CD. That is not to say I don't like this disc at all, however. Actually I think these guys have really jelled into a unique band. As usual, the drum work on this disc is outstanding as is the production. Think these guys disbanned after this disc with Dave Lombardo returning to Slayer.