Grip Inc. of course isn’t a “traditional” thrash metal band by any stretch of imagination, as their sound could be described as a cross between 90’s groove metal and intellectual progressive, yet thinking man’s thrash could fit like a glove to their multilevel sound to characterize them. Of course many back on the 90’s considered them as another side project from the second most popular Cuban (I guess Fidel Castro is the first that comes into your mind and no Guevara is from Argentina guys don’t be confused) and one of the most beloved drummers of all time in extreme music, Mr. Dave Lombardo, still the quality of their discography and despite the fact that substantially Grip Inc. remained a side project rather that a regular group, proved them all wrong. The band was formed when Lombardo left from Slayer, teamed up with the then less-known guitarist and producer Waldemar Sorychta and vocalist Gus Chambers. Their 1995’s debut “Power from Inner Strength” was a triumph, making everyone to compare it with “Diabolus in Musica” and guess what no one claimed that Slayer’s album was better (personally speaking I love both albums the same).The band continued with 1997’s ‘Nemesis’ and 1999’s ‘Solidify’, on releasing top notch albums and Almost a decade later in 2004, Grip Inc. were established to metal community as a genuine groove metal that never feared to experiment remains even though it remained loyal to the 90’s sound. Lombardo’s playing is once again brilliant. The fastest parts are bombastic, frenetic and the pummeling drumming is dominating but also leaves a lot of space for mid-tempo/slow parts that are excellent and create plenty of room to other instruments to shine too. Besides the music the lyrics are very important for Grip Inc. too if not the key factor to their sound. The personality of its members is easily audible not only on how they play their instruments but it also reflects on the words they use in every song that is placed handily.
No one sounds like these guys not because of the characteristic voice of the member of the Big Heavens Band since 2008 that he passed away Gus Chambers. Not only for the enormous production of Sorychta or his marvelous work on the sharp guitars and the thick bass lines. It’s the songs that take you by the throat either with the oriented melodies or the targeting menace they explode as the breathtaking compositions that are based on some outstanding ideas, catchy enough and brave to use acoustic guitars and synths were needed. Grip Inc. is a totally underrated band and “Incorporated” is a totally underrated album. A forgotten gem of the 00’s, that reminds us how Thrash was before the retro fashion (that for some bands was more than “must” to return there) made things less exploring and daring. Highlights or better saying personal favs: “Blood of Saints”, “Man With No Insides”, “Enemy Mind” and “Skin Trade”. Available now on vinyl via the small independent Greek label 7 inch records.