As the Greek mathematical professor Archimedes once shouted out after finding the explanation on why boats did float: “Eureka, I’ve found it!!!!!!” I share his enthusiasm for another reason however, finally something fresh and renewing sets foot on the Thrash Metal scene, I’m talking about a band called GRIP INC. and their new album “Incorporated”. Surprises seem to be coming rapidly my way at the moment. Little did I know about this band before gracing this album, the biggest surprise of all was to learn that top producer Waldemar Sorychta (handling the guitars with razor sharp control) had a place in the line-up which is rounded off by Dave Lombardo (drums) and Gus Chambers (vocals). Ok so I know nothing about GRIP INC. except the fact that they’ve released three albums before “Incorporated” so bear with me on this one.
The band plays Modern Thrash Metal with more than a few other elements “incorporated” into their sound. There’s a lot of aggression in the songs but melodies aren’t forgotten but clearly subdued for you to find after a couple of in depth listens. Their sound is definitely modern but there’s some SLAYER influences inside the sound as well, take “Curse (Of The Cloth)”, the first track, for instance; it moves in the same “calm before the storm” approach before it gets fast and vicious, but it’s done the GRIP INC. way by having dark vocal chanting and a flamenco guitar intro lead (what the hell?).
Thrashtacular songs like “Endowment Of Apathy”, “Skin Trade” (alters between oriental sitar playing and enforcing Thrash Metal tempos) and the already mentioned “Curse (Of The Cloth)” reveal an interesting sound and gives the listener an idea of where they’re going with their Thrash Metal. Those songs are but a sneak preview, the remaining songs are even more interesting and to make things more non-conservative the band’s got some surprising guest appearances lined up from Finland’s APOCALYPTICA (cello parts) and KREATOR (sitar parts).
Choruses stand vigilant and damn catchy with Gus as the centre of attention. He literally sounds like a sedated psychotic leader of a spiritual sect and I mean that in a positive way, it puts him in a respected domain along with other solid vocalists. His lyrics are rather curious. The core subject seems to be the world’s weak foundation, criticism of war and other questionable acts in everyday life, it’s almost as if he’s trying to teach us a lesson or something. The drumming displays a Lombardo in top shape and really up to the task of executing all kinds of different techniques that don’t fit in with SLAYER’s music.
I think the band evades almost every cliché Metal can offer, they write their own music, trade with non-Metal influences and most importantly, they’re not overdoing it which makes them hard to pigeonhole, I thought this kind of song writing would remain obsolete for years in the Thrash Metal world.
Some of you might still be sceptical. It’s nothing close to Nu-Metal (just had to clarify that one), nor is it updated Modern Metal drenched with electronics; I wish I could find some samples for you to hear but you’ll just have to trust me I guess. I urge you to try “Incorporated” if you’re fed up with the old Thrash Metal sound or just want something different. (Online April 2, 2004)