"Incorporated" (SPV / Steamhammer; 2004)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

It's exactly what I like about Grip Inc.'s "Incorporated" that others may not: the band takes chances. Without ever sacrificing its brutal sound or aggressive attitude (well, almost never), "Incorporated" delivers eleven tracks of pounding metal that has the experimental edge of nu-metal and not the flaccid toll that that experimentation sometimes takes.

"Incorporated" starts out with four simply smashing tunes, songs that will have your CD player's speakers gasping for breath when they're over. Then, track five, "Enemy Mind," hits with its almost Spanish-guitars and milder tempo. Still, "Enemy Mind" is no wimpy tune. And, if you disagree, then the next track, "Skin Trade," brings matters back to the metal, with a raging pace and blistering guitars.

"(Built To) Resist" is up next and, since it seems to begin with some kind of strings, it throws another monkey wrench into the works. "(Built To) Resist" sounds like one of those slower march-like tunes that Udo Dirkschneider likes to do occasionally. But, as seems to be the case throughout most of "Incorporated," the next track is there to pick up the pace. 

Different while never crossing over into "just plain weird" territory, "Incorporated" is a great example of how heavy metal can be tweaked to make it just a little more interesting without destroying its inherent explosiveness.

Grip Inc.: Waldemar Sorychta - guitar, keyboards; Dave Lombardo - drums; Gus Chambers - vocals.

"Power of Inner Strength" (Metal Blade/Priority; 1995)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

The debut album from Grip, Inc., "Power Of Inner Strength," is often categorized as alternative metal. With nerves on end, left of center riffs, and emotions on their sleeves, Grip, Inc. blast through eleven tracks of metal that leans towards more inventive hard rock.

The lyrics, exclusively written by the previously unknown Gus Chambers, are daring and intelligent. Lyrical topics deal retribution ("Savage Seas"), the horrors of child abuse ("Monster Among Us"), religious fervor ("Hostage To Heaven"), Third World political violence ("Heretic War Chant"), and the damage that racial and nationalistic views can cause ("The Longest Hate"). While Gus Chambers may not be the best vocalist, his tone and delivery are impressive enough for someone with little recording experience.

Overall, the music is lacking a little bit, but the riffs and song structures are interesting enough to make the disc worth listening to. Just past the mid-point of the disc there is a trio of songs that adequately sum up the Grip, Inc. style; "Innate Affliction," "Colors Of Death," and "Ostracized" are particularly powerful and showcase the band's approach. Lombardo's experience and unique sound really shows through as the rhythm section sounds very much the California metal kings Slayer (of which Lombardo was a part of for many years).

Waldemar Sorychta handles most of the song writing with some assistance from Dave Lombardo; Sorychta brings a decidedly European flavor to the music which keeps it from sounding like a lot of other bands. Although my personal opinion is that Waldemar Sorychta should stick to producing other bands, he does not embarrass himself on this effort.

"Power Of Inner Strength" was produced by Waldemar Sorychta and co-produced by the band. Engineering was provided by Siggi Bemm (Covenant, the Gathering).

Grip, Inc. is Gus Chambers on vocals, Dave Lombardo on drums and percussion, Waldemar Sorychta on guitars and background vocals, and Jason Viebrooks on bass.

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

Back to CD Reviews Page

Back to home

Copyright 2004 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11 Sep 2023 21:12:03 -0400.