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Released: 1999, Metal Blade
Reviewer: Nathan Robinson
Grip Inc.'s new album "Solidify" is surprising. Their previous release "Nemesis" showed quite a progression from their debut, with the incorporation of keyboards, darkened atmosphere, and a little experimentation. I expected "Solidify" to be another step in that direction, but what I found was an album that resembles a cross between "Nemesis" and "Power of Inner Strength". Is this a step backward? Perhaps, but Grip Inc. are the kings of their genre, and this superpower can do no wrong!
Ex-Despair axeman Waldemar Sorychta leads his troops into battle with his trademark power-thrash riffs, while Dave Lombardo provides backbone with his well-known cannon blasts. Combine this with Gus' anguished vocals, new bassist Stuart Carruthers' rock-solid basslines, and superior production quality and you have a great contender for the best of 1999! "Lockdown" showcases riffs that move from a Forbidden-type groove to those that could have easily been on a Despair album. "Griefless" pairs Stuart with a sitar to create dark and eerie passages. Add to this some phenomenal soloing by Waldemar and you have one killer song. Gus tells us how dishonesty has fucked the human race in "Foresight", while the darkened mood of "Human?" looks at life from a personal level. "Vindicate", featuring a combination of atmosphere and pummeling riffs and basslines, was penned by Mr. Carruthers and is probably the best song on the album. Let's hope he writes more in the future! "Verrater", dominated by powerful and melodic riffs, is just classic Waldemar…great lead work too! The album concludes with an instrumental entitled "Bug Juice", and features some amazing classical guitar shredding along with Dave going bonkers on the drums…definitely a major highlight on the album! My only disappointment with this album is the cover artwork, which is just a band photo. Cool photo, but I like artwork better.
Overall, this album is not too much different than Grip's previous two releases. Therefore, it should please every Grip Inc. fan. And if you still don't know these guys, this album is not a bad starting point.
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