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Grip Inc will always carry the unfortunate and ill informed tag of “just the side project for Dave Lombardo”. That was how I heard of them, and probably most people who have given their music a listen. What Nemesis proves however, is that they are much more than that. The guitar talent of Sorychta and unique vocal style of Gus Chambers makes them a very interesting band to listen to. If you are looking for a similar sound to Slayer, you have come to the wrong place.
The album starts off with possibly one of my favourite GI tracks, “Pathetic Liar”. The groovy riff and addictive chorus makes it a track that is very easy to enjoy after one or two listens. In fact, most of the album only takes a couple of listens to get into it. In no way is it a progressive or complicated album, just straight-up honest heavy metal.
The album plods along with a mid-paced riff centred song structure. There is little variation in the way the songs are written; riff; chorus; solo; chorus etc. It is the catchiness of the riffs that keeps you hooked. “Scream at the Sky” is probably my favourite track on the album, as it is a pleasant variation from the rest of the songs. The rest of the album just sort of plods along without ever reaching a natural conclusion. This is probably the downfall of the album, there is no defining moment or climax, it just sort of ends. The similarities in the songs is a strength as the simplicity makes the album accessible but is also a major weakness.
Overall, this is a very competent effort by the “side project of Slayer’s drummer”. The lyrics, although vague and meaningless, contain interesting and memorable phrases, and are put across by Chambers very well. The backbone of the album however, is the riff fest that Sorychta provides. Dave’s drumming is as you would expect, competent and precise but not blisteringly fast, it is definitely not the main feature of the album. I give this a 85% because of the strength of the groove laden riffs and because it is a welcome break from the American metalcore rubbish we are normally subjected to in the post-thrash scene.
Picks: “Pathetic Liar”, “War Between One”, “Scream at the Sky”, “Rusty Nail”.