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The best Grip Inc. effort - 80%

Crimsonblood, September 12th, 2002

Many Thrash fans highly anticipated Grip Inc.'s first release. I remember there being a lot of hype around it when it first came out. A lot of people probably expected Power Of Inner Strength to be a Slayer clone and nothing more. Thankfully, this notion is very wrong. Yes, there are some similarities to Slayer, but overall there is a more modern Thrash sound, often being very similar to early Machine Head (which is a good thing in my books). The CD is sort of split off into two different types of songs. There are the straight, fast thrashers; these songs are full of fast drumming and great double bass, with crunchy riffs that Thrash fans will drool over. The best of these are "Hostage To Heaven" and "Ostracized", which are in my opinion, really good songs. The other songs are more mid-paced and more hardcore/Machine Head influenced. These songs do contain some faster parts, but focus more on drum rhythm and progression such as "Savage Seas (Retribution)" and "Cleanse The Seed" which are quite successful and are enjoyable songs. The rest, however, are decent songs, but come across as high quality filler more than anything. They are not really bad songs, just not as throat grabbing or neck breaking as the other songs. I will say this though: despite the drop in quality with these "filler" songs, they do add nice dynamics and variation to the CD. Power Of Inner Strength would get quite boring if it was filled with 11 straight Thrash songs.

Dave Lombardo's drumming is really good. He isn't as technical as drummers like Gene Hoglan, but he can sure play fast and precise, and his tom work and double bass sound amazing. Every time Lombardo goes into his double runs, you can't help but bang your head furiously; and thankfully, he never over uses it. The vocals are sort of a hardcore shout/Thrashy ruff style. It is somewhat unique and grows on you over time. There are some phrasing mishaps, but overall the vocals are strong and fit the music nicely. The guitar work is good; the riffs are nice and tight, with the some good leads being spread throughout, although the leads are far from the highlight of the CD. In short, we have a CD here that has a lot of really good songs, and some mediocre ones. So it is not perfect but if a mix of Slayer and early Machine Head sounds appealing to you, this is definitely worth picking up, as you could do a lot worse.

Song Highlights: Savage Seas (Retribution), Hostage To Heaven, Colors Of Death, Ostracized, Cleanse The Seed, and Heretic War Chant.