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Power Of Inner Strength

United States Country of Origin: United States

Power Of Inner Strength
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Type: Full-Length
Release Date: March 7th, 1995
Genre: Groove
1. Toque De Muerto
2. Savage Seas (Retribution)
3. Hostage To Heaven
4. Monster Among Us
5. Guilty Of Innocence
6. Innate Affliction
7. Colors Of Death
8. Ostracized
9. Cleanse The Seed
10. Heretic War Chant
11. Longest Hate

Review by Felix on January 14, 2024.

The debut of Grip Inc. was released during the infertile years of thrash metal. While Slayer indulged in punk before they turned to something indefinable, once great icons of thrash such as Destruction or Exodus were completely out of order. Even more bands vanished from the scene. Instead of writing a successor for the excellent "Time Does Not Heal", Dark Angel were already comatose and this was exactly the status of the whole genre, too. It was therefore up to Grip Inc. to breathe new life into the actually amazing genre. Thankfully, the prominently staffed formation saw no reason to hesitate. "Power of Inner Strength" became a masterpiece.

Grip Inc. acted with a maximum of motivation, temperament and belligerence. Added to these fundamental elements was their tremendous amount of musicianship. Not to mention that the dudes could not be seen as debutants in the strict sense of the term. It seemed therefore reasonable to expect a mature work, but I did not foresee the here presented thrash metal explosion. The album sparkled with flattening guitars ("Cleanse the Seed", "Heretic War Chant"), confusingly excellent drumming (the intro revealed the Cuban roots of Lombardo) and an outstanding sound. But its most impressive feature was constituted by its riffs. Even the sharpest blade turned out to be a blunt weapon in comparison with the here offered riffs. The most intense attack carried the name "Hostage to Heaven". Thousands of riffs have been written, but a lot of them did not leave a huge impact. Consequently, the main riff of "Hostage to Heaven" trampled them into the dust and the solo of Waldemar Sorychta was also perfectly embedded. But the pure vehemence of this song reflected only one of the facets of the multi-national formation.

Due to the cleverly arranged running order of the songs, already the directly following "Monster Among Us" stood in sharp contrast to its predecessor. The sick vileness of pedophiles was perfectly mirrored by the observant, malignant riffs. In addition, Chambers expressed his contempt for these "monsters" in a very convincing manner. "Innate Affliction" also possessed pretty unsettling guitar lines, but they alternated with a powerful and profound riff. This song - as well as the other pieces - did not lack of substance and depth without offering metal for academics. Grip Inc. enriched the songs with the necessary degree of significance, but they did not neglect the power of thrash. A masterly executed balancing act. In particular the lyrics of Chambers played an important part in this context. I did not agree with every statement, but he had definitely a lot to say. Thankfully, he did not appear as a precocious preacher. Chambers just referred to real life scenarios instead of singing strange lyrics about Satan and other nonsense. Not to mention that he performed in a very passionate and intense manner.

Regardless of the well-conceived lyrics, the compositions themselves were the crucial factor for the outstanding quality of the album. The malignantly creeping "Ostracized" had the dangerous charm of a venomous snake, while the constantly growing "Guilty of Innocence" culminated in a thrashing whirlwind. I admit that the average velocity of the songs was not very high, but the merciless guitars left no doubt that this album adored the Gods of thrash. By the way, the crystal clear and mind-blowing production of "Power of Inner Strength" picked up the spirit of the sound of albums such as "Reign in Blood" and put the fascinating tunes in the right light. Only one song did not meet the highest expectations. The acceptable "Colors of Death" paled beside the other tunes and appeared slightly colorless (please clap your hands for this gigantic pun). Anyway, this intriguing debut hit the nail on the head and it is still a highly recommendable thrash metal titan.

Rating: 9.8 out of 10