Review by Matt Scherer
Grind, by its very nature, can be a difficult genre to approach. Harsh by even extreme metal standards, many of its fans appreciate the straightforward and brutal nature of its standard bearers and the lack of accessibility, which is a trademark for many of the bands that fit tightly in the genre mold.
However, I’ve always most appreciated it when grind bands that find ways to include ideas outside of the genre while remaining true to their roots, whether it’s thrash from some of Pig Destroyer’s more recent efforts or the mathy, oddball time signatures of Car Bomb’s latest album Meta. The latest full length from The Drip also falls into this category. While not exactly like the aforementioned Pig Destroyer and Car Bomb albums in style, it certainly shares a certain kindred spirit with them.
The Richland, WA based band has been around since 2007, releasing their self-titled debut EP in 2011 and The Wasteland EP in 2012, although I wasn’t first introduced to their sound until their 2014 debut EP for Relapse Records: A Presentation of Gruesome Poetics. Since then, they’ve toured with some of the genre’s most notorious bands such as Napalm Death, Agoraphobic Nosebleed, Pig Destroyer, and Magrudergrind.
Their new full-length The Haunting Fear of Inevitability, released in January again on Relapse, serves as a great introduction to those new to the band. It takes what they achieved on their previous EPs with even more of the breakneck blast-beats and violent riffage fans have come to expect, while also expanding their sound in bold new directions with a heavy dose of shredding riffs, crushing grooves and industrial-grade breakdowns.
What really makes this record appealing is this willingness to dabble with disparate elements of everything from thrash to hardcore to classic death metal. Songs like “Terror War Industry”, with its frantic D-beat drumming, charge straight ahead like a stampede of undead rhinos. Others, like “Wretches”, slow the albums otherwise relentless tempo down a few notches and layer in elements of 90’s Death Metal which brings to my mind the unholy splendor that fellow PNW’ers Black Breath have made their calling card over the past few years. Other standout songs like “Covered in Red” and “Painted Ram” are steeped in death/metalcore inspired grooves that are no doubt designed to turn the pit into a violent frenzy.
The whole album oozes with interesting crossover ideas and personality while never losing sight of its core mission of blasting straight ahead at a million miles an hour. By taking a classic genre style and weaving in some very modern ideas, The Haunting Fear of Inevitability is an early standout in 2017.