If extreme music were a coffee shop, grindcore would be its single espresso shot – simple, straightforward and with enough clout to wake anybody up in as short a time as possible. Attempting to entice tastebuds with their own unique blend are Washington State’s The Drip. Ten years and three EP’s after their formation, The Haunting Fear of Inevitability is the band’s debut record, released via Relapse Records and produced by Joel Grind of TOXIC HOLOCAUST.
There is one big question that arises from this record; namely, when is grindcore actually grindcore? It’s a bit of a meta-question, granted, but the truth is there’s so much going on across this record that simply pigeon-holing The Drip as a grindcore outfit and nothing else is pretty damning. Make no bones about it though, for the plethora of genres on show the spine and heart of this whole record is pure brutality and chaos. Clocking in at just under 32 minutes and with only one song going over three-and-a-half, The Haunting Fear of Inevitability is as punishing as you could want it to be. Opening song Blackest Evocation flies out of the traps with the force of a hurricane, primed to tear your ears off and send them into next week and this is followed up with Anathema which does pretty much exactly the same job. The shortest song on the record, the 81-second Terror War Industry, is another concise, out-and-out assault on the senses whilst Consigned to Fate descends into a flurry of blast beats and furious guitar.
As mentioned though, there’s more than just grindcore and ferocity here. Take Gruesome Poetics, for example, which has enough of a death metal feel that it wouldn’t look out of place on an album by the THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER. Then there’s Dead Inside which has a sinister, clean guitar tone running through the mid-sections and Covered in Red which dips its toes in the hardcore pool and will cause shapes to be thrown across the floor if played live. Painted Ram infuses a fierce first half with an intriguing, melodic second half that is more akin to LAMB OF GOD than anything else whilst Wretches has the feel of both early PARKWAY DRIVE and DEVILDRIVER, combining metalcore with groove and producing probably the best song on the album. Then there’s closing number Bone Chapel, which doesn’t finish with one final knockout blow that sends you to the canvas once more but a guitar solo, not exactly your general grindcore characteristic but one that doesn’t feel out of place given the context of the whole record.
As far as debut albums go, this is pretty special and if you’re a fan of anyone from ARCHITECTS to SUICIDE SILENCE and NAPALM DEATH, you’re bound to find something in here that tickles your fancy. The best thing about The Haunting Fear of Inevitability is that there’s so much versatility within its short length that THE DRIP could literally go in any direction on their follow up and they would nail it with utmost precision. Definitely one to watch over the next twelve months.
The Haunting Fear of Inevitability is set for release on January 13th via Relapse Records.
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