When most people think of the term “grindcore”, a few things usually come to mind: noise, fury, and non-stop abrasiveness. However, Washington State quintet The Drip offer something much more on their first full-release: The Haunting Fear of Inevitability. The band combines vicious buzz-saw guitars and clear, punchy drums with the unrelenting ferocity of Brandon Caldwell’s vocals to create an intense, rhythmic and incredibly dynamic offering for a band of this style. With a total of 13 tracks only coming in at a mere 31 minutes in length combined, this album doesn’t mess around and certainly doesn’t overstay its welcome – upon finishing my first listen of this record it immediately left me yearning for more. This isn’t just grindcore, this is grindcore with a real sense of melody that keeps each song sounding unique and fresh, which is perfectly demonstrated by the song Painted Ram. This song contains a bridge section that stands out amongst the sea of hardcore riffing and blast beats contained in the rest of this track, utilising beautiful and simple octave melodies that project a degree of emotion that took me by surprise.
The fourth track, Dead Inside, blends groovy rhythms and head-pounding blast-beats with very slow and dissonant sections without sounding forced or unnatural. This slower, down-tempo inspired section really complements and contrasts with the breakneck speed of subsequent sections, giving it far more impact. This is certainly one of the things (and there are many) that this album does well: the experimentation with different rhythms and tempos riddled throughout this LP provides a great degree of variety. Music of this style has a real danger of sounding monotonous and The Drip skilfully avoid this. Even when I feel initial disappointment with a track or feel like it’s overshadowed by the LP’s previous offering, the band somehow manages to have me completely engaged by the end of every single track and make me want to head-bang furiously.
If you are a fan of fast shredding and melodious guitar solos you may well be disappointed when listening to this album as they are very few and far between: the vast majority of the tracks on this album do not even contain a guitar solo. However, when the Drip does utilise them, they use them to their fullest potential. The song Wretches features an absolutely twisted guitar solo that sounds like it could have been written by Satan himself, and the closing track Bone Chapel contains a long, winding and epic-sounding solo to finish off the album, ending it on a high. Overall, this short but very sweet affair is not for the faint of heart, but if you’re looking for a blisteringly heavy album with groovy riffs and disgusting bass lines in the vein of bands like NAILS or Napalm Death, then this is certainly worth a listen. You won’t regret it.
Blackest Evocation, Dead Inside, Painted Ram, Wretches, Bone Chapel.
Overall Rating: Excellent