We’re just a few short weeks into 2017 and it didn’t take long for a standout album to surface. Richland, Washington’s The Drip have delivered one of the the first killer albums in a year where we all anticipate a whole slew of them. If these guys aren’t on your radar, prepare for a surprise attack.
If The Red Chord bumped uglies with Nasum, then their DNA is in the blood of The Drip. Add to that some dual guitar harmonies that bring to mind some subtle hints of Heartwork-era Carcass and you have yourself quite a wide range of influences on display here. Both The Red Chord and Nasum made their mark by taking their sound beyond that of a singular genre and The Haunting Sense Of Inevitability feels like that concept has been taken a step further. When you break it all down, you come away with a band that is forging a sound all its own. The core influences of the band’s sound are on display right off the jump with opener, “Blackest Evocation”, which starts off with a barrage of blast beats accompanied by some rapid fire chord progressions that course their way into a doomy death metal breakdown. The pace is then picked up with a follow-up breakdown accentuated by pinch harmonics. Buckle up and keep going, dear listener, because The Haunting Fear Of Inevitability continues to pummel, bludgeon and leave a path of destruction in its wake from the strike of the first note to the very last. Why stop throwing accolades around on just the first track? “Anathema” has another one of those doomy death metal breakdowns circa early Job For A Cowboy that brings the proverbial house down with you the listener the recipient of the crumbling ceiling. Very early on, these two tracks set the tone on what sounds like The Drip has worked out all the fine details as they rip their way through each track.
There really is no quit in this album. No filler, no instrumentals, no nonsense, just a pure unadulterated ass whooping from all the corners of extreme metal. Nasum fans will most assuredly love “Covered In Red” as it brings to mind the grindcore sensibilities coupled with crusty d-beat and a sense of melody that were the hallmark’s of the legendary Swedish band’s sound. The one-two punch of “Exile” and “Consigned To Fate” also bring about similar vibes, yet manage to forge their own identity to differentiate themselves from one another. Album closer. “Bone Chapel” begins with a distorted bass tirade that invites the rest of the band to punch you repeatedly with a clenched fist carrying a roll of quarters for the purpose of knockout impact. One could go on and on about how The Drip continue to pull this off as they steamroll their way throughout the album with nothing but scorched earth policy in mind.
When a song calls for something, The Drip works it in. There’s no mandate for a solo on every track. Songs like “Painted Ram” make use of a very simple dual guitar harmonized solo to bring the track to its climax while “Wretches” boasts another solo that is not overly flashy, but works nicely in the context of the track’s transitioning from buildup to breakdown for maximum effect. The vocals range between a grindcore scream mixed with a hardcore shout that will throw in some death metal growls when the situation calls for it. Breakdowns are featured across many of the tracks, but never to the point of abuse. They blend in nicely and never overstay their welcome. Overall the entire band is a balanced attack where not any one aspect is competing for superiority over the other.
It would be unfair to categorize The Drip as simply just a grindcore band on The Haunting Fear Of Inevitability because the smorgasbord of influences on display suggests their reach extends far beyond the cozy confines of blast beats and d-beat poundings that are synonymous with grind. The album is loaded with nods to death metal, hardcore, crust and punk all just the same. The beauty of it all is that these traits manifest themselves quietly without any one aspect fighting for center stage. The result is an album that is not a challenging listen because of the way everything coalesces without feeling forced or shoehorned in to meet quotas. All told, THFOI is 13 tracks in 32 minutes that feels like it’s much longer than that because it’s loaded with a myriad of influences from back to front leaving you with plenty to digest, but you don’t feel overstuffed because the meal goes down smooth.
4.5 Out of 5 Flaming Toilets Ov Hell
The Haunting Fear Of Inevitability is out now on all the usual formats through Relapse Records. Follow The Drip on Facebook to keep up with tour dates and other ongoings. If you would be so kind, tell them that some porcelain-based blog led you there.