HardReviews 4
by Martin Popoff

Dan Lorenzo - Cassius King

Non-Fiction/Hades guitarist Dan Lorenzo is one of metal's well-known wiseacres (remember the Bon Scott hoax), and now's he's got his own album (with help from an army of headbanged friends), which opens with a hilarious track called Kiss Off which features Dan telling a buddy that Kiss OWES him after all the money he's spent on them, and how he's gonna play their riffs whether they like it or not. Anyway, he does offer a beefy version of Hotter Than Hell and an even beefier round of Round And Round by Aerosmith. Elsewhere, the originals also go to this same philosophical zone, Dan being a guitarist who likes his guitars (er, I guess most do), Lorenzo turning them up to Trouble-doomed levels, wrapping - nay, smothering - these slow, thick riffs in enough electricity to down The Nuge in hunting season. The album smokes upon a black-broken lope, even if Dan's singing voice occasionally wanders off-key (excepting the accuracy though, it's actually a really good voice). If I was to try sum this up, I would say what you've got here is a surprisingly Sabbatherian slab with huge grooves and tinges of self-deprecating humour - actually it's a bit like top flight stoner rock, top flight 'cos Dan doesn't come from that discipline and thus doesn't play by the rules. Highlight: Frozen Planet (No Cursing) that pummels upon a riff made of magma. Post-script: look for three hidden bonus tracks, complete with Dan rattling off full credits for 'em all.
Rating 7.5

Grip Inc. - Incorporated

Yes, a troubled band from a different time, a metal wasteland as it were, a time when Lombardo could give Grip Inc. his undivided. It's strange seeing Tornadofists back with old punk troublemaker Gus and quiet-lately producer/musician Waldemar Sorychta. And they look both lonely and iffy standing there, the three of them, under grey skies, no bass player, essentially unworkable. But what of the music? Well, Grip Inc. roars like a warhorse mismatched from three warhorses, the band unique fit together to make a unique cross between Slayer, Anglo hooligan hardcore and Egyptian melodies. Call it Killing Joke crossed with Overkill, or maybe Rammstein with Testament. It's all very percussive, militaristically barked, riffs everywhere but also recurrent bits of electronics, or more accurately, wood and wire made to sound like machine. I applaud the hard, shiny art, but I'm bummed out 'cos I can't see these guys drinking beer together, much less getting each other's jokes. I mean, how does Lombardo get excited about this after playing mind games with Mike Patton and that big-haired Melvin?
Rating 7.5

Hard Reviews Page 5