Lifelong Lesson is the brainchild of Erik Diaz. Over the years, bands have never really worked out for Diaz. Taking the influence from the grunge and metal music that he grew up loving, Diaz showcases all of his skill and determination on The Grip of Night. Those skills include composing, recording, mixing, mastering, playing all of the instruments and singing on the album. The album truly is a peak in to Diaz’s world. The lyrics feel authentic; none of the emotion in the words is manufactured. Guitars wail and soar to great heights over driving crash cymbals and precise bass tones. The Grip of Night is a shot out of the park for fans of hard rock and grunge.
“…And Then Some” roars into the station at 90 miles per hour. The lyrics are cutting, discussing a toxic relationship ridden with trust-issues. The instruments behind the story add the extra punch that allows Diaz to let us slip into his shoes. Just when the song seems like it has come to a final stop, an interlude led by electronic drums and a synthesizer take over and brings the song into a complete right-turn. A quick left-turn is pulled, and the song makes one last pass at a shredding chorus.
“Time” opens with an arpeggiated-riff, before being joined by the drums and the lyrics. Dreamy and haunting, the track brings on an eerie feeling. The eeriness of the track does little to make listening less fun. It’s a great song to close out the album, including enough energy to send out a final beacon of passion to the listener.
I got an image in my head of Alice In Chains when I listened to this for the first time. The Grip of Night has a serious amount of harmonies paired with heavy guitar riffs. Soundgarden, Stone Temple Pilots, Nirvana, Foo Fighters and Pearl Jam all make their presence felt as influences on the album. As for the lyrics, they tend to be incredibly personal. Diaz is open about dark feelings, heavy times, confusion and grief. There are also tracks that totally shred. The lyrics are poetically lifting despite the downtrodden subject matter, and the instruments explode in tempo, volume and overall energy.
The familiarity that The Grip of Night comes with due to its grunge influence makes it an easy listen. Getting into the music doesn’t take much effort on the part of the listener who feels like they can enjoy grunge influenced hard rock.
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