Front Line Assembly displayed an efficiency befitting of their music's machine-like nature when co-founder Michael Balch stepped aside in 1990 and part-time member Rhys Fulber seamlessly took his place beside Bill Leeb beginning with 1990's Caustic Grip album.
Fulber's timing was also propitious in the sense that the previous year's Gashed Senses & Crossfire had exposed FLA to a larger audience and set the stage for their newly minted production team to operate its magic with utmost precision and multi-layered attention to detail on the eminent follow-up.
The eye-opening results can be sampled in the infernal dance grooves and hyperactive beats energizing tracks like "Resist," "Overkill," and "Force Fed" (all of them sounding like Depeche Mode's worst nightmare), and yet their processed whispers and rasps weren't nearly as frightening as Leeb's serial killer croak on "Victim." On the other hand, he actually came close to singing for the first time on the abnormally sedate "Threshold," and the ratio of synthesized melodies per beat was shifted ever so slightly for the benefit of singles "Provision" and "Iceolate" -- the latter even receiving the benefit of a music video and modest MTV rotations to support it.
Above all else, perhaps, Caustic Grip helped Front Line Assembly make a definitive break from Leeb's previous legendary group, Skinny Puppy, by solidifying their standing as one of the most essential industrial groups of the '90s.