INTEGRITY – “THE BLACKEST CURSE” CD/LP DEATHWISH INC 2010
(Reviewed by Josh)
For anyone who knows me, it’s no secret that Integrity is one of my
favorite bands. The hard mosh parts, blistering solos, and dark
imagery within the lyrics just totally nail it for me. I also enjoy
the bands more experimental side whether it be the mysticism of Holy
Terror, or singer Dwid Hellion’s various endeavors in noise & film. I
have an Integrity vinyl collection which has grown to be fairly large.
“The Blackest Curse” is the first full length by the band since 2003’s
“To Die For”. Initially announced for release in 2008, this was a long
time coming, but well worth the wait. Keeping in-line with the
secretive nature and dark aesthetic, the album artwork is sparse,
black & white, and comes with no liner note or lyric sheet.
The first song, “Process Of Illumination” starts off in typical Integ
fashion with a sample from a Manson Family member and seems to be
musically influenced by early 90’s Japanese hardcore bands.
“Simulacra” is dripping with so much Slayer-riffage that you get
soaked. “Before the VVorld VVas Young” is an epic track. Coupling
acoustic guitar with Dwid’s brooding apocalyptic whispers, eventually
building into a whirling thrash-filled nightmare while Dwid continues
to cast spells on your ears until it all comes collapsing in on top of
the sheer heaviness of itself. “Invocation Of The Eternally Coiling
Serpent” is another mosh-filled track that demands not to be ignored.
In fact, no tracks should be ignored or regarded as filler material.
I’ve very thankful that the production value is refreshingly dry yet
cohesive. Nothing turns me off faster to a hardcore record then
overproduction. KEEP IT GRIMY NOT GLOSSY. Hardcore is raw. Integrity
is raw. This recording showcases that.
I would say this album is most reminiscent of “Seasons In The Size Of
Days” both in feel and in structure. I hope to hear a few gems off of,
“The Blackest Curse” mixed into the set list of classic material at
the next east coast ritual.