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INTEGRITY - The Blackest Curse Review
May 06, 2010 02:35PM
INTEGRITY - The Blackest Curse

Check it out at www.halifaxcollect.blogspot.com

Thanks for reading.
Re: INTEGRITY - The Blackest Curse Review
May 06, 2010 02:42PM
*taken from his site, just for you dw*

INTEGRITY
The Blackest Curse
Deathwish Inc

Struggling while searching for an appropriate starting point to describe the latest INTEGRITY record almost seems fitting to me. After lasting nearly 20 years in the world of hardcore, metal, and punk, this legendary Cleveland outfit set out to produce another full length record of squealing, haunting, heavy music; sure to upset your mother and confuse your friends. Ten songs with the ability to blow out the windows of your dingy one room apartment, Integrity churned out a solid slab of pure metallic hardcore fury which remains true to their original form while sounding incredibly inspired and disturbing.

Those familiar with INTEGRITY’s gritty metal vibes will immediately recognize this beast during the first 30 seconds of the opening track, “Process of Illumination.” As if rudely awoken from a multi-year slumber, they burst out of the gate with a lumbering guitar riff, which is soon accompanied by Dwid’s unmistakable gruff, shouting vocals. Signaling the beginning of a ten song journey, this brooding first track had my head banging almost immediately, in similar fashion to many other INTEGRITY albums of the past.

Pushing on in an unstoppable manner, the following two tracks “Through the Shadows of Forever” and “Simulacra” each blast off like jet fueled racecars, nearing the red line before completely bursting into straight metallic riffs and howling solos. “Learn to Love the Lie” takes the baton next, and continues to race forward, but with more hair raising, anthem-like guitar leads. The first four songs on The Blackest Curse cultivate a shockingly heavy, yet well written and designed sound that hundreds of other bands have unsuccessfully tried to emulate for decades.

It’s not until the sixth song, “Before the VVorld VVas Young” (no that’s not a typo), that the record finally takes a deep breath, allowing your eardrums to relax for the moment and reflect on everything poured out from the speakers and all over the walls of your living room. Acoustic rhythm guitar paired with clean electric lead lines soothe everyone for a few minutes, as Dwid evilly whispers and shouts from a distance behind the music which oozes and drips with pain. Eventually heavier guitar riffs take over, culminating with a final gasp of shouting and noise to cap this eight minute opus.

Forcing its way into your ears and through your blood stream, The Blackest Curse infectiously roars on with pounding double bass, guitar solos, and everything else you might expect from a full length INTEGRITY record. The first half definitely commanded my attention better than the second half, but none of the tracks begin to cross the ugly line into filler material. “Spiderwoven” is my personal highlight from the final few songs, and reminds me somewhat of the more classic Integrity material.

Nearly five years in the making, The Blackest Curse serves up a vile dish of musical terror that will easily appeal to long time Integrity fans, as well as people who, for some odd reason, are new to this legendary band. Obviously, it’s not quite the next Those Who Fear Tomorrow, but unlike the majority of long lasting heavy groups, they managed to craft a well honed album filled with numerous moving sections. You could argue it’s “more of the same,” but INTEGRITY is one of the few bands capable of getting away with this and still creating successful material. Besides, don’t most radical musical style changes instigate public outcry, disdain, and hundreds of idiotic message board posts about how the band “sold out” or “lost it?” Filled with everything from shredding guitar solos, heavy breaks, furious drumming, acoustic interludes, and ominous spoken word pieces set to equally haunting background music, The Blackest Curse is a near essential listen for 2010.

- Nick Alfonse
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