Saturday, June 1, 2013

Integrity: "Suicide Black Snake"

I was very aware of Integrity when they came out in the whole Victory Records hardcore wave of the nineties, the fact is all of those bands but Bloodlet I assumed where straightedge and at the time I was doing life threatening amounts of drugs so straight edge wasn't some that resonated with me like mmm...Psychic T.v , Swans or Neurosis who were all my my drug soundtrack. I  think if I focused on what a charismatic nut their lead singer Dwid is and some of the things we have in common like Lavey, serial killers, aliens and the Church of the Final Judgement I might have given them a closer listen. Their newest effort is not for nostalgia , it is every bit as relevant a hardcore album today like the scene finally caught up to him and dropped the b-boy thing to embrace the darkness of the real world.

The distortion on songs like "There is a Sign" is thick and dirty with a sludge like density to it. I think this album would appeal to of fans of crust core in it's grit. There are break downs which only have 90's hard core in their shadowy review mirror.The really short punk bursts , weren't my thing then and they aren't now so songs like the barely over a minute  "Orrchida" which is almost half a guitar solo doesn't really appeal much to me. But when they pulls off things like the abbreviated "All is None" they do what Nails does better than Nails , but of course Dwid wrote the book on it. I will give him credit for going beyond just screaming even though he maintains an aggressive coarseness to his vocals at all times there are variation which come close enough to singing to make this approach work for me.  

Songs like " I Know Where Everyone Lives" and "There Ain't No Living In Life" have a bluesy  undercurrent in the latter it drags on a little longer than I might like but the guitar playing that follows is pretty stellar and sounds like an under produced raw version of something from Lucifuge. The harmonica is something I was not expecting or even noticed the first time I played the album . The albums best moments are the darker more experimental... well for this brand of hardcore they aren't trying to be the Black Heart Rebellion or even Children of God here, this is when hardcore had much closer ties to punk rock than it does now.

 So more punk moments have varied result with me something like "Into the Night" works better than "Detonate VVorlds' Plague" just because their is a more crazed element to it, similar to a Converge album where a know the bratty bursts of punk are more of a regressive wink backwards when they are capable of making more interesting music and if you are capable of making more interesting music then by all means do it , who cares where this causes you to fall in the definition of being punk or troo or cvlt for that matter. The production is inconsistent and then there are the couple of regressive moments and a few stale riffs here and there but overall it's dark enough for me and has gotten repeat listens so I'll give it an 8.

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