Thursday, June 29, 2017

Integrity - "Howling, For The Nightmare Shall Consume"

I remember this wave of Victory records hard core bands that brought a much more metallic sound to hardcore. Bloodlet and Snapcase were my favorites, but Integrity was after Bloodlet the next darkest of those bands. There is an almost black metal blasting to the first song when it it's not in a more punk rock beat. When it slows down into more of a break down like accent they sound their most powerful. Guitar solos come blazing out of the cracks more than I remember happening back in the day. There are Slayer like diving bombing guitar squealing everywhere with the more mean spirited thrash of "Hymn For the Children of the Black Flame".  The drumming is also very Slayer, but Slayer hasn't sounded like Slayer in some time so I am o.k. with this . But will the band's longtime fan-base ? "I am the Spell" blasts past me, but the more Motorhead thrash of "Die With Your Boots on " catches my ear. The guitar solos are staring to get a little excessive by this point in the album.

The intro to "Serpent of the Crossroads" sounds more like a Kiss song. The vocals are still really gritty in their raps but sound like there is more of an attempt at singing here. They get creepy with the organ leading into "Unholy Salvation of Sabbatai Zevi" . Not the best song on the album, but still pretty solid without getting lost in its momentum. While I am not a fan of the spoken word vocals on the verse of "7 Reece Mews" I think the varying guitar tones and all the sonic pieces that they assemble hear make for a unique sound that stands out on this album and shows their songwriting prowess to a much fuller extent. "Burning Beneath the Devils Cross" reminds me a little of the earlier more Punk days of Bathory or even Venom.

There is a more rock n roll feel to "String Up My Teeth" . It has a mid paced Judas Priest like groove. The more Motorhead like sound returns on the title track to close out the album. It reminds me of "Orgasmatron" era Motorhead with am ore dense and oppressive sound. I think these is a more metal album than it is hard core, but these guys are good at what they do and this is a resounding success so I'll grant this one a 8.5.

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