Thursday, May 02, 2013

Integrity-Suicide Black Snake

A389 Recordings / Magic Bullet Records

Having spent the better part of my life here in Ohio (I moved here from Indiana when I was heading into the 4th grade and I'll be 40 this July so yeah, it's been a L-O-N-G time!) I'm quite familiar with the metallic hardcore rage that is Integrity. The band was formed in 1988 with "Those Who Fear Tomorrow", Integrity's full-length debut-album, turning this one-time underground act into one of Cleveland's more "revolutionary" groups. Indeed these guys were NEVER afraid to speak their minds or soften up their approach. Over two and a half decades the band's punishing take on metal-tinged hardcore has been a reminder that punks not dead in the least. Founding member Dwid Hellion might not sound as menacing as he did in the beginning, but on "Suicide Black Snake" he can still put to shame a lot of today's crossover acts. While Integrity's last release, 2010's "The Blackest Curse", was rather polarizing among fans and critics alike (some feeling it was insane hardcore-metal while others were bemoaning the fact that it wasn't like their older material) I thought it was a solid enough affair. "Suicide Black Snake" again features multi-instrumentalist Robert Orr backing up Dwid Hellion and will have it's the vinyl pressing handled by A389 and the CD by Magic Bullet. With it's ten tracks of politicized, hardcore/heavy metal sonic ass-kicking this is bound to appeal to old-school crossover freaks and hardcore hooligans. Criminally this band is not more well know and, to my shock and disappointment, they have been left off of the Metal Archives. Why this is I have no idea. Given the fact that Integrity's sound is akin to getting punched repeatedly in the head with a pair of hardcore-infused brass knuckles while your ears melt from the surging attack of street metal/thrash riffs it makes me wonder what the hell is up with that supposedly be-all/end-all "metal" site. Either way it's their loss as Integrity have all the hallmarks of a killer metal band but with the added intensity of punk/hardcore. Anyway, while I usually try not to get too carried away with post-album live support slots for bands Integrity's upcoming schedule is too good to be ignored. In support of this heavily-metalized hardcore release Integrity will play a one-off gig with Overcast in New Haven, Connecticut on  May 23rd before playing with Homewrecker and Ilsa as part of the A389 Canadian Invasion. From there Integrity will take part in the Maryland Deathfest (I would kill to go to this as it's also set to feature Exodus, Pentagram, Sleep and Venom!) before heading to Chaos In Tejas where they will join Bolt Thrower, Final Conflict, Manilla Road, Abigail and Kromosom! Not too bad for a band that had to fight their way out of the Cleveland underground back in the day eh?

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