Release DetailsLABEL Deathwish Inc
RELEASED ON 9/23/2003
To Die For
posted on 11/2003 By:
With a name like Integrity, you can be pretty sure that you're dealing with a hardcore band. Reformed and aligned with a new record label, Deathwish Inc., Integrity add another chapter to their storied history. But through all of their 15 or so years in the business, they've managed to stay below my radar. As such, I can't really make any comparisons to their older material, but from what I've read around the web, To Die For is better than their last couple of albums, and similar to their earlier albums. What I hear is some competent old-school hardcore, with a heavy modern-day production, at least on the guitars. The skinsman got a bit shafted in the studio with a low mix. Vocally, their singer screams like Evan from Biohazard in his most pissed-off state. The guitar work has roots in NY hardcore, but spiced up with some metal flair. Agnostic Front this is not. Expect acoustic interludes, instrumentals, and the occasional solo. The rhythm section gets the job done without much fanfare. Although, in true HC fashion, the guitar at times drops out to let the bass lead into an aggressive riff. Integrity get the ball rolling with “Taste My Sin”, a rocking little ditty with more than enough groove to get the heads nodding and the fists pumping. “Dreams Blead On” takes awhile to get going, but once it the double bass rumble kicks in, you’re in for a fun metalcore ride. Not metalcore as it’s being done to death lately (i.e. American Gothenburg), but fast, bottom-heavy riffs connected by zippy solos. There is a pair of short instrumental intermissions that serve to showcase that the band could adequately branch out more – they just choose not to. “To Die For” closes out the album in total hardcore fashion, with a fury of punkish power chords. Now I enjoyed this album in all it’s brevity, but as an objective reviewer, I’ve got to gripe about two aspects that bothered me. First of all, the band likes to build their songs slowly, usually taking around a minute to build up atmosphere and intensity before finally kicking into the meat of the song. This isn’t always a bad thing, but when a song is only three minutes long, it leaves you wanting. Secondly, this is an LP…a 23-minute LP. Unless I’m unknowingly listening to a shortened promo version, that just ain’t right. In summary, To Die For is a good, yet brief, album of metalcore that leans much more towards the hardcore sounds of a decade ago. Have Integrity enhanced their legacy? That’s something you'll have to decide for yourself.
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