Integrity have always had an intensity about their metallic hardcore onslaught that is defiantly unrelenting and this has been the case throughout the bands career, thirty years into that storied career they show no signs of letting up. US black metal titans Krieg are a band who have a similar intensity coarse get through their musical body and when both of these masters of extreme music team up for a split, the results were never going to be anything less than suitably intense and with Krieg having done a split in the past with The Body, for an outing that was suitably hellish, you know that this is going to be an insane audio ride.
With four songs by Integrity and three by Krieg, there is plenty of interesting material for devotees of the band to get stuck into, including some choice cover versions from Integrity.
Integrity kick off the split with the blistering “Scorched Earth”, and this furious opener starts where last years superb Howling, For The Nightmare Shall Consume album left off. Its Integrity at their finest and new guitarist Dom Romeo is the perfect counterpart to Dwid Hellions pained roar with a faultless display of guitar playing, reminiscent of the playing of Mantas from the mighty Venom as he showcases a collection of brilliant riffs and even better solos that just adds to the energy that builds up and lets loose. This perfect start continues with the equally powerful “Flames Of The Immortal”. What follows and ends Integritys contribution to the split is a duo of covers. The first is actually a cover of Dwids side project Vermapyres Sons Of Satan (another nod to Venom there) which is an interesting move but the results are even more blistering than the original track and the second is a cover of G.I.S.Ms Document One and demonstrates the force of hardcore, albeit with some more inspired solos from Romeo.
Krieg start their contributions with the sludgey black metal “Of Circle Of Guilt” and from the get go, they prove they will match Integritys intense nature and heaviness. The track is a stuck in a tar pit slow grooving monster of a song and just as black. This is followed by the intently focussed and brilliantly named “This Time I’ll Leave You To Drown”, (a song the band have recorded before from the New World Black Metal compilation and sees it being repurposed here) and is song that demonstrates thes power of Kriegs music, all menace, intent and suffering with a sublime outdo to it.
Kriegs last track and the one that rounds off the split is a live version of “The Sick Winds Stir The Cold Dawn” and one that shows off the intense nature of frontman Neil ‘Imperial’ Jameson’s vocals and the strength of the band as a live act. There is a rawness here that shows another side to the music of Krieg and it sounds as good as what has come before it.
Integrity and Krieg have a lot in common both in their music and their overall attitude and execution of ideas both share elements of the best of black metal and the whole affair has a big Darkthrone vibe about it, with that mixture of the grandiose and a rawer than raw feeling about it. Hopefully, both bands will follow this split up and take it to the road, that meeting of the intesitys in the live arena would be an unmissable match made in hell. Until that happens though, revel in the darkness of the world of Integrity and Krieg colliding in stunning fashion.
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