Integrity are the ugly stepchildren of the hardcore genre, if there can be such a thing! Dwid Hellion is a monster at songwriting and his ability to evolve his band is ever-improving. His fierce, demon-like vocals seem to get more angry with every releases, and Howling, For the Nightmare Shall Consume is no exception. It seems Hellion has found a peer with new guitarist Dom Romeo, and the things they do together here are nothing short of stellar! Integrity are creating a genre of their own, melding everything from the aforementioned hardcore to crust to sludgy doom and even black metal into this release.
“Fallen to Destroy” opens up with a mountain of guitars, amid spoken words, then breaks into the fierce, black metal pace and sound of “Blood Sermon.” “Hymn for the Children of the Black Flame” is an all-out thrash-fest for the ears! “I Am The Spell” continues the thrash feel, but it also includes some Black Sabbath-like interludes. “Die with Your Boots On” is actually the most traditional sounding Integrity track here. It’s in-your-face and has that punk/hardcore sound they play so well. “Serpent Of the Crossroads” is a different animal altogether. It’s slow and brooding, yet still angry as hell.
“Unholy Salvation of Sabbatai Zevi” is fucking brilliant. It’s another slower song, but it’s evil as hell. The song slowly builds into a massive wall of crushing riffs and screaming guitars. “7 Reece Mews” continues this formula, although it has a more melodic feel. It’s nothing less than a classic and is my favorite here. “Burning Beneath The Devil’s Cross” brings back that more traditional crossover feel for which they are known. It’s fast, furious, and never lets up. The title track takes you out of the album with a brooding, angry tone that leaves nothing to desire.
Integrity have created a masterpiece with Howling, For The Nightmare Shall Consume. They are developing a niche for themselves in the metal realm, and this album solidifies their presence.
Howling, For The Nightmare Shall Consume is out now on Relapse Records. Buy it here!