Integrity The Blackest Curse

IntegrityThe Blackest Curse
While the fact that this album even exists is a minor miracle ― after the disastrous attempt at touring To Die For and mass exodus of just about everyone from an already fragmented line-up ― those that heard last year's Walpurgisnacht seven-inch were optimistic and hopeful for an album that would stand amongst the best of Integrity's lengthy and tumultuous career. While it doesn't quite maintain the furious intensity of To Die For, a solid effort from Dwid Hellion and co. still mops the floor with the majority of modern metalcore. Essentially leaving the traditional formula unchanged ― Slayer riffs, breakdowns and atmospheric interludes ― limits the appeal of the album somewhat, as there is very little here to recommend it over the group's classic earlier titles, but at the very least, The Blackest Curse is a consistent listen, free of filler or any Integrity 2000 influence whatsoever. The main gripe some will have is the production, which betrays the album's pieced-together writing and recording sessions by jumping around somewhat in sound quality from track to track. Nevertheless, fans will be satisfied, but newcomers to the fold would do better to start with Those Who Fear Tomorrow. (Deathwish Inc.)