• Integrity – Humanity Is The Devil (20th Anniversary Edition)

    Integrity – Humanity Is The Devil (20th Anniversary Edition)
    Released by: Magic Bullet Records
    Released on: October 30th, 2015.
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    The latest in the re-mastered reissue collection of Cleveland’s legendary Integrity is this twentieth anniversary edition of their Humanity Is The Devil album originally released in 1995. One of the finest crossover records of its time, this recording made of up seven tracks once again finds vocalist Dwid Hellion leading the charge, his insane howlings and off the wall singing style taking the band in increasingly dark and strange directions. Mixed by Joel Grind (of Toxic Holocaust) and supervised by Hellion and guitarist Aaron Melnick, this record documents the band at the height of their power (and it’s also got some pretty awesome cover art courtesy of Pushead!).

    Vocal Test is the first track, a seventy-five second long blast in which Hellion simply howls overtop of a catchy riff. It’s simple, basic even, but it builds in intensity nicely and sets the tone for the second track, Hollow. At roughly two and a half minutes this one is more substantive, a bassline laying down the track nicely before, only a scant few seconds later, Hellion’s vocals kick in with assists from other band members as the track continues. This is pretty much straight up traditional hardcore, musically speaking, but Hellion’s vocals, like Negative Approach’s John Brannon, make it stand out. It’s also catchy as Hell with some nice, abrasive feedback way up in the mix to finish it off.

    That feedback continues as the opening riffs of Psychological Warfare begin to pound you in the face. This one clocks in at just under three minutes and it shifts in tempo here and there which might take some listeners a few spins to get used to. It’s here that you really get a feel for the mix of metal and hardcore that the band was experimenting with, as this track could easily fall under either classification (if you’re into classifying things). Trapped Under Silence is a three minute piece that starts off slowly, almost melodically, but that’s just the calm before the storm. Twenty-five seconds later the band charges full speed ahead with some killer drumming and wild guitar playing wreaking havoc as Hellion’s vocals sound like they’re coming from the gut of a man possessed. Dude is pissed.

    Abraxas Annihilation clocks in at just over two minutes and it’s got more of a grind thing going on than the other songs do, at least musically. Vocally Hellion is just as over the top and fucked up sounding here as he is on the other tracks. Even when they take the track into mosh territory, it’s still a bit slower and maybe a bit more refined than the other tracks on the record. Jagged Visions Of My True Destiny is four minutes in length, and it starts off with some mellow guitar work, some basic but effective drumming shortly after, and some weird distorted vocals low in the mix. That changes shortly after as Hellion goes back into Hellion territory, but this one is definitely more on the ‘metal’ side of things what with its fairly lengthy guitar solos and more grandiose drum sound.

    The final track on the record is Narration (Dwid Hellion Version), an eleven minute spoken word piece where Hellion rages against religion as the band makes strange, trippy psychedelic sounds in the background. It’s a weird and fairly evil sounding piece, appropriately pessimistic and maybe even nihilistic but it ends the record rather fittingly.

    Comments 1 Comment
    1. Scyther's Avatar
      Scyther -
      Classic. Very few records get me more pumped than this one.