Integrity    

Suicide Black Snake

A389 Recordings/Magic Bullet 2013

Having been a fan of Integrity since their early days, it has been with great admiration that I have seen them release consistently strong material that is perhaps the darkest hardcore on the face of the planet.  And Suicide Black Snake, their 10th album, is no different.  In fact, it is one of my favorite albums from them to date.  The title-track gets this metallic occult ceremony underway with massive and meaty riffs.  When the guitars warp with a dissonant wash that sweeps into a midtempo groove of simmering rage I am completely possessed.  Surreal clean guitar caresses the song before the guitars warp and rise once more.  Dwid's vocals are just as harsh and hate-filled as always.  Up next is the cult favorite, I Know Where Everyone Lives with its sorrowful main riff and spasms of fiery soloing.  The track explodes into full-on aggression and hurtles like a freight train into the night only taking a momentary look back into nostalgia.  Beasts As Gods is more straightforward with its constant driving riffs and pummeling violence which is coupled with some tasty rock n' roll solos.  Stepping in a slightly different direction is There Is A Sign.  Slower, vibration-filled passages burst into a steamroller of hardcore destruction.  The next two songs carry on in similar fashion but the next song that really stands out is There Ain't No Living In Life which is a dreamy, clean guitar lullaby that features some smoky spoken words and forlorn harmonica.  Then a wave of doomy riffage washes over the song adding a layer of heaviness to the raw emotion that is on display.  The shuddering guitar that opens Detonate VVorlds Plague puts your senses on notice for the metallic onslaught that quickly follows.  It's a blistering assault of metallic hardcore that hacks through you like a thousand meat cleavers.  The final track, Lucifer Before The Day Doth Go begins with fragile, crystalline guitar and then surges with mournful riffs and beautifully classy soloing.  By the end of the song you get a sense of jaded, worn-down anguish.  It's like the weight of the world has finally caused the emotions to come flooding out of these artists.  Integrity are legends for a reason.  Suicide Black Snake is an even better, more forceful album than The Blackest Curse.  Hardcore doesn't get any darker than this.