Lest we forget that this is a pro wrestling site disguised as a heavy metal blog, I was thinking about tag teams from the metal world we could add to this Smackdown tournament going on to find opponents for the Bludgeon Brothers. Metal has plenty of burly and scary dudes, so there’s plenty from which to pick. My selection would come from the blistering split record we’re going to discuss today, so let’s get on with it.
Putting together metallic hardcore legends Integrity with black metal veterans Krieg seems like a perfect idea. Their sounds are not that much alike, but they kind of make sense together. Also, Integrity’s Dwid Hellion and Krieg’s Neill Jameson easily could form a mentally scarred Authors of Pain-style team to go and fuck up some people in this Smackdown tournament. Yes, I know the shit is predetermined. Stop it. Anyway, the two bands have aligned for a seven-track split EP that’s coming out on Relapse that wastes no time getting to work and gives you just enough of a serving to leave you satisfied. I’m not going to dig into each bands’ histories because you should know this stuff by now. If not, Google. Integrity offer up four new tracks, while Krieg delivers their first new song written since 2014’s “Transient,” an older track unearthed, and a live clip. It’s a pretty nice mix.
Integrity get started with “Scorched Earth,” as noise rings viciously, and then we’re onto a hardcore-style rumble forward. Guitars ignite, adding to the blistering stomp, while the back end of the track sizzles out in acid. “Flames of the Immortal” also has a heavy hardcore feel to it, as Hellion wails with might, the guitars catch fire, and intensity bleeds all over. A nice bit of soloing colors in the edges of what’s an otherwise putrid pile of madness. “Sons of Satan” has a more rock n roll feel, kind of like something Motorhead would crank out, as Hellion’s raw shouts are wrapped in bluesy barbed wire riffs. The tempo blazes and burns, the simple chorus is prime for shout back at shows, and we come to a blasting end. A cover of G.I.S.M.’s “Document One” rounds out Integrity’s side with a more metallic show of force, as the pace is speedy, the words are spat out, and danger seems near. A classic dose of riffs helps close up shop amid the sound of everything crashing to the ground.
Krieg get started with aptly titled “Circle of Guilt,” which erupts into raw growls and guitars that hang in the air with menace. The pace is clobbering, as the drums dent in your head, and the final minutes slow down the torture and bleed into unconsciousness. “This Time I’ll Leave You to Drown” is not exactly a pick-me-up, is it? The savage growls and molten melody rub insult into your veins, as the guitars are set to a boil and almost fade out until a thick bassline kicks the thing back into gear. From there, it’s an all-out emotional toll that you pay right alongside Jameson. A live version of “The Sick Winds Stir the Cold Dawn” puts a grimy, heavy haze over everything, as the track delivers a neck-wrenching burst, with the band’s true power on full display. It’s dark, thorny, and foreboding, which is all we’ve ever asked of Krieg in the first place.
I have no idea what team is going to go over in that Smackdown tournament, but none will be as potent and dangerous as a Hellion/Jameson duo. Instead, we settle on this split EP that gives a nice dose of what each band does best and leaves you with bruises and welts on your already damaged psyche. If that’s not enough to get these two bands tag team gold, I don’t know what is.
For more on Integrity, go here: https://www.facebook.com/INTEGRITY.HT/
For more on Krieg, go here: https://www.facebook.com/officialkrieg/
To buy the album, go here: https://store.relapse.com/
For more on the label, go here: https://www.facebook.com/RelapseRecords