With two longstanding powerhouses like Integrity and Krieg, the expectations are going to be pretty high. I’m happy to say that my high expectations were indeed met. Actually, they were exceeded. Folks, this is one of the Top 10 records of 2018. No joke.
Let’s start with the Integrity tracks. My, my, those lead guitars! You have some classic Revelation Records style hardcore, with a touch of groove, massive amounts of intensity and then… beautiful lead guitars. We’re talking even a touch of wishbone guitars on the 3rd track “Sons of Satan,” an amazing song that also has a strong Motorhead feel to it. “Flames of the Immortal” has a huge chunk of top notch lead work over intense riffing on the rhythm guitar. What makes this all come together is the high quality mix and engineering. Even listening to these tracks via Bluetooth I was able to hear all instruments in their proper place with excellent separation. So expertly crafted sound! While there is no denying Integrity’s hardcore roots, the band is revealing this much mature side to themselves that is anything but mundane. This is really breaking new ground in the genre.
Krieg gives us one new track (and a couple older ones) on this split and it is one of their best.
“Circle of Guilt” has a bit of Celtic Frost/Triptykon vibe to it but with a bass line that we often hear in more recent black and roll. I love Imperial’s vocal on this track, giving us a bit more range than we’ve heard in from Krieg. The double bass drums at 3:00 give the listener an added layer of depth.
“This Time I’ll Leave You to Drown” is classic Krieg vocals but with a much goth-ier sound than we’re used to. There’s a great baritone sound on this cut that is going to remind listeners of The Cure and some 1980’s darkwave. But Krieg takes these sounds and places them over a rather traditional tremolo rhythm reticent of 1990’s Norwegian black metal. It’s a unique offering and it really comes together so well.
Similar to the Integrity tracks, the Krieg music is very well mixed and expertly recorded. I wish more bands would shy away from the “raw recording style.” It doesn’t work with today’s tech and I can’t always listening to music in my sitting room on my vintage turntable. Sometimes I gotta wear the headphones on the train to work.
Quite simply, this is a “must buy.” No question, no hesitation.
Releasing on Relapse Records, the split can be ordered now here. Order now because the clear/black smoke LP is already sold out. The other versions are sure to sell out as well. Releases August 3.