Integrity
Systems Overload


2.5
average

Review

by HSThomas USER (33 Reviews)
August 29th, 2011 | 14 replies


Release Date: 1995 | Tracklist


Should have been. Could have been. This has been the tale of Integrity since the release of their debut. On each successive album they display a wealth of potent ideas but somehow they never reach the jaw-dropping heights that they could if their potential was fully realised. None more exemplify this problem than Integrity’s sophomore effort, Systems Overload.

Systems seems based on solid groundwork, a more hardcore-orientated approach to the blackened metalcore sound they pioneered on Those Who Fear Tomorrow and at first it seems the lightning of inspiration has struck twice, perhaps even harder than before. “Incarnate 365” is a triumphant statement of destruction, three massive NYHC-esque breakdowns with screeching Slayer-influenced solos, demonic vocals and powerful sampling. It emphasises everything that is great about Integrity and stands as one of the best songs they’ve ever put to disc.

Shame the rest of the album doesn’t stand up as well.

While there are touches of brilliance throughout, ninety percent of the time the songs bring to the fore the problems that were glimpsed upon Those Who Fear Tomorrow; unfocused songwriting with overreliance on derivative conventions for substance. Such is the case here as Systems relies far too heavily on fast-paced d-beat sections and chaotic soloing to carry the weight of the songwriting. Many a time a riffs starts to run out of steam due to constant repetition, a rush of d-beat drumming cuts in to take up the slack or a solo is used to enhance the dying riffs. As unoriginal as this maybe it would have been tolerable if these elements had been well executed but they aren’t. The d-beat sections are flat and lifeless and the soloing, while great, feels like yet another excuse for the band’s lack of imagination. However perhaps the greatest fault lies with the production. Thanks to a “quick fix” by Victory Records, the music is lost in a smog of reverb and effectively neutered because of it. It’s a sad finishing touch to a ruined vision. It could have been, should have been so much more but thanks to a lack of inventiveness and a lot of greed what remains is a hollow husk of unfulfilled greatness.



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user ratings (36)
Chart.
3.4
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
accompliceofmydeath
August 29th 2011


4264 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Another awesome review. I guess I like this more than you though.

Digging: New Found Glory - Resurrection

Blackbelt54
August 29th 2011


4276 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I have Those Who Fear Tomorrow, are any of their other albums worth checking out?

accompliceofmydeath
August 29th 2011


4264 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

@HSThomas: No, never heard of 'em. What album do you recommend?

@Blackbelt: Those Who Fear Tomorrow is probably their best. Their most recent, The Blackest Curse, is great as well. Hell, most of their stuff is pretty awesome.

Blackbelt54
August 29th 2011


4276 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

thanks I'll give those albums a listen

accompliceofmydeath
August 29th 2011


4264 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I second Cold Blood. Band is sick as fuck. I'll check that out and let you know if I find anything. Can you not even find anything to d/l?

ConsiderPhlebas
August 29th 2011


6157 Comments


Love (and agree with) the review

ConsiderPhlebas
August 29th 2011


6157 Comments


Good to see you too, man. I'll be making a return next month.

ConsiderPhlebas
August 29th 2011


6157 Comments


Definately gonna review, but no idea what at the minute. Haven't heard new music in months.

Zettel
August 30th 2011


599 Comments


What a harsh review. It is also a very good one.

demigod!
July 30th 2013


44727 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

this review seems a bit too harsh. this is really good so far

Digging: Weezer - Everything Will Be Alright in the End

KILL
July 30th 2013


71965 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

t/t is cool

Digging: Exodus - Blood In, Blood Out

demigod!
July 30th 2013


44727 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Incarnate is my fav so far, blistering leads

demigod!
August 16th 2013


44727 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

this album makes me feel kinda bad

demigod!
November 11th 2013


44727 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

fuck that this rocks

i wish more people here cared about integrity



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