Integrity
Kingdom of Heaven (The Araca Sessions)


4.0
excellent

Review

by god ov dem USER (12 Reviews)
November 12th, 2013 | 50 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist


Recorded throughout 1992 but never released officially outside of splits and singles until 2012, Integrity’s Kingdom of Heaven EP showcases the band at their dirtiest, sludgiest yet at times their most brilliant and refined. Unfortunately, it was released for rather dark (or maybe optimistic, depending on how you look at it) reasons: to celebrate the life and career of their original drummer, David Araca, who sadly passed away from a brain aneurism in 1994.

Clocking in at just under 15 minutes (or 12 if you don’t have the version with the Negative Approach cover as a closer), the band manages to squeeze a surprising amount of versatility into these four songs. Starting with some quiet clean dissonance being washed up by a downtuned sludgy guitar, you can tell from the beginning that Integrity means aren’t sticking to the exact formula of their monumental debut album, Those Who Fear Tomorrow. And while they might rely on groove and slower riffing for many sections of this release, they are still quite keen on entering a fast-paced d-beat punk section, often to knock it down with a fierce guitar solo which often conjoins into a heavy, low-fretted riff fest.

Then there’s Eighteen. A rather strange track for integrity at this time, but in my opinion one of their best. Featuring some of the earliest Dwid cleans over a softly strummed clean guitar chord, the song is a melodic and atmospheric track that grows into something huge. The song quickly takes a turn for the heavy with one of Integrity’s trademarked subtly smooth guitar solos. Before you know it, the chords are bending, the snare is rushing and Dwid is shrieking loud and shrill as if he is a product of the Devil himself.

The production also adds quite a bit of girth to the EP’s already huge sounding songs. The secret here is low end, and guitarist Aaron “A2” Melnick seems to hold the key. The distortion tone he exhibits here is dense, thick, and very monolithic. The lo-fi sounding production certainly aids this, giving the tone a certain razor sharp edge that would make it sound more like a pendulous axe than a small scimitar or some other type of sword.

Medieval weaponry references aside, the production on this is not quite perfect. Sure, the guitar tone is awesome, but what about the other members? Well, for the most part everyone is quite audible, apart from the bass. The bass tracks are pretty inaudible and often seem to be buried under the mammoth guitar tone. Which is a shame, because some of the moments on the debut are as amazing as they are because of the bass keeping it all together. Oh well. At least the drums sound pretty good - you can tell he was really pounding away at them as if his life depended on it. And Dwid’s vocals are perfectly placed in the mix: loud, up close and personal.

All in all, this is some Integrity’s best work, and the last recorded with the debut line-up. While I can’t quite recommend it to everyone do to its abrasiveness and rough production, it is certainly a must-hear for Integrity fans.



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user ratings (4)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
demigod!
November 12th 2013


44381 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i suck at reviewing sup

Digging: Portishead - Dummy

DrHouseSchuldiner
November 12th 2013


5643 Comments


Pos'd without reading gotta check that one

demigod!
November 12th 2013


44381 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

lol thanks dude

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ry4H_1GG6s8

if you dig that, youll probs love this

DrHouseSchuldiner
November 12th 2013


5643 Comments


this rocks ....fuck i need check more than debut and Humanity Is the Devil.

demigod!
November 12th 2013


44381 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

hard man, i havent heard all of their stuff yet but be sure to get Seasons in the Size of Days and Systems Overload. the latter has kinda crappy production but it's still super intense and heavy.

ResidentNihilist
November 12th 2013


1040 Comments


Honestly I wish Dave Araca hadn't died because if Systems Overload had been in the same vein as these songs it would've lived up to it's reputation and been pretty much unbeatable. Good review my man though Aaron's nickname was A2 not A1 and the description of Dwid's vocals sound a bit stupid. Tbf I do think Dwid's vocal performance on this one may have ruined his ability to shriek which is a crying shame considering he doesn't do it on any of the later albums and it was so damn effective.

demigod!
November 12th 2013


44381 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah i guess that's just me trying to be funny. it is pretty dumb, i'll change that and the thing about Aaron. thanks for the notes.


as for Dwid, that would explain the lack of serious shrieks on later Integrity stuff. his screams on the title track are absolutely bloodcurdling, and he can hold them for scary amounts of time.

Owantjaaaa
November 12th 2013


3238 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yay this was missing from the database

Digging: Shellac - Dude Incredible

JamesLentil
November 12th 2013


59 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Wow, it's amazing that you reviewed this. We were just talking about this band yesterday. This is a great album and you did a great job in reviewing it.

Itishappeningagain
November 12th 2013


317 Comments


Demi, review something that doesn't suck cocks next time.

Owantjaaaa
November 12th 2013


3238 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

it's no AC/DC

LifeAsAChipmunk
November 12th 2013


4854 Comments


it's no rolling stonez
or bon jovi

demigod!
November 13th 2013


44381 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

who is dis clown

@James yeah I actually just found out this EP existed last night while streaming on Spotify haha. I had already known all the songs together for a few months though, just didn't know where they come from. It's some of my favourite Integrity work so I figured it deserved a review.

Itishappeningagain
November 13th 2013


317 Comments


It also doesn't have black men reading some silly poems or beeping noises! 1/10 would not bang


demigod!
November 13th 2013


44381 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

we cant all listen to dad rock for the rest of our lives dude

KILL
November 13th 2013


71782 Comments


dad rock rly is the worst term ever

Digging: Invisible - El jardin de los presentes

demigod!
November 13th 2013


44381 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

spoken like a true dad rocker!

KILL
November 13th 2013


71782 Comments


im 50 but i cant get laid so no kids sorry

but rly does dad rock just mean good rock cos damn did music rock some dicks back then!

BigPleb
November 13th 2013


36637 Comments


Definitely your best review so far, getting better with each write-up!

Made me wanna check this so you have done your job well, sir! :D

Digging: Arc Iris - Arc Iris

demigod!
November 13th 2013


44381 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

its rock made by people who are dads now for people who are dads now i guess idk it can be good or
bad


hey thanks a bunch Leb, appreciate it



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