Integrity
To Die For


3.5
great

Review

by HSThomas USER (33 Reviews)
July 20th, 2010 | 20 replies


Release Date: 2003 | Tracklist

Review Summary: 100% Integrity.

This is an Integrity album. An obvious statement but one that sums up To Die For quite neatly. It is a loud and vitriolic attack against a world that, to Dwid, should care about the issues that he raises but instead continues in seemingly ignorant bliss to its apocalypse. Not that anyone will be able to understand the issues he explores with his screams and bellows, as after all this an Integrity album. All the same though, this work is one that, while drenched in the same lyrical ridiculousness, is a cut above the rest.

In its consistency, this album juxtaposes quiet, instrumental or acoustic sections with the furious yet jaded attack of the metalcore Integrity is so well known for. However these sombre moments were experimental afterthoughts, moments of introspective fancy that were produced from one of Dwid's endless meanderings. Granted, the results of these wanderings produced some of Integrity's finest work but they never felt a cohesive part of the album itself. However in To Die For they are incorporated fully into the album structure. The flow from acoustic to metal is not perfect; slight pauses separate them from flowing into each other with complete cohesion, but these instrumentals are especially effective in continuing the flow of rage from one song to the next and with the contrast of soft to hard, the impact of the more wrathful offerings become much more powerful. The music and listener alike are allowed to breath within these moments so the more aggressive songs are allowed to explode within the open spaces created by the instrumentals and in turn the impact upon the listener is much more potent. It highlights how far Integrity have come with their music. They are shaking off the shackles of the post-Melnick years and walking ahead with a new maturity about themselves.

This new maturity has opened new doors for Integrity's work. To Die For is abound with an originality that has not been seen since Seasons In The Size of Days. This is not the youthful vigour of For Those Who Fear Tomorrow but one that is more tentative and subtle. The experimentation that was limited to the instrumentals has crossed over into all the songs. Acoustic guitar work is interlaced with dense electric guitar work in "Hated of the World," reverb filled bass-lines dominate down-tuned guitars in a reverse of tradition in "Dreams Bleed On" and guitar solos become more prominent with double soloing upon "Heavens Final War." These experiments with old conventions of their sound may seem like old hat to other bands but here they add layers and, more importantly, an emotional impact that was thought long forgotten. The listener feels the contempt that Integrity have always tried to express through the heavier songs but somehow lost after their debut. Similarly Integrity have pruned elements of their sound that have hampered them in the past. The slower, denser sections that characterised their earlier work have been cut back and amalgamated into the fast-paced aggression that characterises this album. They regain that brooding darkness before their use meant nothing but excessive chugging. Within this album, Integrity capture a magic that was long thought dead yet with it they are still hampered by some of the same flaws.

One of the most glaring flaws are the lyrical themes. The band still dwells upon the same downtrodden vision of the world, one which in the end comes from humanity's own sin. The extreme evangelism ranting worked upon the first album because of the seriousness of the music but as the albums have progressed, the lyrical themes have become tired and worn. They have fallen victim to metal and hardcore clichés of cloven-hoofed demons and apocalyptic visions. These clichés have worn down the lyrics until they are nothing more than comedic at best and that is if they can even be understood. Dwid Hellion's voice is very effective and unique in its style. It is a monstrous shout torn straight from the pages of the Old Testament however Dwid has always suffered from one problem; annunciation. Although it is not as bad as many of his contemporaries, at certain times it is still hard to understand. This can be seen as a positive as the listener does not have to tolerate the abominable lyrics while still feeling the hatred in which Dwid spews them yet the album can't be experienced as a whole without the lyrics being understandable. A minus point they may be but without them this album is never a complete package.

As a full package this album is rather short, clocking in at just under twenty three minutes. It's compact nature allows for the album to have a very immediate impact and the run time allows for the emotional current to never waver. It is because of this and the maturity to which Integrity have approached this album that makes this a complete work for the band. Yet one can't help but feel that more could have been added to this album. The doom-laden intro of "Dreams Bleed On" could have been extended for a grittier impact or the acoustic guitar work could have been been twisted into the electric guitar work to a greater extent. The choice of instruments for both the instrumentals and the main cuts could have been expanded as well, the addition of a piano within Seasons In The Size of Days created one of Integrity's most sombre moments. Most of all though, there is a certain need for an intro and outro to this album, ones that would add finishing touches to the album's sound.

Overall though, this a return to form for Integrity after the two previous, unfocused efforts. It is not nuanced and intricate, neither it is deep in its lyrics however it is an Integrity album. It suffers from some of the flaws that always plague every work of Integrity but mostly it is a mature, headlong charge into Hell, one that finds its depth in the primal emotions of the world. It may not be the most complete work in the metalcore genre but it is Integrity's most complete album and that is good enough.



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user ratings (114)
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Mordecai.
July 21st 2010


8391 Comments


YYYYYYYAAAAH

INTEGRITY IS GOOD. IMA POS THIS. AINT READING IT THOUGH, REVIEWS ARE GAY

Wizard
July 21st 2010


20228 Comments


The Blackest Curse is good, might need to check this out. Good review!

accompliceofmydeath
July 21st 2010


4861 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Excellent review. I noticed a few grammar mistakes but, other than that, this is spot on. When is the Rorschach review going to happen?

accompliceofmydeath
July 21st 2010


4861 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Alright. I've been patient this long. I guess I can keep waiting.

Wizard
July 21st 2010


20228 Comments


Thanks Wizard. Got one thing to say though; check. out. Starkweather. They are sludgy, progressive and intricate metal/mathcore with really twisted melodies. In other words they're the Opeth of this genre.

Pooped in my pants a little. Thanks for the rec!

anarchistfish
September 18th 2011


27891 Comments


oh look it's a jacob bannon artwork

Digging: Knocked Loose - A Different Shade of Blue

Carnifex
September 18th 2011


1918 Comments


oh look its a 1 year plus bump

accompliceofmydeath
September 18th 2011


4861 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Moar Slayer riffs.

VinVal
March 18th 2012


1167 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Felt like you talked too much about the band's past, but it was a decent review.

Some riffs do sound like slayer, pretty good album favorite track is deff "Heavens Final War"

ResidentNihilist
January 22nd 2014


1292 Comments


yeah there's a big those who fear influence on here plus they got chubby fresh, the original drummer and the guy who player on Those Who Fear on here as well which explains why the drumming rules on this so much. Interesting fact actually; two of songs 'Burn It Down' and 'Lost Without You' were ripped straight from In Cold Blood's Suicide King demo.

ResidentNihilist
January 22nd 2014


1292 Comments


Listen to 'Lost In Doubt' Demi, it's like Jagged Visions but better.

Nah Dave Araca was bought in when Chubby Fresh was sacked after they'd recorded Those Who Fear, before that they'd recorded everything up to Those Who Fear with Chubby on it.

owen
January 22nd 2014


5147 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

YOU BETTER BELIEVE





THERE'S SOMETHING TO DIE FOR

ResidentNihilist
January 22nd 2014


1292 Comments


Would love to see the System's era lineup reunite permanently. I honestly think if they released an album now after hearing that single it could one of the best things Integrity's ever put out and a perfect summary of the 90s era like how that song was.

ResidentNihilist
January 22nd 2014


1292 Comments


http://noisey.vice.com/blog/judgment-day-integrity-guitarist-aaron-melnick-waxes-about-upcoming-reunion

Pretty much Dwid's happy with the current lineup and Aaron hasn't got much time on his hands. Such a fucking shame though.

adr
July 3rd 2014


12033 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

fucking slays

ResidentNihilist
July 28th 2014


1292 Comments


Dunno but I'm probably one of the few who actually like Closure.

DoctorDoom
March 30th 2015


2987 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You can never taste my sin. MY SIN. Such a good opener. I also enjoy closure, good album to jam in the fall.

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
May 24th 2015


14594 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Solid album



Production is a bit stifling tho

Digging: Camel - Mirage

CrimsonLies
September 5th 2016


2579 Comments


Haven't jammed but the album cover is beautiful

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
September 5th 2016


14594 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Its pretty similar to everything integrity has ever done haha



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