Well kids, it might be June now, but Christmas has come early for fans of dark metallic hardcore and black metal. That’s right, your favorite disgruntled mall Santas from Integrity and Krieg are coming out with a split release via Relapse records on August 3. And if the two tracks released so far are any indication, it promises to pulverize your summer into a bitter, cold wasteland of despair (…but like, in a cool way, cause the music rules…you get the idea).
And I don’t say that to be hyperbolic, Krieg’s “Circle of Guilt” is probably one of the best songs they’ve ever recorded (it’s already up there for me, along with “An Empty Room, a Forgotten Funeral” and “Walk With Them Unnoticed”). Their side of the split also features “This Time I’ll Leave You to Drown” and a live version of “The Sick Winds Stir the Cold Dawn,” from Blue Miasma. Check out the song here:
I got in touch with Krieg frontman and Decibel-motivational lifestyle columnist Neill Jameson about the split, and he told me a bit how the idea came about:
It just felt like a natural kind of pairing. Especially since Integrity had a lot of influence on our last full length, Transient, not only because Dwid was gracious enough to record a spoken-word piece for it, but also the general claustrophobic feeling to some of the moments of the record were really informed by Integrity’s Suicide Black Snake. So I was incredibly humbled when the idea was brought up.
He goes on to say:
It’s an important release because Integrity has always been adventurous musically and never stuck to a genre, regardless of how music critics want to label them, and that kind of disregard for convention and expectation, replaced by creative freedom, is something that needs to be encouraged to artists of all mediums because it can open doors we weren’t meant to open, and show us things we weren’t meant to see.
Speaking of things we’re not supposed to see, I asked Dwid Hellion about the song Integrity has put out from the split, “Scorched Earth.” As one can expect, the song rages with in-your-face vocals and, well, scorching guitar leads from start to finish. When expanding on the song’s subject matter, Dwid sums it up like this:
The desolate end of humanity. A level of destruction so complete that the soil shall never again produce life. Dom and I wanted to write an aggressive and violent song that attacks the listener with reference to the brutality of The Misfits’ album, Earth AD.
I’m sure plenty of death will come ripping through the rest of the split, ready to drag listeners into an all new type of green hell. Alright, that’s enough bad puns. Check out the video for “Scorched Earth” below and run over to Integrity’s bandcamp page for information on pre-ordering the split, along with some rad t-shirts.