Integrity @ Antiknock, Shinjuku, Tokyo 2017
|Genres||Hardcore punk, metalcore|
|Years active||1988–1997, 1999–2001, 2001–2004, 2008–present|
|Labels||Relapse Records, A389 records, Deathwish, Holy Terror, Victory, Magic Bullet Records, Organized Crime Records|
Integrity is a hardcore punk band originally founded in 1988 by vocalist, musician, lyricist and visual artist, Dwid Hellion. Integrity relocated to Belgium in 2004.
The band has a rich history in underground hardcore and metal-related music, appearing on nearly fifty recordings since 1988 (including 12 full-length albums and several EPs, reissues and compilation appearances); Integrity have had a strong live presence since their formation, having played hundreds of shows including numerous global festival appearances.
Their sound is known for a mix of hardcore punk and heavy metal with dark religious undertones, prominent use of lead guitars and solos, harsh vocals, occasional sampling and unusual influences such as industrial, noise and experimental music.
Legacy and critical acclaim
Integrity are widely credited for being the pioneers of metalcore being one of the first bands to mix metal and hardcore punk in a way that would later become popular, greatly influencing bands such as Hatebreed and Terror. Their music has been described as "an intense sound that melds together high-velocity hardcore punk, heavy metal, blues, thrash, and angular, noisy guitar riffs."
Albert Mudrian, editor-in-chief of the monthly metal magazine Decibel and author of Choosing Death: The Improbable History of Death Metal and Grindcore, claims that "They're one of the watershed artists" for heavy music genres, explaining that "they're definitely important to all forms of extreme music. A band like Hatebreed wouldn't sound like they did without Integrity opening up that door for them." Artist Derek Hess, whose art has appeared on albums and promotional materials for numerous metal, hardcore, and crossover artists ranging from Unearth to Converge, as well as MTV's Headbangers Ball compilations, claims that "They were ahead of the curve. Integrity started incorporating art and illustrations, and I think that was a real right-on thing that broke away from the pack. When you say the name Dwid throughout the industry, they know who you're talking about. He's infamous."
Hellion has had numerous side projects, including his electronic project, Psywarfare. and horror themed, Vermapyre.
In July 2017, Hellion was featured on the cover of Decibel magazine, no. 153. He is quoted as saying "I do not listen to much new music. When I need a new album to listen to, I make one." Previously, in 2013, Integrity's Systems Overload (1995, Victory Records) was featured in the Decibel "Hall of Fame" in issue no. 107. In the seven-page feature which interviewed all the members who had written or played on the album (Hellion, Aaron Melnick, Lenny Melnick, Mark Konopka, Chris Smith, and Frank Novinec), the album is referred to as "the landmark work in a grand and heretical oeuvre".
Integrity's current studio members are Dwid Hellion and Domenic Romeo.
Integrity's lineup has included a number of hardcore and metal musicians active with other well-known acts. Former rhythm guitarist Frank Novinec also played in Ringworm, Hatebreed, and Terror. Former Integrity member Aaron Melnick (lead guitar) and his brother Leon 'Lenny' Melnick (bass) also played in In Cold Blood. Dave Bland (Full Of Hell) has played drums for some 2018 studio recordings.
Current live musicians
- Studio albums
- Those Who Fear Tomorrow (1991, Overkill)
- Systems Overload (1995, Victory)
- Humanity is the Devil (1996, Victory)
- Seasons in the Size of Days (1997, Victory)
- Integrity 2000 (1999, Victory)
- Closure (2001, Victory)
- To Die For (2003, Deathwish)
- The Blackest Curse (2010, Deathwish)
- Suicide Black Snake (2013, A389/Magic Bullet)
- Howling, For the Nightmare Shall Consume (2017, Relapse Records)
- EPs and singles
- Off the Bat Demo (1987)
- Harder They Fall Demo (1989)
- In Contrast of Sin (1990, Victory)
- Grace of the Unholy (1990, Progression)
- Kingdom of Heaven (1992, Overkill)
- Integrity (1992)
- "Hooked, Lung, Stolen Breath Cunt" (1995)
- Septic Death Karaoke (1995, Blood Book)
- Project: Regenesis (2000, East Coast Empire)
- Walpürgisnacht (2008, A389)
- We Are the End (2010, Magic Bullet)
- Grace of the Unholy (2010, A389)
- Evacuate (2012, A389)
- Kingdom of Heaven (2012, A389)
- Detonate Worlds Plague (2012, Holy Terror)
- Beyond the Realm of the Witch (2014, A389)
- Deathly Fighter (A Tribute to R.U.G.) (2016, Decibel Magazine)
- All Death Is Mine (2019, Adult Swim Singles Club)
- Integrity / Mayday - Les 120 Journees De Sodome (1992, Endgame)
- Integrity / Psywarfare (1996, Victory)
- Integrity / Kids of Widney High (1996, Blood Book)
- Hatebreed / Integrity (1997, Stillborn)
- Integrity / Lockweld (1998, Victory)
- Integ2000 / Fear Tomorrow (1999, East Coast Empire)
- Integrity / AVM (2009, Holy Terror)
- Integrity / Creepout - Love Is... The Only Weapon (2009, Jukeboxxx)
- Integrity / Rot In Hell - Black Heksen Rise (2011, TDON)
- Integrity / Gehenna (2012, Holy Terror)
- Integrity / VVegas (2014, A389 Records)
- Integrity / Power Trip (2015, Magic Bullet) [Integrity tracks are the 2010 We Are the End EP]
- Integrity / Krieg (2018, Relapse Records)
- Integrity / Psywarfare (2019, Self Released)
- Live/video albums
- Palm Sunday (2005, Aurora Borealis)
- Always Is Always Forever (2005, Van Hellion)
- Live At This Is Hardcore Fest MMXVI (2017, Self Released)
- "Dawn of a New Apocalypse" (1992)
- "In Contrast of Sin" (1992)
- "Micha: Those Who Fear Tomorrow" (1992)
- "Eighteen" (1993)
- "Incarnate 365" (1995)
- "Judgement Day" (1995)
- "Systems Overload" (1995)
- "To Die For" (2003)
- "Black Heksen Rise" (2012)
- "I Am the Spell" (2017)
- "Hymn for the Children of the Black Flame" (2017)
- "7 Reece Mews" (2017)
- "Burning Beneath The Devil's Cross" (2017)
- "Scorched Earth" (2018)
- "Sons Of Satan" (2018)
- "Document One" (2018)
- "Biography". Relapse Records. Retrieved June 19, 2017.
- Ferris, D. X. "The Godfather of Cleveland Hardcore". Cleveland Scene. Retrieved June 19, 2017.
- "The Album Art of Derek Hess". RateYourMusic. Retrieved June 19, 2017.
- "Sound as a Weapon: Integrity's Dwid Hellion on Psywarfare's Legacy". Noisey. Retrieved June 19, 2017.
- "Hardcore Legends Integrity Grace the Cover of the Latest Decibel". Decibel Magazine. Retrieved June 21, 2017.
- "Integrity - "Systems Overload"". Decibel Magazine. Retrieved June 21, 2017.
- Adams, Gregory (March 21, 2013). "Integrity Announce 'Suicide Black Snake'". Exclaim!. Retrieved March 21, 2013.
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