Integrity

support Rot In Hell + Parasight
author AP date 23/02/12 venue Beta, Copenhagen, DEN

For the second edition of our All Killer - No Filler events, Beta had managed to secure a hefty package of hardcore. The turnout was slightly smaller than on the premiere night in December, but the crowd was still large enough to almost fill out the concert room of the venue. Beers were had, punk and hardcore tunes were spun by our DJs and good times were had. Now, enough intro babble and on with the reviews:

Parasight

In charge of opening the proceedings is the local hardcore punk crew Parasight, who are using this opportunity to celebrate the release of a new 7" EP. The band immediately sets itself apart from the host of nondescript, chugga-centric hardcore bands in the country first and utmost with a thoroughly enjoyable, groove-laden assault of short punk bangers, and second with a vocalist that seems to be bursting with energy. Sadly, given the absence of any real reaction from the crowd, his initial madness continues to subside with each passing song, which is why it is so crucial that Parasight collectively have the musical goods to keep us interested. Granted - they're not exactly reinventing the book here, nor are they injecting much variety into their set, but something about the frantic d-beat drumming, profuse tremolo riffs and urgent vocals makes it a positively surprising one. Add to that a near-perfect sound mix - the trademark of Beta - and you've got yourself a pretty solid hardcore show.

7

Rot In Hell

Next in order is a British crossover mob by the not so enticing name Rot in Hell. From the offset it becomes obvious that this band is not going to be enjoying as brilliant a mix as Parasight; there seems to be some insistance that their music must be played at maximum volume and with little regard to the intricacies of their songs. Thankfully the sound engineer understands to adjust the levels on the lead guitar during the countless squealing thrash solos, and the rhythm guitar during the crushing hardcore chug parts. Rot in Hell are not the liveliest of bands, but there is still enough in that department to keep me interested throughout. It's all in the subtleties. But although the presence of two guitarists allows Rot in Hell to produce a much more melodic audioscape in comparison to Parasight, here the lack of variety somehow becomes a more pressing issue. It is as though after two or three songs, these Britons have shown us what they're about, what they can do, and how they intend to keep going, thus effectively removing any element of surprise or unpredictability from their set. For a band like Integrity, they're a fine choice of support given the similarities in the two bands' music, but for driving the crowd into a frenzy in anticipation of what must surely be one of the hardcore highlights of the year, they are not the most effective choice.

Integrity

Integrity is one of those bands you tell your kids about to make them respect their curfews or to teach them about morals. They're the boogeymen and fictional murderers of the hardcore genre, the people other bands fear for their ferocity and notoriety. Whether or not the alarming rumors that are circulating about this band a true is not for this review to decide, but it definitely works to Integrity's benefit that they're shrouded by an air of madness and terror. Their vocalist looks like the guy at some remote gas station in the corn fields, who offers to fix your car and then puts an axe through your skull as you turn around, and their songs - a mixture of straight metallic hardcore, crossover and black metal - comprise the music that will be blasting from an old stereo as he devours your flesh for dinner.

It only makes sense to talk about Integrity in hyperboles because the band plays music that could be said to be the hardcore equivalent of old school Norwegian black metal. They play it loud and emit a sense that they truly believe and mean the things they say in their lyrics. Nobody is smiling, but one gets the impression that in some weird, twisted sense of the word, passion is a central element in Integrity's performance. Luckily, because Integrity have never acquiesced to a stereotype, there is also plenty to consume from a purely musical standpoint, with the band continuously rotating between short blasts of hardcore fury that incite bouts of karate moshing, blistering thrash solos, and slow burning black metal passages. For me personally, it is the latter type of song, best exemplified by "Lucifer Before the Day Doth Go" and the brilliant closing piece "Jagged Visions of True Destiny" that proves most intriguing, but I'd be lying if I said that the simpler mosh-oriented songs à la "Psychological Warfare" and "Sarin" didn't set some fuse alight as well.

We are often criticized for our lack of understanding when it comes to local hardcore shows here in Denmark, but watching a band like Integrity our reasons for berating them should be abundantly clear: it is because almost none of the hardcore bands in Denmark have the creative wit, atmosphere of threat or ferocity of expression that Integrity does. It is hardly a surprise that Integrity have accumulated such a fearsome reputation with this kind of show. It would do many of the local bands well to take note and learn from it.

8

Photos taken by Jacob Dinesen for Devilution.dk

Comments
comments powered by Disqus

Legal

© Copyright MMXIX Rockfreaks.net.