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Integrity

In Contrast of Tomorrow (Victory)

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In the liner notes to this compilation, Victory Records owner Tony Brummel gives a glowing assessment of Integrity's history. The Cleveland band "truly changed the face of hardcore punk music, adding elements of evil, danger, mystery, chaos, and adrenaline-induced extremism," he writes. There are also comments from a fan, simply identified as Clint, who writes that Integrity "changed his life" with its first full-length, 1991's Those Who Fear Tomorrow. The band's tattooed, troublemaking lead singer, Dwid, inspires that kind of devotion. His inability to keep a consistent band together hasn't stopped him from putting out records; in total, he's issued nine releases through Victory and an assortment of other singles for a variety of labels. Most of Integrity's odds and ends are assembled on In Contrast of Tomorrow. The album serves as the final chapter in the history of Integrity, which Dwid has rechristened Angela Delamorte.

Many of the older songs, such as "Live It Down," "Bringing It Back," and "Judgement Day," are by-the-numbers hardcore, with coarse vocals and speed-metal guitars. But it's obvious that Dwid, whose interests lie as much in noise and industrial, has grown restless and bored with hardcore's parameters. The whispered vocals and atmospheric guitars in "Eighteen" have more to do with Joy Division, and there's a fragility to "Descent Into" that's missing in most of the other songs. Dwid hasn't performed live in three years, but with an Angela Delamorte tour of Europe in the works for the fall, his career is anything but over -- despite the rather ominous titles of this album and Closure, Integrity's last studio project, released earlier this year.

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