Tag Archives: Integrity

Biggest Ups: Over 40 Artists Share Their Favorite Albums of 2017

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Bandcamp artists pick their favorite albums of the year.

One of the features on Bandcamp Daily that generates the greatest amount of enthusiasm is Big Ups. The concept is simple: we ask artists who used Bandcamp to recommend their favorite Bandcamp discoveries. So, in honor of our Best of 2017 coverage, we decided to take Big Ups and super-size it. Here, more than 40 artists to tell us their favorite albums of the year.

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Integrity’s Dwid Hellion Thinks Humanity is a Disease

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Photo by Jimmy Hubbard.

Dwid Hellion, the mastermind behind long-running Cleveland metallic hardcore band Integrity, is heavy duty. He’s about to release the band’s new album, Howling, For the Nightmare Shall Consume, and as one would imagine from its name, it’s not exactly light fare. The central concept of the album is that the renowned, troubled painter Francis Bacon gets sucked into a metaphysical realm and is dragged across eternity in order to bear witness to humanity’s continuing and unending disgrace. At each juncture, humanity is given the choice to behave less disgracefully; at every juncture, we fail.

The idea that humanity itself is a disease is something that Hellion has investigated since the band’s first full-length. Those Who Fear Tomorrow, released in 1991, combined punk and metal in new and brutal ways, and instilled it with Hellion’s metaphysical introspection. His thesis, developed across a string of ever more daring and bizarre albums, is that, well, humanity is the devil. (Sir David Attenborough, among other scientists, philosophers, and commentators, might agree. Hellion includes himself in this class of wretches, of course.) Over the course of their career, the band has explored death cults, mind control, and the concept that we might only exist as the projection of some other (possibly idiotic and/or chaotic) force.

Howling, For the Nightmare Shall Consume, which uses Bacon as a hierophant for this revelation, acts as a sort of capstone to this 26-year quest. Bacon is shown the light, and the light is not pretty. It’s fitting that the new album is the band’s most metallic to date, with guitarist Dom Romeo whipping ably between thrash, power metal, and stoner metal.

With this puzzle laid out before us, we spoke to Hellion about Francis Bacon, why humanity is so horrific, and his cool shoes.

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Album of the Day: Integrity, “For Those Who Fear Tomorrow”

So here’s the obvious question: why is Integrity’s debut album being reissued again, less than three years after hardcore icon Dwid Hellion ripped and released a digital edition on his own Holy Terror imprint, and Organized Crime Records unveiled its second vinyl repressing? That’s easy: Those Who Fear Tomorrow has never sounded this sinister, this ready to rage against, well, everything. Considering how raw the original recordings are, Audiosiege founder Brad Boatright—the engineer known for enhancing the extremities of such underground acts as Sunn O))), Yob, and Sleep—really nailed his remix, a tour de terror of Hellion’s scar-ridden soul.

It sure is timely, too, as humanity appears to sprint towards its own self-inflicted demise this election cycle. Not that Hellion’s the least bit surprised. Or upset, for that matter. Listening back to Those Who Fear Tomorrow 25 years later is a little bit like watching Penelope Spheeris’ entire Decline of Western Civilization trilogy in one sitting: retrograde reflection showing how much things have changed, and how much they haven’t. The Wayne’s World director filmed the rise and fall of hardcore, punk, and heavy metal over nearly three decades, between the early ’80s and late ’90s. Seen through the eyes of the fans she interviews, the world gets worse at condensed speed as they leave Black Flag’s TV parties and six packs behind to embrace complete nihilism.

Hellion, these days? Well, he’s watching it all burn while screaming “I told you so!” at the top of his lungs.

Andrew Parks