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Integrity were formed in Cleveland in 1989 chiefly as a vehicle for the philosophical and spiritual musings of vocalist Dwid, the one constant in the band's membership, who also handles sampling and electronics (as he also does in his hardcore techno-influenced side project Psywarfare). Integrity's sound is intense and difficult to classify, a melding of high-velocity hardcore punk, heavy thrash metal, an industrial/techno tint courtesy of Dwid's sampling experiments, and the sort of angular, noisy guitar riffs commonly found on the heavier side of alternative rock or alternative metal. Lineup changes accompanied virtually every Integrity album, but one original member -- guitarist Aaron Melnick -- stuck it out with Dwid for the vast majority of the band's existence under the name Integrity.
The group issued its debut album, Those Who Fear Tomorrow, in 1991, and for a time recorded mostly for singles and compilations. They finally returned in 1995 with Systems Overload, recorded for the Victory label, which would release most (but not all) of the band's recordings through the remainder of the '90s. Releases such as 1996's Humanity Is the Devil and 1997's Seasons in the Size of Days found Dwid's religious obsessions taking center stage in almost concept-album form; the records also helped broaden Integrity's audience beyond the hardcore faithful into heavy metal circles. In 1997, the band issued the rarities collection Taste of Every Sin on its own Holy Terror (formerly Dark Empire) label.
In 1999, following Melnick's departure, Dwid renamed the group Integrity 2000 and teamed up with guitarist Dave Felton to co-write most of the material on the "new" band's eponymous album, which featured vocal contributions from In Cold Blood's Jason Popson. Closure and In Contrast of Tomorrow got back to basics in 2001 and 2003, respectively. The narrative driven The Blackest Curse dropped in 2010, followed by Suicide Black Snake in 2013. In 2016 the band inked a deal with Relapse Records and issued its 12th studio long-player, Howling, for the Nightmare Shall Consume, a concept album concerning the final days of Armageddon. ~ Steve Huey
- Cleveland, OH
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