Hardcore icons Integrity bring their blackened aggression to Chicago | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

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Hardcore icons Integrity bring their blackened aggression to Chicago

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Dwid Hellion, founder and core member of Integrity, sure can be intimidating, what with his burly stage presence, fierce intelligence, and dogged devotion to unblinking study of the darkest sides of the psyche, but his real superpower is his work ethic. Throughout Integrity’s two-decade career with constant personnel changes (including periods that included stars from bands such as Hatebreed and Sepultura), the iconic metalcore band have maintained a steady maelstrom of releases, including singles and EPs in between albums—and each one has been fiercer than the last. The band rose out of the Cleveland scene in the late 80s and quickly became extremely influential for their marriage of metal’s scope and ambition with hardcore’s directness and aggression. Hellion has lived in Belgium for more than a decade now, but the fromage hasn’t mellowed him much. On last year’s Howling, for the Nightmare Shall Consume (Relapse), Integrity perfect their blackened, nihilist-occult-themed metalcore sound with surprising moments of hookiness and lurching stop-and-start dynamics that sound deceptively playful for music that’s so evil. Also on tonight’s bill is Detroit’s Temple of Void. On their second full-length, Lords of Death, which came out last summer, they generate a thick, dense roil of boiling death/doom riffery and roaring that’s like being punched in the gut in slow motion.   v

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