Integrity "Systems Overload" CDPosted on Friday, March 7th, 2008 @ 7:54am » permalink
It almost feels like a waste of time to post about this album, because everyone already knows that I absolutely worship everything the legendary Integrity recorded up through 1998, and it's highly unlikely that I'm going to be "introducing" anyone to this material, but… this is another one that's in my all-time top three. This is also one of the only albums in my entire life that I've ever owned on all three formats – CD, LP, and even fucking cassette (damn right). I've listened to this thing hundreds upon hundreds of times over the years, and now that it's on my iPod every fucking song on the core album's a four- or five-star track (excluding the noise piece, "Unveiled Tomorrows", which I don't really count), which is damn near unheard of these days. It's perfect from start to finish. It really is.
Many would fervently argue that the band's debut album, "Those Who Fear Tomorrow", was always their strongest, but as classic and amazing as it may be, I have to disagree without question. "Systems Overload" is the clearly superior effort to me, and I think it always has been. There's just something about it… I mean, for one thing, the recording is just totally insane and incredible in the most fucked up way possible. The drums sound kinda dry but also big and ballsy, the vocals are totally blown out and over the top (and you're god damn right I mean that in a good way), and the fucking guitars, man! The first time I ever listened to this album I was taken aback, 'cause I'd never heard guitar tones like this before. I mean, the fucking leads sound like they're running a distortion pedal through another distortion pedal or something!? And the rhythms? I don't even know how to describe the tone! Over the top, I guess… like everything else about this record. There's just this fucking fire to the entire album – the sound, the compositions, the lyrics – that totally makes for one of the most intense and fucking murderous sets of songs ever recorded. Ever.
And I suppose I'll leave it at that.
Severed forever, I'm never getting up again. I've breathed in life – don't want this to ever end. Stolen glance and I can't to save the end of me. Temptation fills the house – sin of iniquities. Cast shadows walk into my light. All my soul consumed by pride. I've feared the heavens for far too long. Await this moment with open arms. Denied ascent, forbidden salvation. This blind contempt can't go unanswered. On my knees, I can't breathe in this infernal damnation. Seasons in the size of days I wait, confined by salvation's malevolence to decide my fate. All alone, I call you near. You've shown compassion… and how sincere. Look at this place that I'm in, blanketed by your prejudice, your fears, your ignorance. Still, in the corner I see them stalking me. They taste the cowardice in the air. Enhancing their hunger, they move in closer. Terror blinds, salvation's gratitude confines. I can almost feel the demon. Ingested soul. I've sworn eternal vengeance to the deceit that let me fucking go. Revere the hatred in his eyes, before my time never arrives. Avenge my soul, unjustly sized. I've looked and I've tried, can't see the reason between the lies. Baptism's curse involves entirely. Casting upon an immense decision. Savior's scorn, crown of thorns. Salvation.
If for some utterly insane reason you don't already own (and worship at the altar of) this album, you can of course still grab it rather easily. And if you're down with buying mp3's, the entire album, bonus tracks and all (22 songs total), is only $7 from Amazon.com, which is a pretty fuckin' sweet deal. But ask yourself… why did you wait 13 years!?