At this moment in time I can think of no better combo for a split than Rot in Hell and Integrity, compliments of Thirty Days of Night Records. I mean, this must be right up there with the Integrity/Mayday split in terms of absolutely perfect, wholly appropriate pairings. Rot in Hell kicks things off with the crunchy rhythms, droning lead melodies, scathing vocals, and scorching solos of "Erebus"; before a stark change of pace via "Life Becomes a Desert Around You"—which utilizes faint singing underneath a repetitious lull of acoustic guitars, violin, and sparse percussion. Surprisingly epic. They never fail to impress, and these are two of their finest tracks to date, without a doubt. Integrity then follows with "Waiting for the Sun to Burn Out My Eyes", which transitions seamlessly into "Black Heksen Rise". Both compositions see the band's trademark sound permeated by somewhat more of an obvious Japanese hardcore influence (more so in the former) through raw, driving power chords; explosive solos and crazy tapping runs; pounding midpaced breaks with just the right amount of eerie melody; etc. These concise and explosive EP's have found Integrity cranking out some of their fiercest and most powerful material as of late, and I'm all for it.
The records are housed in a black and white gatefold 7" sleeve with an 11-page booklet secured to the inside of the right panel. The last two pages contain lyrics and such for the Rot in Hell and Integrity tunes, while the remaining nine consist of a cryptic, essentially text-free "comic book" of Dwid's trademark illustrations and obscured, textured graphics. The second 7" is billed as "a caustic narrative of the book read aloud by Dwid Hellion", but it's really so much more than that. Its three tracks/11-and-a-half minutes strike me as a combination of Roses Never Fade and early Psywarfare with some additional twists. First up is an alternate recording of "Waiting for the Sun to Burn Out My Eyes", which adds whispered vocals and faint wisps of distortion to the acoustic version that appeared on the "Thee Destroy+ORR" CD. "Process of Prayer" then follows with lightly distorted spoken passages mixed right in against ominous, faintly melodic low-end drones. The flip side contains the 7+ minute "Where Does the Fire Come From", consisting of half-whispered/half-spoken vocals amidst lurching dark ambient swells and crunches of distortion, not to mention barely audible acoustic guitar and assorted other abstract textures. Excellent.
Before I was finished with my first complete listen this set had already worked its way into being one of my favorite splits of all time. It's just that good. Here's a little proof thanks to YouTube (check out snippets from the second 7" through Amazon.com or iTunes):
Rot in Hell "Erebus"
Integrity "Black Heksen Rise"
After a lengthy pre-order phase, just a few copies remain (directly from the bands). I'll be shocked if they don't sell out soon, so you'd be foolish to sleep on this. For everyone else, it's also available digitally...
- Holy Terror Records (2x7")
- Rot in Hell (2×7")
- Amazon.com (mp3)
- iTunes (mp3)
This is great release! Been fan of both bands for some times although both have some rises and few “falls”. The last full length was from RiH was maybe a little disappointment for me, but when band releases such great albums you always expect that each next will be even better.
Saying that this split could compare to Mayday/Integrity split is the biggest compliment split could receive!
And cover kick ass again!
2.4.2012 | By Carlos
I was lucky enough to get this last from TDON. I’ve been a member of there 2011 singles club, so got all of their 7” single releases of 2011. I’ve also joined their 2012 vinyl club, that includes all of the vinyl records they release this year.
I love the look of this split though, it looks brilliant. Just need to sit and listen to it properly now, and take it in!
2.4.2012 | By James Williams
I have two copies,one on maroon vinyl and one on green-blue vinyl. I bought the maroon from Dwid @ the A389 show on 1-21-12. the blue-green version I preordred from TDON a long time ago when they had the preorder up and I received it the week after the Baltimore show in the mail. I must say this is very mysterious and epic and dark. reminds me of Kingdom Of Heaven off the Mayday split from 1992. 100% awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
2.4.2012 | By Khalil Boulos
Got a black copy from TDON the wait made me more excited for it and it does not let me down, Packaging is incredible and best Integrity songs ever recorded!!!!
2.5.2012 | By vvisdom
a legitimate follow-up to the MAYDAY split. who would’ve that possible 20 years later? incredible…!
2.6.2012 | By andy
Great review. This is probably the best thing Integrity’s released since that Mayday split (yes this is better than Systems Overload by a mile). Hearing Integrity this poweful again was something of a joy really. If they can transfer this kind of power to a full-length, I’m pretty sure it’ll shut up all the Melnickian naysayers but then again Integrity’s not a band known for its consistency…
2.6.2012 | By Something Once Dead
Received the split today. Guess that this will be one of the last buy of “new” music for some time (until/if you start posting reviews again). It will leave even bigger mark…
2.14.2012 | By Carlos
Erebus is one of my favorite RIH songs so far and integ’s side is not to shabby either! Great split 7”.
2.14.2012 | By Jeremy
This is great! Integrity is so good, love it.
2.20.2013 | By Anonymous