In Contrast of Tomorrow
Many ‘heads in the hardcore community and abroad have long regarded Integrity’s Those Who Fear Tomorrow debut (1991) as the Reign In Blood of hardcore, a record that simultaneously turned the idiom on its head, revitalized it, and ushered in a new era of decibel destruction with much of the genre moving more toward metal after Integrity made the initial affront. Okay, so the Slayer connection may be a bit overreaching for some, but look at it this way: Around the same time, the hardcore scene was still trying to get over Agnostic Front putting out One Voice, Quicksand had quietly just released their debut EP, and all other related parties were fighting against going emo/post or getting a real job • and, after all, much like Slayer, Integrity have gotten increasingly darker, more violent and frightening and altogether more idiosyncratic with each passing record. Going on nigh four times being reissued but still out-of-print by itself, Those Who Fear Tomorrow has ably stood the test of time, and the recent In Contrast of Tomorrow collection is here to remind us of the fact a decade later, tacking onto this edition the In Contrast of Sin seven-inch (their first, 1989), the seriously skewed remixes of the single found at the end of the CD version of Humanity Is the Devil, and a couple unlisted live tracks (“Diehard” and “Hollow”), as well as frontman Dwid’s “Eulogy For Integrity” prose. (As of their latest, Closure, the Integrity moniker is being retired in favor of Angela Delamorte, so there’s the other timely factor.) Can’t figure out why the In Contrast of Sin tracks are jumbled amongst those of Those Who Fear Tomorrow, but the music, as always, speaks much louder: ’88 hardcore that’s heavier, faster, far closer to disciplined thrash, rife with double-bass drumming (a relatively bold move then), and more than a bit peppered with Negative Approach’s dangerousness. Still not convinced? Do the math: Without this record, we wouldn’t have Unbroken’s Life.Love.Regret., and without that record, we wouldn’t have the current metalcore scene, fuckin’ period. Farewell, you dark angel.