Integrity - Thee Destroy+ORR (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Thee Destroy+ORR (2011)

Holy Terror

Integrity is getting rawer and weirder. Although the group suggested their return to form on last year's "comeback" LP, The Blackest Curse, on Thee Destroy+ORR, the band sinks deeper into both their low-end rumblings and doomsday musings.

Composed of six new tracks and seven others which were previously released on EPs and seven-inches, Thee Destroy+ORR comprises all of the material that the group has recorded with guitarist Robert Orr. Because Integrity at this point is basically a vehicle for vocalist Dwid Hellion, centering the release around Orr's presence shows the eccentric thrasher's appreciation for Orr's metallic approach.

As with most Integrity releases, Thee Destroy+ORR roots their sound in late '80s metalcore...that is, metalcore in the traditional sense. These recordings don't alternate between death metal growl and faux-soul singing. Rather, taking elements from both thrash metal and hardcore punk, the group binds the two together in such a way that when a particular crushing riff does its job, or the clomp of the drums drive the crew forward, it's hard to tell if that particular piece is metal-influenced...or punk-influenced...rather, it just is.

Orr's work, despite his very heavy metal approach, somehow gives the group a more refined and more punk edge all at once. At times, Orr's guitar, when removed from the crushing thump of Hellion, would sound like it came off a Blind Guardian or Jag Panzer release, with its energetic but almost mechanically clean picking. But when this purer sound is meshed against Hellion's gruff lion roar, instead of making the album seem polished, it pushes Hellion's voice to the front, giving the group's metaphysical musings that much more menace.

Likewise, Hellion's reflections and pondering of the darkness of the universe have gotten somewhat more dour. Where he used to seem to comment on the possibility of mind control and a Nietzsche philosophy of suffering, now he seems to suggest that the world is a place created as a place of pure torment and exists solely for that purpose.

As Hellion's lyrics get darker, so does the group's sound. Interesting that the bright, clean attack of Orr could make Hellion's lyrics seem that much grittier and bleak.