Integrity/Power Trip - Split EP (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Integrity / Power Trip

Split EP (2016)

Magic Bullet Records

On paper, this might seem like a strange combination. Long running hardcore weirdos Integrity and up-and-coming retro thrashers Power Trip. Fortunately, their similarities far outweigh their differences, and this actually works pretty well. Integrity has long shown a willingness to work with different kinds of bands. According to Wikipedia, this is their 14th split release.

Integrity has gone through a lot of musical changes since first forming in Cleveland nearly 30 years ago. Eccentric singer Dwid Hellion has been the sole constant member throughout the band’s many ambitious incarnations. Their side of the record starts off with two relatively straightforward metallic hardcore songs. “VVe are the End” and “Beneath Black Flames we Ride” both feature surprisingly melodic lead guitar, driving rhythms and Hellion’s gruff, shouted vocals. The songs kind of run together and are complementary to one another. Both initially appeared on 2010’s VVe are the End  7 inch, also on Magic Bullet, but are remixed and remastered for this release. The other Integrity song is “Her Eyes is Filled With Stars”. It is by far the strangest track on the EP and is exclusive to it. It is a cover of a song sung by Crispin Glover in the obscure 1989 film Twister (which is not to be confused with the 1996 blockbuster of the same name). It has no drums, only atmospheric keyboard, reverb heavy guitar noodling, and Hellion’s croaked/whispered vocals. It shows what a wide range of sounds Integrity is capable of.

In contrast, the two Power Trip songs are pretty traditional thrash. “Divine Intervention” and “Suffer No Fool” were originally on the band’s 2011 self titled 7 inch on Lockin’ Out Records. It’s raw sounding, the way thrash was in the mid 80’s before bands started getting signed to major labels. It might remind you a bit of the pre Rick Rubin Slayer albums. The Texas quintet seems to be getting some real traction with young metalheads, but would probably also appeal to the old men who were fans of thrash’s heyday. Dwid Hellion did the layout and artwork for this EP, and it’s very nicely packaged. Completists and fans of either of these bands are going to want a copy of this. Discerning headbangers and hardcore guys would also be well served to seek this out