Friday, 19 July 2013

Integrity - Suicide Black Snake 12"

God why haven't I posted about this sooner?  I'm sure all of you know this already, but 2013 has brought us yet another Integrity album; Suicide Black Snake. You'd think after a solid 25 years Integrity (well I suppose just Dwid really) would be beginning to sound a bit tired, but this album proves the band is still as fresh as ever.
SBS consists of 10 tracks, and while some of these were present on 2011's Detonate VVorld's Plague, it may as well be an entirely new album. Brilliant tracks such "I Know Where Everyone Lives" and "+Orrchida" have been re-recorded, reinvented and sound considerably more abrasive than their earlier incarnations. Then there are brand new tracks such as the title track, "There Is A Sign" and the true gem of the album, "There Aint No Living In Life". I mentioned this track when it was available to listen on the internet a while ago but the second that harmonica starts I still get shivers down my spine.
At first I thought the artwork was a little obscure, and apart from the bats I couldn't tell exactly what was going on. That was until I actually received the LP and was able to open the glorious gatefold to reveal the whole picture including the brain. 
Those bats might look familiar to you, and if you are thinking they are from the Vermapyre split with Parasite you would be right, for the most part anyway. At an initial glance you might just be able to make out something is missing from the Bat's heads. Integrity's classic invisible ink comes into play again here, where with the magic of light you can reveal exactly what is missing. Integrity's logo also revels itself at the top.

  This record has been released as so many different versions already that it is hard to keep track. Last I counted there were 8 different versions and a test press, with some being unique colours for sale at A389, Magic Bullet records, Cobraside distribution and on tour with Integ. These include different solid colours, clear, clear and colour mixes, splatters, you name it. The version I picked up was exclusive to A389, and is limited to 100 copies that sold out ridiculously fast. It is called fireball and is really quite visually impressive.
Now that I think of it I'm pretty sure I saw a couple of extra versions on Facebook the other day, so maybe the total count is closer to 10 or 12 versions.....
 The centre labels are also quite impressive. At a glance I find it difficult to tell the faces form an inward spiral getting progressively less demonic towards the centre. But when it plays it forms an almost mezmerizing spinning spiral that is hard not to stare at.
  "I Know Where Everyone Lives" is not the only connection to the split with Gehenna. On the inside of the gatefold cover is the same artwork. Once again, I'll leave you to see what it is depicting.
I'm really not sure what the other side is depicting, but again invisible ink is used to display the track listings.
 And to top things off there is also a massive poster of the artwork included inside the cover. It is seriously huge.
Overall it is a fantastic addition to the Integrity record family. It is very fitting for being my 200th post.....

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