Short, sweet and to the point
Split albums are surprisingly becoming a bit more common today in the world of metal. Earlier in the year, the metal community was treated to a split album between Iron Reagan and Gatecreeper. Now, Integrity and Krieg present a joint album, appropriately called Split.
It’s easy to see why these bands would join forces. They both have aggressive attributes in their music and they’re both no strangers to writing sludgy thrash metal. A split album can be a great idea for two bands to merge followings and even tour together, and this particular split album works well to achieve those goals.
Integrity receives the bulk of this album as far as the track count is concerned. The first four tracks on the seven-song work are by Integrity, leaving Krieg with two studio tracks and one live recording. Integrity, being the bigger act, begins Split with a bulk of ruthless aggression.
If there’s any confusion as to what Integrity sounds like, “Scorched Earth” certainly sums it up. Throughout this particular track, Integrity channels a sound similar to that of an early Mastodon record (think Remission, or Call of the Mastodon). Integrity is essentially a parallel universe Mastodon that never changed their sound after their first few LPs, even though they’ve been at it much longer than the Atlanta-based sludge gurus.
Moving through the first four tracks on Split yields similar results. The songs are short, the guitars are loud, the vocals are distorted, the drums are fast, and the result is a satisfying snack of a thrash/sludge metal composition. However, “Document One” is possibly the most unique on the whole album. The introduction and lead guitar work separate it from the fast pace gloom and doom of other tracks. Of course, the song eventually descends into absolute madness–but did we expect anything else? The last minute does have some power metal influence as it presents a powerful solo near the end of the track.
Krieg’s end of the album is smaller but groovier. “Circle of Guilt” begins Krieg’s side of Split in a big way: with a groovy riff that reeks of Sepultura influences. The song then takes shape through fast paces, sludgy choruses and a guitar tone that sounds like TV static.
Krieg then hits the listener hard with “This Time I’ll Leave You to Drown,” the last studio track on the album. This song is pure fear, consistently personified. There aren’t many changes throughout the song, but the haunting rhythms and melodies make this an eventful adventure through the dark.
Split should help out both bands in the long haul. The album gives listeners a bite-sized taste of what both bands have to offer and it showcases two heavy hitters in the sludge/thrash metal scene. Though some of it is repetitive and overplayed, the whole work is not long enough to notice those minuscule issues. The length of the work, however, is enough to elicit pure enjoyment.