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3.25/5

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3/5

Integrity - Palm Sunday (reissue)

Shostakovich   (109 reviews)

Posted: 09/18/2015 | Comments: 3 | Rate:

A review to coincide with the Integrity show on Sept 19, just one night after I write this.

Palm Sunday is a somewhat legendary document of what was probably Integrity's hardest and strongest lineup at its creative peak in 1992, between the Those Who Fear Tomorrow and Systems Overload albums, and featuring a couple of non-album tracks. This is the same lineup who reunited under much pomp and circumstance last year for the A389 Bash, and recorded their first new song together in almost 20 years. That particular era brought some of the best songs this band has ever written, and the vibrant energy the band conveys is incredibly apparent on Palm Sunday, especially via the accompanying DVD (featuring, among other things, Aaron Melnick in a bucket hat). The sea of headbanging throughout the entire set is enough to give you whiplash and vertigo.

Ok, well, the severe drawbacks of such a legendary performance still must be addressed. As a "big" Integrity fan, but not an Integrity "superfan" or devotee, a few things have always kept me from fully enjoying this record. One is the quality. The audio is straight bootleg level, as it is taken from the VHS. It can be kind of a drag when you purchase this slick, high quality record package, take it home, and open it to find nothing but tinny, distorted music. Any digital preservation or enhancement that has been done over the years, or for this re-release, is still not enough to make this sound like anything but a tape of a tape of a tape. So hardcore audiophiles should probably skip this one.

Second gripe here is Dwid's voice. For such a famous performance, it's surprising how little Dwid actually sounds like Dwid here. Instead of his trademark guttural bellow, his screams are a little shrill, nasal, and lack the forceful, confident gut punch he's famous for. And it lasts through much of the set. Sure there are moments where he is mostly identifiable, but they often far between. It would almost sound like an Integrity cover band if it weren't for Melnick's distinctive guitar tone. Again, as someone who doesn't live and die by Integrity, this bothers me, though I'm sure many more devoted fans simply accept it as a genius record no matter what.

If you've never heard or seen this before, Magic Bullet is doing you a favor by putting it back in print. At the very least it should be in your collection as proof of Integrity when their raw power was at its prime.

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Comments
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1 Posts
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