Integrity and Victory
Slavia come from Norway, they consist of one member Jonas aus Slavia (who died in 17 November 2011) and session members and they were formed in 1997. “Integrity and Victory” is the band’s swan song as after the death of the only member they announced the band parted ways. Up to now they have released eight demos (1998, 1999, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2002, 2003, 2004), two EPs (2003, 2006), one live album (2007) and two full length albums (2007, 2011). So the album contains two tracks, Integrity and Victory, of a total duration of 33 minutes. In fact inside the two tracks there are more connected with intros and passages, usually ambient, without though any real sound connection between them. Apart from the passages and the introductions, the band plays a very harsh and raw Black Metal in the style Scandinavian sound.
The first thing that someone will notice from the beginning is the very bad production and mix. The tracks don’t have any depth, the bass has totally disappeared in the mix, the guitars are quite loud and the drums sound so shallow like a drum machine. Generally the whole work seems to come from a recorded rehearsal without editing at all. In another case that could be positive, but here the sound is very bad. The riffs are quite interesting, very fast and straightforward. However the fact that all riffs are in one track doesn’t let the listener to absorb them as also the hasty alternation between the tracks to passage and vice versa gives the impression of good but incomplete ideas. The guitars are too distorted but generally well played. The drums although their sound is very bad, they play very interesting lines. The bass isn’t audible at all. The vocals are harsh, monotonous, typical Black Metal vocals without match interest. The few lyrics that exist in the album are dark, personal and they deal with worship to Satan and the strength that He gives for the fight to His name.
In general, “Integrity and Victory” has good ideas and it could have been a very good album. However the way it is materialized, concerning the tracks’ choice, the evolvement of the ideas, the job concerning the production and mix, we have a leniently moderate album. The band has much potential both technically both concerning the ideas so this album is much inferior of the expected. I wouldn’t recommend it.