Roses Never Fade 

Fade to Black (Rock Vegas Records)

Roses Never Fade is the gloomy new ambient project from Integrity visionary Dwid. In his long and varied career, he's never sounded like this: Instead of screaming to the heavens in his trademark raspy bellow, he whispers, moans, and laments. Imagine a mixtape of unplugged cuts from Alice in Chains' Jar of Flies and scores from Ennio Morricone spaghetti westerns.

The guitar-heavy collaboration features Nick Brewer and Matt Shack of Painesville's Pale Creation, Thorsten Wilheim and Adami of German metalcore band Vegas, and vocals and keyboards from Stephanie VH of the Netherlands. With their help, Dwid makes more headway into his favorite dark places. This effort finds him staring into the abyss, waiting for answers, and cursing the silence. The fragile "Runaway" plays like an acoustic reworking of the Integrity classic "Eighteen," which liberally (and unforgettably) cribbed from Joy Division's haunting "New Dawn Fades." Songs like these are dark, and they really never do fade.

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