Sledgehammer

Your Arsonist (Martyr)

Cabaret Sampler Kennedy's at Playhouse Square, 1519 Euclid Avenue Through April 23; 216-241-6000
Metalcore progenitor Integrity has been part of Cleveland for longer than Jacobs Field, and the band has seen about as many lineup changes as the Indians. Through 17 years and roughly 70 members, the on-again-off-again institution has morphed from hard-riffing, Prong-on-speed hardcore to black new-age electronica and back again. Through it all, the band's sole constant has been Dwid Hellion, the frontman with a gas-burning voice that could melt the Detroit-Superior Bridge.

In 2003, Dwid expatriated to Belgium, where he hooked up with four European hardcore all-stars (members of Congress, Death Before Disco, Empathy, and Liar) and dubbed the new group Sledgehammer.

As relentless as Integrity ever was and nearly as heavy, Your Arsonist is a concept EP, a mosh-pit Casablanca, four cuts of murderously focused circle-pit hardcore. Already defunct, this one-off project is everything that increasingly generic modern metalcore isn't -- and badly needs to be.

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