Dom Romeo (Integrity, A389) tells us his top 10 albums of 2017
Influential metalcore vets Integrity returned this year with their killer new album Howling, For The Nightmare Shall Consume, their first for Relapse Records. It's also their first to have core member Dwid Hellion joined by guitarist Domenic Romeo, who founded A389 Recordings (who have worked with Integrity and Dwid numerous times) and has played in Pulling Teeth and other bands over the years. Dom talked to former BV writer Fred Pessaro in an interview for Revolver about his lifelong love of Integrity and how he came to know Dwid:
[Integrity] totally changed my life. At the time, I was in this band called Day of Mourning and it totally shaped what I wanted to do with that band. I was a kid that was into horror movies and metal, not gym shorts and youth crew, so Integrity just spoke to me. I was too weird for the metal scene and too weird for the hardcore scene. Integrity was the voice. Even now, that's Integrity's key demographic.
Anyway, [1996's] Humanity Is the Devil came out and I looked through the liner notes and there was an email address in there. I remember sending an email, which I didn't even know how to use at the time, just knew it was like a "letter without mailing it." I would bike to my friend's house, 30 minute ride each way, just to email him everyday. I was just punishing him, question after question, punishing him with questions about the band. I was from Canada, so I didn't know about the band pre-Systems Overload material because those records weren't as widely distributed. So when I did find out about the earlier stuff and traded videos and tapes with others, I just absolutely punished him. He was a complete dick to me for a little while [Laughs] but I think he realized that I wasn't just trying to punish him, but that I was really excited. We hit it off eventually and he sang on a Day of Mourning record. Then from there, our friendship went on. He would go on to do a lot of stuff for A389, recorded and design-related.
Dwid added, "Dom would write to me and ask me questions and I wasn't sure how to take it. I wasn't so interested in talking to some kid who wanted to discuss my records, but eventually he wore me down."
Some people are already listing Integrity's new album as one of the best of 2017, like Decibel (who also booked Integrity for the 2018 Decibel Metal & Beer Fest). We asked Dom for his favorite albums of 2017, and he sent a list that includes Death of Lovers, a synthpop project of Nothing (who were once on A389), Full of Hell (who were also once on A389), sludge vets Iron Monkey, Cleveland's masked Midnight, and more. See Dom's full list below.
Domenick Romeo's Top 10 Albums of 2017
1. ALESSANDRO ALESSANDRONI Ritmo D'ell Industria No2 (Reissue)
2. ALESSANDRO ALESSANDRONI La Terrificante Notte Del Demonio (Reissue)
3. DEATH OF LOVERS The Acrobat
4. FULL OF HELL Trumpeting Ecstasy
5. MIDNIGHT Sweet Death & Ecstasy
6. EYES OF THE LORD Call It War
7. CREEPOUT Nekropolis
8. IRON MONKEY 9-13
9. G.A.T.E.S. Back From The Grave.
10. GATEWAY TO HELL Clovers