Swedish death stars Hypocrisy have been off the pace for a number of years. Mainman Tagtgren will be the first to admit failure on the last two attempts to rejuvenate the masses with his heavy-handed death strokes. The band's stride was clearly the late 90s with the stellar "Fourth Dimension", "Abducted", "Final Chapter" and "ST", all innovative and branding in the revolution of science fiction death. Those albums alone single handedly inspired more bands to mix sci-fi with death, a formula that has worked extremely well for the likes of Abysmal Dawn and Aborted. Before Peter's "abduction" lyrics the genre was transfixed on Satan, disembowlement and H.P. Lovecraft. So, 2013 shows us the first glimpses of Hypocrisy in the studio in over four years, this time a promise of "back to basics" Hypocrisy.
So is this late 90s Hypocrisy? Not really but it still continues to etch the framework of the band's legacy and more proof that these Swedes have earned the right to be veterans, legends and pioneers of their song. Tracks like "The Return" are firmly based in the "Fourth Dimension" reign with deep guttural vocals and a plodding sluggish pace that has worked well in balancing speed and epic. The title track could have easily been placed in the 90s nostalgia of "Abducted" and "44 Double Zero" is a melodic riff laden feast that would have made the "ST" (Tagtgren very thrash on vox). "End Of Disclosure" really touches on some of the early days of the band as well with real technical passages on "When Death Calls" (blast beats galore) and the blinding "United We Fall". Peter's vocals are up and down from extremely low end growls to the familiar blackened thrash tones that he has perfected in the latter day.
The album was produced by Peter at Abyss Studios and features artwork by Wes Benscoter (Slayer, Nile). Fans like myself will find a few songs to add to the growing Hypocrisy playlist but nothing really stands out here. Back to basics with an emphasis on basic.
About this Writer: Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has served as senior editor for MaximumMetal.com for nearly 10 years and is the author of the heavy metal book series--Denim & Letters. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia.
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