Nuclear Blast, 2009
The long-running death metal project of Swedish guitarist and producer Peter Tägtgren is back with their 11th album. Some characterize the recent Hypocrisy output as melodic death metal, but this is much heavier. Some riffs are slowed down a bit and the production is clear, but the sound is molten and the vocals are heavy growls. There’re no juvenile breakdowns and silly, off-key clean vocals like other melodic Swedish death metal bands (see recent Soilwork). Opener “Valley Of The Damned” gets right down to business with furious guitar riffs and tight, blistering drum work. The tempo is slowed down for “Hang Him High” and “Solar Empire” before the frenetic pace of “Weed Out The Weak”. Two more slow songs, “No Tomorrow” and “Global Domination”, are presented, then “Taste The Extreme Divinity” takes over with bludgeoning blast beats befitting the song’s title. This pattern of a couple slower songs followed by a fast track closes out the album, with two of this bunch, “Alive” and “Sky Is Falling Down” among the best of the album. A heavy, down-tuned bonus track, “The Sinner”, comes with the electronic and digipak versions of the album. With A Taste Of Extreme Divinity, Hypocrisy succeeds in delivering a monstrously heavy yet varied Swedish death metal album. For those that think the likes of Soilwork and In Flames have strayed too far from their death and thrash metal roots, A Taste Of Extreme Divinity will seem like a revelation. Hypocrisy’s sound has evolved enough to please both new and old fans of the band. A point can be made that no new ground is broken here, but I’m satisfied with enjoying this album while reminiscing about what made Swedish death metal so exciting in the first place.
Hypocrisy will be appearing at Station 4 in St. Paul on Sunday, May 23. Support will come from Scar Symmetry, Hate, Blackguard, and Swashbuckle.