Label: Nuclear Blast
Release Date: March 26, 2013
Hypocrisy are legends among the death metal scene and they are coming back with another installment to their legendary discography. Formed in Sweden in 1990, Hypocrisy have persevered through the tests of time as well as changes within themselves over the years. Around the years of their creation, they were known to execute death metal to the precise textbook definition. They weren’t very innovative at that time, however, until a few albums had passed by and they began to incorporate more of their own ideas into the mix of things. They went from being the traditional death metal band, to something more along the lines of melodic death metal. This evolved even further with more recent albums as they begun to experiment with different genre influences and implementing atmospheric elements into their music. The spark of change was the result of their original vocalist, Masse Broberg, disliking the ideas that the other band members had and he decided to leave the group. These ideas circulated around the lyrical content, which was driving away from the death metal stereotypical lyrical content to something more along the lines of sci-fi and extraterrestrial.
However, after this bit of lyrical exploration, Hypocrisy began to go back to their roots of the death metal themes and they began to fuse these with their progressive ideas. This mixture is especially heard on their latest release, End of Disclosure, which may possibly be a key contender for album of the year.
End of Disclosure starts off with the title track, which was released earlier in the year, that gives you somewhat of an idea of what the album will be about. However, I don’t find it to be a track that you could sum up even half of the sound of this record. One key characteristic you’ll find that this track has in common with every other one is melody. You’ll be finding tons and tons of this melody all over the place. This is just one well placed element that makes End of Disclosure amazing.
“Tales of Thy Spineless” gives you a better picture of what to expect and ranks as one of my favorite tracks of this album. The black metal backbone roars out of the gates in the beginning and stays there throughout, even traces of it in the chorus. Peter Tägtgren absolutely kills it with his fierce vocals, and this also remains quite constant throughout. He also changes it up quite a bit more than expected on other tracks. Unexpectedly, this track seems to just stop abruptly, but then you’ll find yourself faced with an explosion of some thrashy death metal instrumentals that transform back into the chorus to finish you off. This little twist gives you a taste of what else is to come.
“The Eye”, the next installment, changes the sound up almost completely with heavy metal induced guitar riffage. Connect this with the heavy crunchy bridge into their trademark melodic chorus and you have yourself another amazing track. The galloping-like drum work in the chorus, by Reidar “Horgh” Horghagen, greatly enhances that heavy metal feel. To break up any sort of monotony, you’re introduced to a sound sample of sorts that is soon followed with a symphonic sort of bridge back into the chorus. The twists and turns just keep going.
My next favorite track, “44 Double Zero”, shows a different vocal style from Peter that gives you another dose of variety. This track is also notable for it’s catchy chorus and the reminiscent sound of that Gothenburg death metal influence.
“Hell Is Where I Stay” slows the rhythm down a bit, but provides you with some of the heaviest riffs. This feeds into a soft melodic section that then explodes even more so than before. This sudden explosion is the fusion of guitar, flurry of drums, and the ever apparent enhancing of Mikael Hedlund who can be heard throughout End of Disclosure but makes himself well aware of this offering.
I know that I left quite a few tracks out of this, but I can definitely tell you that each one is just as good as the next. The tracks mentioned above just stood out to me more so than the others so don’t rule them out. End of Disclosure is one of the most solid melodic death metal albums I’ve heard in the more recent years and this definitely shows that Hypocrisy isn’t letting up any time soon.
I don’t really have a complaint about this album, as each of the tracks has just the right amount of length to them to keep them from getting boring and they all have their own unique identity to them. The progressive elements Hypocrisy employs just shows their strength in songwriting as well as composition. Add in great musicianship and the right amount of differing influences and you have yourself a near perfect melodic death metal album. You will definitely see this on my end of the year lists. I don’t see many other albums coming close to this one. Check it out when you get the chance, you won’t be disappointed.