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Next review: » Hypocrisy - Virus
Released: 2005, Nuclear Blast
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland
After dabbling in (obsessing over?) the theme of aliens for the last ten years, Hypocrisy’s Peter Tagtgren has finally given long-time fans what they have been asking for—the brutality of OSCULUM OBSCENUM and PENETRALIA mixed with the modern twitches of HYPOCRISY and Tagtgren’s oft-employed ear for producing other bands. VIRUS blends these elements perfectly and along with last year’s partial return to form with THE ARRIVAL, this is enough to finally rid the bad taste left by 2002’s heinous misstep, CATCH 22. Perhaps it was Tagtgren’s moonlighting in Bloodbath but VIRUS is easily the heaviest Hypocrisy album since 1993’s OSCULUM OBSCENUM. Or maybe it was the termination of the lifeless Lars Szoke and addition of ex-Immortal skinsman Horgh that kick-started Hypocrisy after falling into a mid-paced rut? Either of these factors could be the cause but Hypocrisy fans can rejoice and line up to be infected by this VIRUS!
A pointless sixteen-second intro (cleverly titled “Intro”) leads into the crushing “Warpath,” a swirling monolith of old-school Hypocrisy. Tagtgren’s scream at the intro coupled with the battering ram drumming of Horgh leave no doubt as to where Hypocrisy is headed on this album. A haunting keyboard weaves its way behind the insane blastbeats and snarled shriek of Tagtgren but the band briefly pulls an about face settling in to a mid-paced bridge at the three-minute mark. The riff-and-roll groove of “Scrutinized” is bested by a dropped-in solo courtesy of Exodus’ Gary Holt. While the Bay Area thrash of Exodus may seem like an odd fit on a Hypocrisy song, Holt’s diving, whammy-loving solo is the icing on the cake. Shades of signature tune, “Roswell 47,” are present on “Fearless,” mostly in the melody and chorus but this is not the only song on VIRUS that will rankle the purists looking for an outright headbanging frenzy. “Craving For Another Killing” and “Let The Knife Do The Talking” are brutality at its finest, as the band delves into Bloodbath territory here. Moments of slow-building intensity seethe below the surface while Andreas Holma (now a full-time member) and Tagtgren churn out some cataclysmic riffs. The sinister intro of “A Thousand Lies” paves the way for an anti-drug song, a first I believe, for Hypocrisy. The jackhammer pacing and ultra-low growls found on “Blooddrenched” will have fans of the less-melodic material salivating. Tagtgren sounds downright evil here and Horgh’s controlled blasting is jaw-dropping. On the flipside, album closer “Living To Die” hearkens back to tracks like “Deathrow (No Regrets)” in terms of pacing and Tagtgren’s mix of spoken word and double-tracked clean/shrieked vocals will find its share of critics, but as evidenced in his other band, Pain, Tagtgren can deliver a well-sung chorus when called upon.
If the fabulous cover art isn’t enough, the music contained on VIRUS should make fans who gave up on Hypocrisy after ABDUCTED sit up and take notice. Horgh + Tagtgren = skull-crushingly heavy. At the same time, fans of THE ARRIVAL and even CATCH 22 can rest assured that Peter Tagtgren has not lost his ear for melody amid the thunderous sonic assault. For fans (like myself) of both angles, VIRUS is the ultimate Hypocrisy album, plain and simple. This is one VIRUS you DO want to catch!
KILLER KUTS: “Warpath,” “Scrutinized,” “Craving For Another Killing,” “Let The Knife Do The Talking,” “Blooddrenched,” “Living To Die”
5. Craving For Another Killing
6. Let The Knife Do The Talking
7. A Thousand Lies
8. Incised Before I've Ceased
10. Compulsive Psychosis
11. Living To Die
Next review: » Hypocrisy - Virus
Released: 2005, Nuclear Blast/Sound Pollution
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall
The multiinstrumentalist and producer Peter Tägtgren is back together with his band Hypocrisy. Peter devoted most of last year to his other band/project Pain but now it’s time to unleash album number 10 VIRUS. The line up has been completed with Horgh (ex-Immortal) on drums and Andreas on guitar.
The bio says that the band has gone back to their original musical roots but if you listen to the music you can hear quite a few musical similarities with Peter’s other band/project Pain in which he uses keyboards frequently, so the music on VIRUS is more melodic compared to previous albums with Hypocrisy. But just as before Peter still has a great musical vision that he manages to put in action and therefore keeps the strong melodies and strong choruses from previous albums.
The new guitarist Andreas feels really strong and together with Horgh he makes a solid appearance on this, their first album. Peter sounds just as strong as always vocalwise and he pulls off the 11 songs just as brilliantly as ever. Peter’s lead vocals lays lower in the mix, the production focuses more on guitar and drums.
The fast death metal anthems are “Warpath”, “Scrutinized”, “Craving For Another Killing”, “Incised Before I’ve Ceased”, “Blooddrenched” and “Compulsive Psychosis”. All of them are brutal and influenced by grind, on some of the songs keyboard is used so we have a bit more melody in a few songs. Peter sings really brutally and evil with death metal voice which suits both him and the music perfectly.
In “Fearless”, “Let The Knife Do The Talking”, “A Thousand Lies” and “Living To Die”. Song number 3 borders into being an up-tempo ballad and song number 4 where Peter sings with regular voice, closes the album, this song sounds almost like it’s a left over from any Pain album. Peter is a genius song and music writer as well as producer but he should be really careful so he doesn’t mix up the Hypocrisy and Pain material.
This album appeals to both fans of Hypocrisy as well as Pain and sure it’s a brilliant album but I’d like Peter to make more separate material for each group. Hypocrisy takes a huge leap closer to the stars from being an underground act with VIRUS and they can count on achieving great success anywhere this album will be released.
Craving For Another Killing
Let The Knife Do The Talking
A Thousand Lies
Incised Before I’ve Ceased
Living To Die
Peter Tägtgren – lead vocals, guitar
Mikael Hedlund – bass
Andreas Holma – guitar
Horgh – drums
Released: 2005, Nuclear Blast Records
By this point, Hypocrisy is a death metal institution that every metalhead is aware of. Year after year, Renaissance man Peter Tagtgren keeps coming back with album after album. Personally, I lost contact with the band right after their supposed “swan song” THE FINAL CHAPTER (1997). Consequently, I have not heard the supposed “let down” albums INTO THE ABYSS, CATCH-22, or THE ARRIVAL. So I’m coming into VIRUS relatively fresh, knowing that longtime drummer Lars Szoke is gone, replaced by the venerable Horgh (Immortal!!!). Keeping that in mind, let’s find out what Hypocrisy circa 2005 has in store.
After a throwaway intro, “Warpath” blazes out of the gate with crushing riffs and thunderous drumming, and a still-got-it scream from Tagtgren. After the general “slowness” that seeped into late-‘90s Hypocrisy, the full-on speed assault of “Warpath” is most welcome. I’ve read a couple of recent interviews with Tagtgren and it appears that Horgh is directly responsible for the re-found aggression – which doesn’t stop with the first song either! “Craving for another Killing” is another mean crusher on a song, and the vicious “Blooddrenched” contains some serious black metal overtones in its churning riffs.
For those that enjoy the more melodic side of Hypocrisy, allow me to direct your attention to “A Thousand Lies”, and “Living to Die” (the only song where Tagtgren sings with his melodic voice for any lengthy period of time). Still, as good as these songs are, they pale in comparison to the heavy, brutal songs.
Simply put, VIRUS is a massive effort from these old death dogs, and would definitely have been in my Top 20 for 2005 if I had heard it in time. Trust me; even if you didn’t enjoy their most recent efforts, the revamped Hypocrisy is not to be missed this time out!
5) Craving For Another Killing
6) Let The Knife Do The Talking
7) A Thousand Lies
8) Incised Before I’ve Ceased
10) Compulsive Psychosis
11) Living To Die
Peter Tagtgren: Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards
Michael Hedlund: Bass
Andreas Holm: Guitars