Hypocrisy – Hell Over Sofia:20 Years Of Chaos And Confusion

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Reviewed: February 2012
Released: 2011, Nuclear Blast
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: JP

Hypocrisy\’s most recent Double Live album\’ HELL OVER SOFIA has really renewed my love affair with band. It has been quite a few years since the excellent album VIRUS and for whatever reason I had not grabbed their last studio slab o\’ Death, A TASTE OF EXTREME DIVINITY. It\’s all too easy to get caught up checking out the latest & greatest so it had been a few years since I had visited the band. HELL OVER SOFIA fixed that!

This excellent Double Live/DVD set is subtitled 20 YEARS OF CHAOS AND CONFUSION…has it really been an entire decade since the very cool, triple box-set, 10 YEARS OF CHAOS AND CONFUSION was released? Hypocrisy\’s 20th Anniversary is unfortunately commemorated in a digi-pak but it is a nice enough presentation and fortunately the band/label included the entire concert on both DVD and CD, unlike the recent Sonata Arctica and Doro Double Live sets, which are just bits and pieces of incomplete concerts. Who wants that?

The show itself was recorded on February 27th, 2009 in Sofia, Bulgaria and it sounds awesome! The sound is crystal clear with boisterous crowd mixed in just nicely. It sounds very live. Horgh is a machine and Peter references that very point on the DVD. The 18-song selection has at least one song from all eleven albums except Catch-22, so it is a very good representation of their career. Peter voice sounds fantastic on both the melodic cleaner vocals and the pure death stuff. He delivers with conviction and passion.

The DVD is a real treasure. Not so much for the energetic, multi-camera shoot of the concert, nor the video for \’Weed Out The Weak\’, but for the full-length documentary about Hypocrisy. Entitled (naturally) 20 Years Of Chaos And Confusion is one of the better Metal documentaries I\’ve seen, and there are so few about bands in the more extreme genres, that this doc is a real pioneer for this style.

The documentary traces the history of the band from the very early days before the band even had an album out. Many of the ex-members get plenty of camera time and most of them seem pretty content to discuss the good old\’ days of their former band without malice. There are lots of interviews, photos and live clips scattered along the chronological timeline that really demonstrates how productive and prolific Hypocrisy have been over the two decades. Some nice graphics integrated with the soundtrack make it more interesting than just talking heads. I found it fascinating and I want to go pull out my old Hypocrisy cassettes!

This great package is recommended to all Death Metal fans, old and new alike, from those curious about this consistently top-notch band, to the legions of die-hards, HELL OVER SOFIA has it all.


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Track Listing:
1. Valley of the Damned
2. Hang Him High
3. Fractured Millennium
4. Adjusting the Sun
5. Eraser
6. Pleasures of Molestation
7. Osculum Obscenum
8. Penetralia
9. . Apocalypse
10. The Fourth Dimension
11. Killing Art

Disc Two

1. A Coming Race
2. Let the Knife Do the Talking
3. Weed Out the Weak
4. Fire in the Sky
5. The Final Chapter
6. Warpath
7. Roswell 47

Peter Tägtgren-Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards
Tomas Elofsson-Guitars
Mikael Hedlund-Bass