Reviewed: January 1, 2022
Released: November 26, 2021, Nuclear Blast
Reviewer: The Elitist Metalhead
If you are not familiar with Peter Tägtgren then you must have been living under a rock. He has been part of the metal scene since the late 80s and, even though he is a Swede, he lived briefly in the states and was even in a very early version of Malevolent Creation. He may be best known for his skills in producing with his Abyss Studios and his signature “sound” that he has put on so many metal albums from Children of Bodom to Immortal. Or he could be best known for his work in Hypocrisy, the death metal band he started as a one man project back in 1991 that is still going today. Their sound has developed over the years to a more melodic death metal sound but without alienating his fan base and that is because Hypocrisy has never compromised on the quality of material that they release. Their thirteenth full length, WORSHIP, is more of the same from one of the most consistent bands in metal….and that is not such a bad thing.
This is the longest we ever had to wait for a Hypocrisy album….eight years. So the first question is, was it worth the wait. Well from the opening seconds of the title track and album opener you are treated to some very nice acoustic guitars before the opening chords and some dual lead melodies before getting slammed with some killer blasts and seriously monstrous tremolo riffing. Hypocrisy is not afraid to take the melodic death metal label closest to death metal than most. This song is pure Hypocrisy….maybe they were just practicing for the last eight years. Whatever they were doing, this sounds fresh like there was no gap between albums. The first single “Chemical Whore” follows it up and this is the more melodic side melodic death metal. Not as fast or as brutal as the opener it serves as the perfect contrast. Being mid paced with some seriously melodic lead riffing this song is extremely heavy, especially that beast of a chorus. This song rips the pharmaceutical industry a new one as Peter is surely making a statement here.
The production is pure Abyss Studios and has that signature Peter Tägtgren sound. I actually think this album is one of the best sounding Abyss albums I’ve heard. The fast songs do not sound muddy nor does any instrument overpower the other. The slower songs have an epic feel to them. “We’re The Walking Dead” is one of the best examples of that epic sound. Slower and melodic but also extremely heavy, this song is an absolute beast. Another slower and more melodic song is “Children of the Gray.” This is another song that just feels so epic. The dual leads that add the melody are signature Hypocrisy. There are also some non metal elements subtly thrown in like the middle section of “Dead World.” It’s no secret that Peter has been involved with a project with Til Lindemann of Rammstein and that little section there is has that Rammstein electronic and beat but it still works. Not the greatest song on the album but surely not one to skip either.
Hypocrisy has never went this long without a release but it was well worth the wait. This is everything you want in a melodic death metal album. Riffs, solos, and those signature dual leads adding that right amount of melody. Hopefully Mr. Tägtgren doesn’t make us wait another eight years for the follow up. Essential!