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Hypocrisy - Penetralia

1992 Nuclear Blast Records :: Reviewed by rofreason on 2005-07-06

I actually have a better appreciation for this album over time. Contrasting this release with what was around at the time, Penetralia lives up to the bands desire to release one of the most evil discs. The production is really good, but not nearly what it would become on the later releases. Horror inspired, the entire album is pretty similar to a lot of the American death that was around, bolstered by T?gren's writing skills, yet hampered by the one dimensional vocals. I prefer the later releases, but these first two also deserve their place in the history books for raising the standard for death metal.

Hypocrisy - Osculum Obscenum

1993 Nuclear Blast Records :: Reviewed by rofreason on 2005-07-06

About as evil as it gets, Osculum Obscenum just wallows in death metal, all at once a superior effort to Penetralia yet rumbling more primitive in sound. Again, for me, the vocals are the one weak link, yet it pretends to be nothing but what it is, a much better than average death metal release. I can compare the upward leaps of At the Gates to Hypocrisy in their quest for the ultimate metal album. Contains the concert standard Pleasure of Molestation and a rippin' cover of Venom's Black Magic. Seek the Digipac and ye shall find.

Hypocrisy - The Fourth Dimension

1994 Nuclear Blast Records :: Reviewed by rofreason on 2005-07-06

Somewhere in between the satanic stylings of the first two albums, and the brilliant achievements of the last two lies The Fourth Dimension. From the packaging to the riffs which lie within, the entire idea of Hypocrisy has been redone, leaving the ultimate evil for a more ethereal plane. Taking over vocal duties, Peter T?gtgren sounds quite like Masse, not displaying the variation that he would use on subsequent albums. There are some killer riffs here, and the playing is really good, but the dynamics which make the next two albums so incredible aren't quite realised yet. Peter produced the album, but it was not at Abyss studios (which I don't believe was in existence yet?) and this may have something to do with it, but it also may be the fact that this is a transition album in the true sense of the word. Those criticisms aside, The Fourth Dimension is still a great album, a glimpse at the brilliance which is achieved on Abducted.

Hypocrisy - Abducted

1996 Nuclear Blast Records :: Reviewed by rofreason on 2005-07-06

Perfection, that is what Hypocrisy have achieved here. From the eerie intro of Roswell 47 to the final notes of Drained, Abducted captures your attention and forces you to believe. Utilizing a keen sense of dynamics in the track listing, Hypocrisy have created nothing short of a masterpiece. The playing is razor sharp, songs are arranged well, and the vocals have improved enormously, showcasing T?gtgren's talented pipes. There's really not much more that I can say which hasn't been said already, except that with Abducted, Hypocrisy has officially been inducted into the metal hall of fame for certain. Just witness Killing Art, the aforementioned Roswell... or the fury of Carved Up if you doubt. The production is impeccable, a tad sterile for my liking, but fits well into the entire extraterrestrial theme. Buy this, I swear you won't be disappointed.

Hypocrisy - The Final Chapter

1997 Nuclear Blast Records :: Reviewed by rofreason on 2005-07-06

Taking the best elements of Abducted, refining them, and adding all of the studio and musical experience that they could muster, Hypocrisy push the limits of quality (again) on their magnificent 5th opus. Rumored to indeed be their last album, The Final Chapter continues the same lyrical theme created on the last album, expounding on the creative ideas and track listing dynamics. What makes this album so superior? My guess would be the multi-varied vocal delivery, the song craftwork, the dirty yet pristine production, the soaring solos, all put together to form one of the top 5 albums of 1997. Now I'm a huge fan of the "Swedish" sound, and to my ears, Hypocrisy lead the pack when it comes to this particular sub-genre. Just go buy the damn album. It carries my highest recommendation, the perfect addition to any metal collection.

Hypocrisy - Hypocrisy

1999 Nuclear Blast Records :: Reviewed by rofreason on 2005-09-04

These are the hardest reviews to write, because how do you place the new album from one of your favorite bands in the same league as all of the other crap discs that fly by every day? Well, it's a tough job, but someone's got to do it. Want the review in a nutshell? The album fucking rules, stop reading and go buy it. Want me to go a little more in depth? Well, Peter and company ahve officially become an institution with this release, providing the metal populace with three back to back incredible metal albums. Existing in the middle of the Abducted's sterility and the dirty crunch of The Final Chapter, Hypocrisy is possibly the best way to present the band. Written more as a complete band then previous works, this disc showcases the obvious talent (and influences) that go into making a band of this caliber. I'm not sure why, but I've read that the band has described this disc as being the black album for Hypocrisy, and in trying to read between the lines for this one, I'd say that that statement signifies the rebirth of the band (they almost split 2 years ago), their opportunity to shine in the fickle spotlight of the "mainstream", and that this album is also comprised of many moods, ranging from the bleak to the chaotic. Themes that were hinted at before are accentuated here, perhaps due to raised confidence or maturity. Lyrically, well, one gets glimpses of subject matter, clarified a little by hefty track titles. I know, it's everyone's wish that we can read these in their original form, but evidently Tagtgren really doubts his creative abilites in that department, so we can only wait. The vocals are less subhuman this time, staying more in the midrange of Peter's spectrum. Less demonic than the past, but very fitting for this material. When I think about this as a whole, it seems a tad slower and more refined than TFC, yet certain sections contain some of the fastest pieces since the debut (check out Time Warp). In my opinion, this is still Tagtgren's show, but no problem there, as Peter is easily one of the best songwriters in music, period. In any regard, this is easily my favorite heavywieght disc this time around, never leaving my player unless by absolute force. For further listening enjoyment (and to get an idea where some of the "new" Hypocrisy sound comes from) check out the Pain album, another masterpiece.

Hypocrisy - Destroys Wacken Live

1999 Nuclear Blast Records :: Reviewed by rofreason on 2005-07-06

Well, we all know the story now, how Hypocrisy was all set to call it quits, but how one show at the Milwaukee Metalfest last year saved us all. Even though the guy's got one of the hottest studios in the biz now, Tagtgren and crew deliver us not one, but two new Hypocrisy platters this year, the first being this live opus. Spanning all five studio albums, Destroys Wacken delivers excellent sound and more than adequate performaces of what could easily be termed Hypocrisy's Greatest Hits. As to be expected, the sound is awesome, filled out by second "live" guitarist Mattias Kamijo, who allows Tagtgren's solos to ring true without losing that rhythm guitar foundation which is crucial here. Why deem the performances only "more than adequate?" Well, it's all there, almost exactly as on disc, yet it may seem just a tad uninspired to me. I also keep hearing the accusations of "if they didn't practice enough", which springs to mind as I try to rate the drumwork. Szoke can play, but definitely comes across stronger in the studio, evidenced by his propensity to speed things up a tad while dropping off half of the killer fills from the record. So, while it's truly cool to hear the new material live, it's the older stuff that benefits the most from this '99 update. Left to Rot and Pleasure of Molestation coming to mind most, and prove to me again that I like Peter's multi-dimensional vocals much more. Of course, finishing up with a double shot of Killing Art (my fave from Abducted) and The Final Chapter doesn't hurt this much either! As an added bonus, we're given 4 "extra" tracks, which, based on the way Hypocrisy albums vary, could have all been on The Final Chapter. Apparent on each one is the signature guitar sound of the last album, yet 3 of the 4 tracks highlight Peter's clean vocal stylings. Time Warp is pretty speedy and technical, vocal delivery being in a more shout style, while Til the End does indeed pick up right where The Final Chapter left off. Requisite "punky" tune Fuck U is OK, lyrics a bit less than I'm come to expect, I guess. No matter though, as album closer Beginning of the End is a scorcher, wrapping things up with class. I do hear a few ideas repeated on these 4, which does happen sometimes with Hypocrisy material, but I mean, the guy practically writes all the stuff himself. New album "Cloned" should fix all that, as bandmates Szoke and Hedlund have evidently picked up a larger portion of the writing responsibility. We can now only wait