Sunday 16 June 2013

Hypocrisy - End of Disclosure (Album Review)


Album Type : Full Length
Date Released : 22/3/2013
Label : Nuclear Blast


End of Disclosure, album track listing:

- End Of Disclosure 4:47
- Tales Of Thy Spineless 4:36
- The Eye 5:41
- United We Fall 4:51
- 44 Double Zero 4:28
- Hell Is Where I Stay 4:34
- Soldier Of Fortune 4:52
- When Death Calls 3:54
- The Return 6:07


The inception of HYPOCRISY dates back to 1992, when the combo signed its first contract with Nuclear Blast Records and released its monumental debut “Penetralia”. The follow-up “Osculum Obscenum” (1993) marked another milestone in the history of crushing extreme death metal, before “The Fourth Dimension” (1994) and “Abducted“ (1996) broadened the band’s horizon with increasingly experimental influences, which brought them the reputation as one of Europe’s most innovative and important names in death metal. Eventually, 2002’s release of “Catch 22“ defined a totally different dimension of sound, vaulting the band into a new era of contemporary death metal.

It doesn’t take more than the first seconds of the opener and title track `End Of Disclosure´ to locate the new record’s position in HYPOCRISY’s multifaceted discography. Being on a par with 1990’s brute yet multifarious masterpieces, “End Of Disclosure“ – produced by mastermind Peter Tägtgren in his Abyss Studio, Sweden – leaves no space for breathers. Lethal punches are hailing down on your eardrums from the first riff to the final cymbal clash, which are being intensified in their vast vigorous effect by melodies of pure majesty. Double bass attacks like uppercuts, guitars like a demolition squad and vocals that echo from your guts like thunder in the night – claiming that HYPOCRISY have outdone themselves on their new opus has to be considered a bold understatement. “End Of Disclosure” embodies death metal in perfection

 Line up:

Peter Tägtgren (vocals & guitars)
Mikael Hedlund (bass)
Horgh (drums)


Hypocrisy- End of Disclosure

Hypocrisy are veritable veterans of the death metal scene. They are also Swedish. Both those statements would ordinarily tell you everything you needed to know; genre and nationality conjuring up images of what to expect before you have even heard the album. However... this album is not what you expect. It certainly wasn't what I expected. It is somehow forward thinking; unique in its approach.

Indeed, the title track is up first and “End of Disclosure” rolls along at a mid paced tilt with a surprisingly airy production and vocals that are both audible and well enunciated. Unpredictable, to say the least. The sound is almost... symphonic; such is the expansive nature of the sound here.

Tales of Thy Spineless” blasts out of the speakers next with some excellent riffing and pace changes. Again, it is most certainly death metal, but with more elements than compatriots Dismember or At The Gates. Synths are employed to good effect and the guitars create a great wall of sound effect.

The Eye” continues the panoramic listening experience. Epic intro segues into a thudding riff with good pacing and vocals switching from screeched to guttural. Again, sterling vocal work here and  yes you can hear what is being said. Good samples too. Reidar Horghagen's drums have a state of the art sound to them and a state of the art feel to the playing- kudos to him.

Vicious blasts follow another grand intro  to “United We Fall” and then the band shifts into almost Entombed territory- the band playing very assuredly across the time changes and flowing riffs. The lyrics of the album appear to concern Illuminati/New World Order themes (not just in this track) and of course this makes for excellent thematic grist for the band's mill.

Alien abduction gives the back story to “44 Double Zero” and the riffs are pulverising with a suitably horrific narrative (“Flashbacks of terror!” etc). The riffs border on thrash in their chugging forcefulness. Headbanging happiness indeed! More melodic guitar work is on offer too, as samples make another welcome appearance.

Hell Is Where I stay” opens dramatically and keeps the pace down allowing the instruments to breathe before crashing in with a very heavy riff for the verse. Superb mixing and production is a trademark of the album and, played loud, this track demonstrates the effort put into the album to great effect. Mikael Hedlund's bass, with its unusual tone, is well audible- underpinning the track very effectively. Almost Morbid Angel like pacing is how I would describe things here- but that ignores the originality on offer.

The tempo is kept controlled to start “Soldier Of Fortune” as the track takes on an epic feel thanks largely to the superb guitar work of Peter Tagtgren (not to mention his vocals!).

“When Death Calls” is a more ferocious proposition (it is not a Tony Martin era Black Sabbath Cover, I assure you! Although to be fair “Headless Cross” is pretty good). Melodies offset staccato guitar and drum rhythms well and the band shift through the gears effortlessly. Even the blast sections are rhythmical and melodic- no mean feat, particularly as the band still sounds menacing and not like the latest American death core (whatever that abomination is) band of the moment.

Clean guitars open “The Return”- the longest track on the record. The feel is grandiose, the mood sombre and the six minutes plus fly by with good use of dynamics. The vocals again take a front seat here and the journey of the listener is complete. The record hangs together VERY well- it's not just unified because of a similarity between tracks like many death metal albums- it appears thought out and accounts for a push and pull feel found throughout each song. Hypocrisy may have been around for over twenty years, but they sound thoroughly modern. If I was in a death metal band in 2013 I would be ecstatic if the band had the breadth and depth on offer here. Recommended.

Words by : Richard Maw

As ever, show your support to the band by checking them out at the various links and buying their merch. This record is available everywhere now. Thanks as always to Lottie Hunt / Hollie Arup @ Nuclear Blast for the hook up.