Monday, 6 December 2021

ALBUM REVIEW: Hypocrisy, "Worship"

 By: Richard Maw
Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 26/11/2021
Label: Nuclear Blast

“Worship” CD//DD//LP track listing:
2.Chemical Whore
3.Greedy Bastards
4.Dead World
5.We’re The Walking Dead
6.Brotherhood Of The Serpent
7.Children Of The Gray
8.Another Day
9.They Will Arrive
10.Bug In The Net
11.Gods Of The Underground
The Review:
Hypocrisy return, quite a few years after the very good “End of Disclosure” album. This deathly group of Swedes are still ploughing their extra-terrestrial-themed furrow and have managed to carve out and keep their own identity over thirty years of hard work. The early days of “Penetralia” may be several decades ago, but it is clear that the band are still pushing forward and are as enthusiastic about death metal as they have ever been.
Other bands may have come and gone, but it really does seem to be the death metal bands that hit on a theme that have managed to survive. Countrymen Entombed and Dismember may be the first names in Swedeath for most fans, but Hypocrisy have a sound, longevity and theme all their own. The same could also be said of the American bands Deicide and Cannibal Corpse too? There are two bands who picked a topic and stayed with it.

Therefore, with Hypocrisy, you know what you are getting in terms of theme and delivery. It's a ready made recipe for success with fans, essentially. So, has “Worship” deviated from the expected? Thankfully: no.
The artwork tells you what the band are going to give the expectant hordes. As soon as the title track kicks in proper, you know what you are in for. Yes; death metal. Fast, well produced but also not without that important raw factor that makes the best bands stand out. This is a weightier proposition than “End of Disclosure” to my ears but it still maintains the somewhat dreamy edge to some of the music.
Pleasingly, the band have not drifted down an endlessly blasting rabbit hole and have delivered a varied set of songs; “Greedy Bastards” is a mid paced and riffy proposition that is anthemic as well as being hallmarked with death metal tropes in terms of the vocals and riffing. Of course, there are speedier tracks and sections but the band use dynamics better than most in the genre and thus are strangely accessible with their stop/start riffs and song writing nous.
The band deliver deathly doom on “We're The Walking Dead” and play a similar trick with “Brotherhood of the Serpent”- just upping the tempo and guitar work enough to ensure that the mid part of the album doesn't stagnate under slower tempos. I would have liked a few more tracks like “Another Day”- a thrashy rager- but overall the album is heavy; without ever really being 'extreme' in the way that a lot of the US bands are.
Across eleven tracks, the vast majority clock in between four and five minutes and if this suggests that the band have a formula for writing, this is not really accurate. There is a lot of variation here and for every track about alien invasion or government corruption/conspiracy (“They Will Arrive”, “Bug In The Net”) there are differing tempos and styles to compensate for the familiar and homogenous subject matter.
For me, the strongest tracks are perhaps the opening title track and the closing “Gods of The Underground”. The latter is a kind of summation of what the band do well; themes, style and approach all coalesce into a convincing closing statement.
Whether this will convert any new fans to the band, I have no idea. They've been around for so long that most death metal fans must have heard them at some point, but as they have their own niche, I suppose they must pick up new converts. There's every reason for that to happen with this album as it is rock solid and another worthy entry into Hypocrisy's extensive and consistent discography.
“Worship” is available HERE

Band info: Official