A Taste Of Extreme Divinity
posted on 11/2009 By:
Hypocrisy’s long career has been full of ups and downs. From the brutal debut, Penetralia, the classic Osculum Obscenum, the polarizing style shift of The Fourth Dimension, the alien/UFO obsession of Abducted and Hypocrisy, the band's so called farewell and break up (The Final Chapter) and subsequent return of Into the Abyss and The Arrival. Then the widely (and deservedly) lambasted Catch 22 (and last year's desperate do-over) and eventual return to form of Virus.
Still, after 17 years Peter Tägtgren keeps coming back. Amid side projects (Pain, Bloodbath, Lock Up) and being a mega producer, he always seems to keep Hypocrisy relevant and in the forefront of extreme metal and with A Taste of Extreme Divinity he has culled from his entire post Osculum Obscenum catalog and delivered an album that is essentially a microcosm of what Hypocrisy has been over the last 15 years. No this isn’t a return to the gore and brutality of the band's first two albums, but a svelte yet savage and well crafted album of melodic death metal that’s better than anything the band has done since The Fourth Dimension, including Virus and whichever 1996-2004 album you happen to think is the band's best effort.
First off, as you’d expect, Tagtgren has saved his best production for his own baby as the production on A Taste of Extreme Divinity, especially the guitar tone, is absolutely massive (and not to brag, especially so on my new sound canceling over the ear Shure headphones). Second, Tägtgren seems to have mostly forsaken his sci-fi/ UFO obsession in favor of more traditional death metal themes like war, murder and such, and truthfully this is as sinister Hypocrisy has ever sounded in their ‘modern’ era. The title track for example is arguably the heaviest and most brutal track the band has delivered in a loooong time. Then tracks like “Valley of the Damned,” “Weed out the Weak,” “Hang Him High,” “Tamed (Filled with Fear),” “Alive” blaze and lurch with a menace missing during the sci fi years. Still, the sound of modern Hypocrisy is instantly recognizable with the light synths, steady and melodic but razor sharp guitars and Tägtgren’s vocals displayed on the like “Solar Empire,” “No Tomorrow,” ‘Global Domination” and closer “Sky’s Falling Down” slide right into line with the band’s work of the late 90's/ early 00's.
Polished, professional, intelligent yet deftly death metal, Tägtgren and Hypocrisy continue to evolve and elevate their sound after almost 20 years, and even with a few missteps, prove the band is certainly royalty within the death metal hierarchy.
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