Release DetailsLABEL Nuclear Blast
RELEASED ON 2/24/2004
posted on 2/2004 By:
Due to the absolute lukewarm reception of Hypocrisy’s last effort, it seems as if Tägtgren and company have decided to go with the publicity ridden “return to form” campaign for The Arrival. In essence, this ultimately means bring back the alien themed shit and stick to what you know best and that of course is the mid-paced grinder tracks littered with speed bursts but never really going ballistic music that Hypocrisy is so well known for. The quick question, does this oust Catch 22’s lackluster and completely forgettable offering? And my answer to that question would be an absolute firm, fuck yeah! But lets move on to the bigger question at hand, does this album embody the full potential of what we all know is/was a great band? And the answer to that question my friends is no!
Album opener, "Born Dead Buried Alive" does indeed cosmetically solidify the concept of “return to form” and I jumped right on board with this track, wanting nothing more than to believe that Hypocrisy was indeed back to what they do best. The track is pure Hypocrisy sound, that plodding spacey driving force and of course the perfect amount of speed to fully enhance its dynamic state. When I broke out this album for a buddy, one of the first things he said after hearing "BDBA" was, “that no matter what Hypocrisy writes one thing is for sure, you can always tell when you’re listening to a Peter Tägtgren album”. I have to agree completely, Tägtgren definitely has a signature sound regardless of what he is offering up; his specific sound always holds true. I would also like to point out how well Tägtgren’s voice sounds throughout The Arrival, his croak/bark is fully intact and as strong as ever. Tracks 2 and 3, "Eraser" and "Stillborn" are primarily the two tracks that for me taint this album completely. In my opinion they both seem like left over Catch 22 tracks and definitely don’t fall in place with the “return to form” shtick that The Arrival is supposed to deliver. Oddly enough these two tracks are some of Tägtgren’s favorites, who the fuck would have thunk it? Also "Eraser" will be the first big video push tune as well. I’m sorry, but I find both tracks completely forgettable and almost expendable. Onward and upward to the meat of The Arrival. The next three tracks, "Slave to the Parasites", "New World" and "The Abyss" are the absolute album winners and could quite easily be found on either The Final Chapter or The Fourth Dimension. Tracks like these are why people buy Hypocrisy albums in the first place. All three tracks have that unmistakable "Destroys Wacken" feeling, which for me saw Hypocrisy at the pinnacle of their career. It should be noted that "The Abyss" was one of the first tracks that Tägtgren ever recorded and due to “public demand” rerecorded it properly. Track 8, "Dead Sky Dawning" actually reminds me of a Soilwork-esque song. No cleans but that smooth chorus is unmistakable and comes across pretty much as filler. Track 9, "Departure" is exactly that, a departure of my attention. More slow moving Hypocrisy stealth that has potential but just doesn’t seem to go anywhere in the end. Ending track, "War Within" does take The Arrival out on a high note. With a semi up tempo bludgeoning that deserves to see some stage time on their upcoming tour and really should have seen an earlier arrival on The Arrival.
Bottom Line: Regardless of what Tägtgren spews forth, I have the utmost respect for him and his accomplishments. I cannot deny this man’s impact on the scene and past albums that still find merit even within today’s fickle fucking world of metal. I found The Arrival a much better listen than Catch 22 but the staying power of this album is minimal. The added addition of Horgh from the now infamous and defunct Immortal should be exactly the push that Hypocrisy needs. I have to believe the next Hypocrisy effort will be more of a “return to form” than The Arrival turned out to be. Lars Szöke, although one hell of a nice guy really comes across as a bump on a log throughout The Arrival. Hypocrisy’s original lineup had stayed in tact for quite some time until now and quite possibly Tägtgren has just got too comfortable. Again though I must say with Horgh handling the backbone of Hypocrisy these days I am quite confident even Tägtgren will have to step up his own performance, which in reality should blast out that Hypocrisy album that jaded fucks like me demand from modern musicians.
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