Album review: HYPOCRISY – End Of Disclosure

Nuclear Blast – Out Now.

Peter Tagtgren is one of the busiest men in the music business. When not offering his production skills to artists like Destruction, Marduk, Overkill and Amorphis (to name a few) or when he’s not touring the world in support of his commercially-successful  Industrial/Electronic Metal project PAIN, this friendly Swede falls back into his comfort zone, recording music for his classic Death Metal combo Hypocrisy. If by this you think that creating a Hypocrisy album has become a calculated exercise, then you had better brace yourselves, as “End Of Disclosure” is here to shake you to your core!

Hypocrisy’s twelfth studio album, similar to its immediate predecessors, boasts a variety of styles and sounds, incorporating all the elements that helped establish Tagtgren’s outfit as a leading force in the early 90s Death Metal scene. Epic-sounding atmospheric keyboard themes often battle for domination with solid riffs of various tempos and flamboyant solos while Peter’s vocals offer a variety of interesting interpretations.

As for influences, well, the band is certainly not afraid to proudly wear them on their sleeve, with Exodus and Morbid Angel being the most clearly defined amongst them. Most importantly, “End Of Disclosure” is the kind of album whose melodies will creep into your subconscious in no time – the mark of any successful release.

The same titled composition “End Of Disclosure” which opens the album does so in a classic Hypocrisy fashion, with the band’s moody trademark keyboard tunes fitting very well with Tagtgren’s bleak, spiteful and harsh vocal lines, while “Tales Of Thy Spineless” operates at an extremely fast tempo, featuring a Thrash riff of skull-crushing proportions.

Thrash remains a pretty influential factor in “The Eye”, a song whose main riff is reminiscent of that used in the now classic “Black List” by the mighty Exodus, while “United We Fall” operates in a more varied musical environment, featuring both epic/pompous keys and riffs or relentless grooviness. Simplicity is not always a bad thing, as suggested by the catchy refrain of the four and a half minute “44 Double Zero” and the band’s admiration towards all things Morbid Angel is clearly manifested in both the bombastic “Hell Is Where I Stay” and its more melodic sibling, “Soldier Of Fortune”.

The most observant amongst you might just about detect a few subtle Maiden influences in the guitar work of “When Death Calls”, a song that is superseded by “The Return” – a composition whose melodic themes are similar to those of the opening composition, indicating in a way that a musical theme has been both presented and completed through these nine beautiful and cleverly crafted compositions.

“End Of Disclosure” has all the right qualities of a topflight album: it is intricate, while being totally accessible; it has riffs, hooks and melodies that will stay with you for days and weeks to come and it also finds Peter Tagtgren in ‘hellish’ vocal form – commanding the proceedings with the swagger and bravado of a Philharmonic orchestra conductor.

Twenty three years after their very inception, most bands’ inspiration would have run dry, but Hypocrisy is a different band and their twelfth studio album is evidence to this. Melodic Death Metal doesn’t get much better than this!

Rating: ****1/2 (4.5/5.0)

John Stefanis

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