Peter Tägtgren is one of the hardest-working people in metal. Behind those instantly recognisable deep-set, almost skull-like eyes lies an intense hunger and talent for music. Not content with bringing his own musical visions to life with Hypocrisy and Pain, Tägtgren also runs The Abyss Studio, where he helps to bring the visions of others to life via the production desk.
Having gone on record many times in recent years to state that Pain has now become his main focus musically, it comes as a little bit of a surprise to see a new Hypocrisy record see the light of day. Nevertheless, four years on from the release of the last record, “A Taste Of Extreme Divinity”, we’re offered “End Of Disclosure” to wrap out ears around.
Within seconds of pressing play and hearing the opening title track spew forth from the speakers, you are left in no doubt that you are listening to a Hypocrisy album. And therein lays the beast that is the double-edged sword. On the one hand, why would you want to hear anything different from a band that helped to create and refine a genre? On the other, you can’t help but wonder what could be achieved if the Hypocrisy blueprint was tinkered around with just a little bit in order to freshen things up. Maybe the lukewarm reception that greeted the likes of “Catch 22” a decade or so ago signed the death warrant for future experimentation. Or maybe, Tägtgren simply doesn’t have the time, inclination or inspiration to try new things under the Hypocrisy moniker. Either way, we are where we are and “End Of Disclosure” is what it is; classic Hypocrisy.
As with a large portion of Hypocrisy’s output, the generally mid-tempo melodic death metal is nicely and professionally put together. As always, you can rely on a great collection of heavy and groovy riffs, an abundance of keyboard-created atmosphere and the instantly recognisable higher-pitched raspy growls of Tägtgren himself. I have always been a bigger fan of Hypocrisy’s slower numbers, such as ‘Deathrow (No Regrets)’ so it is slightly disappointing to note that aside from the closer, ‘The Return’, nothing on this album comes close to the epic and anthemic nature of tracks like that which litter the back catalogue.
That said, compositions such as the opening title track with its stomping groove and nice lead guitar melodies or the more caustic and aggressive ‘Hell Is Where I Stay’ do stand out and deserve an individual mention. Additionally, as you’d expect, the production is extremely palatable, affording clarity and power to each and every instrument throughout the album. Overall, if you’re an existing fan of Hypocrisy, then there’s little to turn you off here. Equally, if you’re new to the band, “End Of Disclosure” is arguably just as good a place as any to start your exploration.