A Taste of Extreme Divinity
Hypocrisy Destroys Wacken (Live)

A Taste of Extreme Divinity (Nuclear Blast)
Enslain Magazine Issue 10
Order Issue #10!  This review included.
It's taken four years since the release of Virus, and the long-awaited new album's title has the word "extreme" in it, so this just HAS to be fucking brutal and intense, right? Well, in a way, yes. This is not a weak release, and it holds nothing back. It has a little bit less of a black metal edge than their previous album, replacing this instead with death metal that's closer to their roots than has been heard in years. But even with the straight-to-the-point approach, they haven't abandoned their recognizable character.

Listening to this album in the background, there aren't many moments that bring themselves to the forefront and force you to notice. The tempo is more constant, meaning that the dynamics of their crushing lows balanced by catchy choruses is lessened on this release. It also means that there's barely a hit on this record, with the possible exception of "Alive", and the songs don't stand out from each other quite as much as they have on earlier releases. Instead, we're presented with a much faster-paced and more consistently pummeling record, and they rarely deviate from this defined sound concept. The strongest example of this is on "Taste the Extreme Divinity", which is the album's most relentless and double-bass heavy, and also the shortest number. No fucking around.

This is not to say that the band's melodic nature has dissolved. It's just that these parts are speeded up as well, and you won't hear them coupled with any clean vocals or gentle keyboards. In fact, you may even recognize that melodic riffs are almost constantly present, even in the most punishing of moments. With lightning-fast drumming and sometimes grindcore-speed riffs, the thing that makes these songs less death metal and more Hypocrisy is the dancing around of the lead guitars that always finds its way into the songs. With a closer listen, you'll hear the album's real defining moments, which are in the fast and clever riffs that sound especially fun to play, and in the forceful shrieks that resonate like blades against steel. Though having some of the characteristics of Hypocrisy before they were Abducted, but with more of their own style than the traditional Swedish death metal influence they began with, they offer production on today's standards - and on Abyss Studios' standards.

The one digression from the fast and the furious is on "The Quest", which has that same feel as on "Request Denied", providing a momentary departure from the up-tempo death metal, and leading instead towards the deliberately crawling and thoughtfully paced interludes that we're accustomed to. The song's powerful keyboarded chorus is bridged by harmonious guitars and undistorted sections. This is the deep, D-tuned, heartfelt death metal done the way only Hypocrisy knows how. Still no clean vocals, just deeply effected mid-range growls.

I won't claim that A Taste of Extreme Divinity is Hypocrisy's greatest album. It immediately impressed as being a new direction, one which should lend itself really well to a live environment, but I don't feel that any classic-valued songs have been introduced here, and I miss the exaggerated dynamics. For fans of the newer material, A Taste of Extreme Divinity may require several dedicated listens to recognize the worth of this album, and for those who've dismissed the band for its modern and beautified essence, this record has a good chance of converting them back. In any case, Hypocrisy have made an honorable attempt at uniting the extreme with the divine. -- Lady Enslain

Hypocrisy (Nuclear Blast)
Enslain Magazine Issue #6
Order Issue #6!  This review included. About two years after announcing that "Final Chapter" was to be their last effort, Hypocrisy hath unleashed their ninth release to date, "Hypocrisy," and have decided to continue their reign over the death metal scene. If there's one thing this album in particular does for them is display their song-writing proficiency. There are few bands that can last through this many albums and still have more to say, and more riffs left to write. "Hypocrisy" has fewer songs than most of their other releases, but most of the songs are longer. This is certainly their most melodic release to date, with a greater percentage of slower, moodier songs and cleaner vocals, but there are still a few fast, aggressive songs to maintain balance. In my opinion, the first track, "Fractured Millenium," has quickly gained status as among the greatest songs ever written, and the entire album is highly recommended as well. -- Lady Enslain

Hypocrisy Destroys Wacken (Live) (Nuclear Blast)
Enslain Magazine Issue #6
Order Issue #6!  This review included. In my opinion, "Hypocrisy Destroys Wacken" is like a "greatest hits" album. Though this is a live CD, you'd never guess it without hearing the applause at the ends of the songs. The production is nearly flawless; the execution even more so. The album is comprised of 11 of their previously released songs, mostly from their last three albums, and then four new and/or unreleased tracks. "Fuck U" is a great aggression releaser, a chugga-chugga hate song with a distorted yell abusing the fuck out of the work "fuck". "Beginning of the End" bears a large resemblance to old Slayer, and is a very catchy tune. "Til the End" is among the best songs they have ever written. It's mildly atmospheric, with extremely addictive riffing, comprehendible rough vocals, and a transicly haunting chorus. This is definitely the greatest live CD I've ever heard, and one of the few that are actually worth getting. -- Lady Enslain