December 23, 2021 Hypocrisy – Worship (Album Review)
To be a fly on a fjord in Scandinavia during the 1990s Heavy Metal movements of various genres, primarily including Death and Black Metal, would certainly have been a wonderfully interesting time. Legendary bands such as Dissection and Dark Tranquility were emerging out of the darkness, and another tough act called Hypocrisy began their exemplary journey through the classic Death Metal stylings, into the more melodic vain as the years passed by. Flash forward to 2021, Hypocrisy are back to brings us their long awaited new album Worship.
Released on November 26, 2021 through Nuclear Blast Records, this 11 song album is bold, yet very much melodically driven. It has been in the works for the past 2 years with much of it created before the pandemic, so while their connotations can be pushed towards a certain anti- authoritarian tone, the album’s theme spans quite a few topics, including extraterrestrial influences on the nature of humanity.
Worship has depth and a really beautiful melodic drive that is successfully topped by the boldly harsh vocals of Peter Tägtgren. Keep in mind fans have waited 8 long years for a new Hypocrisy album to see the light of day, but thankfully it was worth it, because this album has plenty of quality tunes to dig into.
The band these days consists of Tägtgren (vocals/guitars), Mikael Hedlund (bass), Reidar ‘Horgh’ Horghagen ‘Horgh’ (drums), and Tomas Elofsson (guitars). A solid lineup, Worship is clearly a Hypocrisy album upon first listen, but it’s certainly nothing repetitive to what they have produced in the past. They have a style structure that they stick to, and that is not a downfall, but rather a strength. Doing so they exemplify how good they really are while still bearing down to create new concepts and melodies that really rise to the occasion of a dismal, defeated world.
Taking off first on the Melodic Death Metal runway, Worship begins with the title-track which has melodic crescendo that shift to a speedy blast beating race of power and release. The outpouring of the vocal screams promotes satisfaction through the ears of the listener. Next up “Chemical Whore” is a bit of an anthem of doomsday scenarios, and the choice to go down with the ship or not. It ends melodically well after 5 minutes, and that’s what matters.
The next track on the album, “Greedy Bastards,” is full of interesting juxtapositions from the harsh to melody based, and back again. Skipping over to “We Are The Walking Dead,” there is a somber heavy tone that pounds over the riffs like a baker beating a pie crust into submission. While some musical artists have chosen to write about the pandemic giving a strong positive outlook or a very gloomy submissive one, this album’s tone is very in your face reality based despite any realistic subject matter. Its attitude is carried out even further in “Brotherhood Of The Serpent” which again brings on a vibe of taking control, and plowing straight through the perils ahead. Not giving in to the walls crumbling around one’s feet is quite the noble struggle, but hard work does prevail, so why not if the strength to combat the negative is there?
Finishing off the middle devastation of the nation is the tune “Children Of The Grey” which channels the dark melodic doom ridden Death Metal portion nicely. Then “Another Day” and “They Will Arrive” bring a new more classic Death Metal grueling energy that will definitely keep their fans intrigued. These would make great live tunes for their next US tour…which hopefully will not be too far off into the distance future.
The end of Worship is perhaps the best part, as a very well-received favorite song titled “Bug Of The Net” is the header to the bitter closer “God Of The Underground.” The first of the two is unique, and carries a very heartfelt inspirational melody throughout that is also somehow very comforting. It’s fade out is perfection, and the rise into the finale is just enough to not get carried away thinking Hypocrisy could in any way be a peaceful Metal band…if such a thing were to exist. Their style of the music is the root of their strength, as it creates a depth that can’t be written off as anything less than the intelligently written music that it is.
For fans around the globe, the wait is over, and Worship is proof that Melodic Death Metal will be around for a long time to come. This album feeds into the hearts of those who dance to the beat of their own drum and can appreciate a realistic approach to creating an undeniable existence in this genre of music. For this, Cryptic Rock gives Worship 4.5 out of 5 stars.