By Dr. Abner Mality
It’s been years since a HYPOCRISY album has crossed my deck. At one time, one of my favorite Swedish death metal bands, I lost interest in their more recent material, which just seemed too polished and calculated. Since there’s been such a long gap, maybe it is time to rediscover them?
“Worship” seems to be a smorgasbord approach to HYPOCRISY, touching on many different styles and phases of the band. No, there really isn’t any of the super grimy Swedish death of their earliest albums, which is disappointing but understandable. But there are some pretty aggressive tracks here and a mixture of smashmouth modern death metal with the more melodic style the band pioneered on their mid-90’s releases. The title track opens things deceptively with subdued acoustic guitar that eventually explodes into a fast and raging death metal track. One thing that happily hasn’t changed over the years is Peter Tagtgren’s roaring growls and raspy screams, which are just as much on point now as they were back in the day.
The rest of the album swings between faster tracks and mid-paced melodic death metal reminiscent of the pioneering “Roswell ‘47” cut. Tracks like “Chemical Whore” and “Children of the Grey” are virtual remakes of that track, with just minor differences. I prefer the more crushing stuff like “Another Day” and the super down-tuned chug of “Dead World”. There’s a variety to the songs that keeps things from getting monotonous, which I appreciate.
Tagtgren’s fascination with alien/reptillian/conspiracy themes continues to dominate his lyrical focus. I don’t know how much of this he actually believes or if he’s just telling a good story, but the “grey” and “reptillian” bullshit creates a scapegoat that takes the responsibility for the world’s destruction off of where it really belongs...the face in the mirror. These themes are part of HYPOCRISY’s DNA by now.
“Worship” is a polished but heavy piece of modern death metal that serves as a good introduction to the world of HYPOCRISY. It’s pretty clear the days of “Osculum Infame” will never return, but I like this better than the last couple of HYPOCRISY albums.