REVIEW: Hypocrisy – ‘Penetralia / Osculum Obscenum’ (2013)


**2013 remaster / reissue**


Hypocrisy, Peter Tagtgren’s main band, have an interesting history. They were signed to Nuclear Blast without any material — no demo, no single: nothing (which seems incredulous in today’s world) — so the pressure was on to at least make something. In 1992, the band emerged with their debut album Penetralia, releasing their EP Pleasure Of Molestation a year later. In March of 1993, and then later the same year, in October, the band followed that up with their second album Osculum Obscenum. Their early material was notable for being deeply rooted in, what I would call, traditional death metal whilst there is the often the early traces of melodic death metal. By time of 1994’s The Fourth Dimension, the band shifted to their all-too-familiar trio line-up: Peter on vocals/guitar, Mikael Hedlund on bass, and Lars Szöke on drums (this line-up would remain unchanged until the release of Virus in 2005, when Lars left the band to be replaced by Immortal / Grimfist drummer Horgh). Two albums later and 1997’s The Final Chapter was meant to be the band’s final chapter but due to an overwhelming fan response the band decided to carry on. They would, ultimately, go through musical changes in this time, maybe heralded by Peter’s deepening knowledge of producing bands, so the shift went from traditional death metal to a more polished melodic death metal sound, and later, just a melodic metal sound. Also in their early days the band were criticised for their lack of lyrical direction, often being lambasted as childish and perhaps being too predictable (they were about Satan and the occult, which with metal music it’s all too predictable). With Peter now the songwriter for the band, the lyrics took a more otherworldly view: alien abductions, aliens themselves and social commentary. In 2013, around the time of their new album End of Disclosure being released, the band (with the label’s affirmative), decided to remaster and reissue their first two albums in a two-disc package, with a few added bonus live material (a few tracks added to the end of the album). I think these two albums are essential as you can see how the band have changed in twenty (or so) years. The remaster has helped to, really, brings these two albums to life. The original’s album mix, as you would expect, sounds quite thin and tinny, but the remaster helps to really beef out both album’s overall sound. I would go so far as calling these two albums ‘classic’ respectively and they were definitely worth your penny and your time.

RATING: 5 / 5 



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s