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End Of Disclosure

Nuclear Blast (2013)
Rating: 7.5/10

Formed in 1990, Sweden’s Hypocrisy have become one of those “in the know” favourites over the years. Starting off their career as pure, savoury death metal, by the late 90s the band had incorporated enough melody into their guitars that they ended up as a foundational brick in the development of the melodic death metal sound.

Often mentioned in the same breath as bands like In Flames, Soilwork, At The Gates, and fellow cult favourites like Gardenian and Dark Tranquility, Hypocrisy have always simply been who they are and offered up whatever excited them musically at that moment.

End Of Disclosure follows up two very heavy Hypocrisy records in Virus (2005) and A Taste Of Extreme Divinity (2009) and, by comparison, End Of Disclosure is a much more laid back record. Of course, it’s a hundred times heavier than most “metal” bands but Hypocrisy have been much angrier and much heavier in the recent past.

This album features a lot more of the melodic guitar work we heard on Catch 22 (2002) and The Arrival (2004). The lead melodies are much more upfront in the mix, elevating the songs while the rhythm section keeps it marching in procession. Songs like ‘Soldier Of Fortune’, ‘Tales Of Thy Spineless’, and the title track are good examples of the heavier melodies present throughout the album.

That’s not to say that the band no longer respects the riff because there is plenty of riffing to go around. Songs like the maniacally paranormal ‘The Eye’ and the devil lovin’, death metal pureness of ‘Hell Is Where I Stay’ rely on the heavy riff to plod them through, while keeping a much less intent ear towards the melodic aspects of the songs; relegating it primarily to the soloing. ‘When Death Calls’ speeds up the riffing without sacrificing the growling or the blast beats to create a monster that becomes the album’s sleeper hit on repeated listens.

In the end, this is probably Hypocrisy’s best since The Arrival. It’s got a lot of interesting dynamics woven into it, which some are destined to refer to as inconsistencies. I don’t think this album raises the bar for Hypocrisy but it’s certainly a nice notch in their belts. As has always plagued them, parts of this album sound fairly derivative, but all in all this is one of the better places in Hypocrisy’s catalogue to start if you’ve never heard them before.

Mark Fisher

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