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Hypocrisy - Worship Award winner

Hypocrisy
Worship
by Chris Hawkins at 06 December 2021, 5:32 PM

What if HYPOCRISY had actually broken up after “The Final Chapter”?  A world without “The Arrival” and “Virus” is one in which I don’t want to live.  As a longtime fan of the band, it is an honor to review their latest, “Worship”.  Eight years is quite the break and as such, anticipation for new material is boiling over.

The title track signals the beginning with a somber acoustic setting, and for a moment, one begins to wonder whether this will simply be yet another lengthy intro.  That is most definitely not the case.  When the electric guitars kick in, it is like a dozen floodlights being turned on in an abandoned, darkened warehouse.  As the song develops, soon chaos reigns and the listener is treated to another of Peter’s maniacal, blood-gurgling screams (they reappear throughout the course of the album like a primal vocal version of a pick squeal or cymbal crash).  The intensity of this beginning track is ubiquitous as it travels through the caverns and tunnels of myriad riff changes.  When “Chemical Whore” appears on the tail of the first track, the mood shifts into one of HYPOCRISY’s mid-tempo anthems that churns along like an industrial cement truck.  Personally, many of my favorite moments from HYPOCRISY including “Roswell 47,” “The Final Chapter,” and “Fractured Millennium” all reside in that particular milieu.  HYPOCRISY has always challenged listeners by expanding boundaries and this song is an eerie melodic exercise that infects the mind with its syncopated main riff.  Peter exercises his gifted songwriting ability proving that one simple melody can be the frame for an epic anthem.  “Dead World,” the fourth track, follows a similar pattern of syncopation and melody yet it is its grand finale that will surely impress.

Certainly, most are familiar with Peter’s prodigious studio work; thus, the bar is set high for his own band.  In this regard, “Worship” is a resounding success.  Yet again, his vision broadens the scope of the songs tying them together effectively.  The guitars have the chunk of a sledgehammer and the sting of a sharpened steel razor blade.  Horgh’s drumming has always been impressive, but with the many varied rhythms and grooves contained within “Worship,” his talents are further expanded.  Overall, there is a balance between tempo, melody, rhythms, all under the scope of one man’s incisive vision.

Brotherhood of the Serpent,” the sixth song, is another example of the syncopated rhythms explored earlier.  The three-minute mark launches the band into a tirade that begins with a bludgeoning rhythm that evolves into more vehement brutality by way of a Black Metal-styled riff.  The following track, “Children of the Gray,” reverts back to that “For Who the Bell Tolls”-inspired mid-tempo groove that exists as such a prominent staple in the HYPOCRISY library of riffs.  Some of the absolute sickest grooves can be found in the ninth track, “They Will Arrive”.  The beginning especially features some more-than-welcome, blatant breakdowns.  As a guitar player, hearing the intricacies of Peter’s picking attack leaves me dazed with awe for he switches techniques so seamlessly and fluidly.  Such a wealth of experience has culminated to the point of making it look effortless.

Is this the best HYPOCRISY album?  No – but – it is practically impossible to find any flaw.  At this point, thirty years since the band’s inception, the fans know what to expect and Peter and company do not fail to deliver the goods.  At times beautiful, other mired in insanity, “Worship” shows the band delivering what they do best – epic. Through the peaks and valleys, momentum shifts, grooves, and myriad melodies, the epic factor colors the entirety of the album with that quintessential HYPOCRISY vibe.  Yes, it was worth the wait.

Songwriting:  9
Originality:  9
Memorability:  9
Production: 10

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Worship
2. Chemical Whore
3. Greedy Bastards
4. Dead World
5. We’re the Walking Dead
6. Brotherhood of the Serpent
7. Children of the Gray
8. Another Day
9. They Will Arrive
10. Bug in the Net
11. Gods of the Underground
Lineup:
Mikael Hedlund – Bass
Peter Tägtgren – Vocals
Horgh – Drums
Record Label: Nuclear Blast
     


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