The Arrival of True Metal
Sweden has always been an intense breeding ground for some of the best metal in the world. Notice the lack of prefixes on that statement: Not nu-metal, not rap-metal, not party-pop-whatever-metal, but METAL, pure and simple. Hypocrisy has been churning out spine-breaking, mind-melting, marrow-pounding mania for over a decade, and their 16th release The Arrival doesn’t let up for a second.Musically, this is classic Hypocrisy at its finest, though it’s the last(?) time the original lineup will record together. Original drummer Lars Szoke has left the band to be replaced by Horgh, ex-drummer from Swedish black metal legends Immortal. Horgh should feel right at home behind the kit as he backs up the technical riffing and atmospheric hints of keyboard that Hypocrisy has always executed so well.
Anyone familiar with Hypocrisy already knows what to expect here. Brutally heavy drums, bass, and guitar jump from breakneck speeds to beautifully melodic mid-tempo breakdowns of pure melancholy and misanthropy. Peter Tagtgren’s vocals are harsh as ever, switching between deep and high-pitched distorted screams, perfectly matching the desperation and desolation in the lyrics.
It takes only one glance at the cover of The Arrival to know that it deals with Tagtgren’s favorite subject – aliens. Past albums like Abducted and The Final Chapter have dealt heavily with themes of alien encounters and The Arrival keeps up with the tradition. For instance, on the slow dirge “The Departure,” Tagtgren wails “I stare into the eyes of eternity / I see what no man’s ever seen.” One can’t tell if its agony or ecstasy that Tagtgren feels as he leaves this world behind into a world unknown…