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Somewhere Out In Space - 94%

OzzyApu, September 1st, 2012

Instead of breaking up, the band came back full-force in a way unheard of for them. This self-titled gem is the band's most introspective, tunefully dissonant album. It's ripe with melancholic, spacey atmosphere and straightforward melody. The reliance on this atmosphere creates a more serene, smoother album than before. It's a comforting melodic death album that still has the Hypocrisy bite and shows Tägtgren rewriting the rules of viciousness.

Bar none, this is some of the band's best writing. The blend of melodic death-level brutality, power metal-dimensional harmonies, and enigmatic atmosphere has this album leagues ahead of its peers. The production is properly balanced, clear, and clean to accompany the airy tenor of the instruments. Hypocrisy isn't a light album, but it doesn't have as crisp of a sharpness like the earlier or later albums that are more bass-heavy. The songwriting leans more toward melodic and clean riffs to enunciate (along with the keys) and build upon the bleak, spacey atmosphere. It's an unmatched feeling of total isolation and the fear of distant unknowns. "Elastic Inverted Visions," "Until The End," "Paled Empty Sphere," and especially "Disconnected Magnetic Corridors" are the backbone of this paranormal voyage.

The other batch of songs provoke less atmosphere and are the harder-hitting tracks. They are the same of what Hypocrisy would relish in: coarse riffs, parched screams, clamorous drumming, and fervent intensity. These songs prove the band's continued excellence in stampeding tempos and pummeling edge. Tägtgren's screams are mutilated and sonically frightening, Hedlund's bass grumbles vigorously, and Szoke's drumming is thunderous and perfectly executed to comply with the compositions. It's a tight performance all around that almost extends over the entire album.

At the peak of this (at the time) legacy-comeback is "Reversed Reflections". This song is a textbook example of transcending the genre. Its steady tempo, galloping main riff, and Tägtgren's towering, ghostly rough-cleans mixes with the virtuous atmosphere to create an exceedingly epic song. The climax is a fierce, harmonic solo pushing the bounds of the band's melodic fervor. It's such a high-point that it can only be matched by a high-point of the opposite spectrum - "Time Warp". As much as this is close to being one of my favorite albums, "Time Warp" had to screw it all up. It's Hypocrisy's attempt at being too cool from the wrong perspective. It just ends up sounding like a bad attempt at nu-metal angst with (substandard) thrash-styled riffing, improperly emulated brutality, and some of the worst shout-styled vocals Tägtgren's ever laid for this band.

Aside from that one glaring bomb, this is the album that defines Hypocrisy for me. It's the sci-fi themed jewel of their career that doesn't get too bloated and maintains a constant supremacy at what it tries to accomplish. Tägtgren makes full use of his ethereal cleans alongside his ghoulish screams, marking his dominance vocally. Hypocrisy is a dreary, lurid experience for listeners that should not be missed.

Hypocrisy's atmospheric masterpiece. - 98%

OBLIVIONxSPAWN, June 7th, 2011

Hypocrisy is a band that has created some of my favorite music of all time. Everything from their old school death metal to their atmospheric death/melodic death metal is outstanding. Of their whole discography, this album has always stood out to me and been a favorite.

The songs here are catchy, epic, atmospheric, melancholic and a couple are fast, almost thrashy. The use of clean vocals is a big plus in my book. They contribute tons to the atmosphere and feeling of each song and are always used perfectly. I never found them to be out of place once. Peter's scream tends to be a lot higher here on this album than on most of their albums and it does not overpower the music one bit. Everything is mixed perfectly to contribute and not detract from each other.

The album is varied and holds many surprises for those with an open mind and those who enjoy Hypocrisy. The final song, "Paled Empty Sphere" seems to take a Pink Floyd route and create an atmospheric rock masterpiece to end the album and put the icing on the cake. This is very similar to the final song in the album "Abducted" as well.

The only reason this album does not receive a perfect score is because of one song that has always felt out of place to me. That song is "Time Warp". I can't think of any other Hypocrisy song like it, so in that aspect it seems like it would fit perfectly on an album like this. The problem is that it is so different from the other material on the album that it takes you out of the atmosphere and immersion the album has created and provides a sort of speed bump that the album could have done without.

This is an album that every fan should experience, and for many, an album that is a highlight in Hypocrisy's discography.

Hypocrisy - s/t - 5%

Noctir, June 27th, 2010

In 1997, Peter Tägtgren decided that it was time for Hypocrisy to call it quits. He was busy with his new studio and seemed to be burned out, creatively. In the span of a couple years, he had recorded albums with Hypocrisy, The Abyss, War and Pain, as well as the countless albums that he was producing. To go along with this, the other members of Hypocrisy weren't really contributing much of anything. As it would later turn out, this was for the better.

After the release of The Final Chapter, as well as the great performance at the 1998 Wacken Open Air Festival, there was a strong sentiment from their fans to continue the band. Perhaps, other factors played a part as well, but Peter decided against disbanding Hypocrisy and to begin working on a new album. Mikael Hedlund and Lars Szöke actually participated a bit more in the songwriting process, but it didn't appear that this was a good idea. Actually, it would have been more appropriate if the band had died when they originally planned, as they've done nothing but tarnish their legacy ever since.

Hypocrisy was released in June 1999 and it was quite a disappointment for many fans. In trying to be somewhat objective, it's worth noting that the overall sound isn't so different from the previous album, upon first listen. Musically, there are a handful of riffs that would have fit in well, on either Abducted or The Final Chapter. However, their are so many things about this album that just ruin it. To avoid being overwhelmed by the multitude of faults that this release possesses, I'll try to simply focus on them in the order that they appear.

"Fractured Millennium" begins with a keyboard intro. This is problem number one. Now, the band had been making use of keyboards since the beginning. The difference was that they were utilized in a much more appropriate manner. This certainly doesn't compare with the eerie intro to "Pleasure of Molestation". It's way overdone, and the listener will find that, during the course of the album, there is an abundance of keyboards that seem to really take away from the rest of the music. One must keep in mind that, around 1999, the whole Symphonic "Black Metal" movement was in full swing, so this may have had some influence on the terrible abuse featured on this album.

The next flaw may be the one that really murders any potential that this album had. The vocals are awful. In some places, Peter uses the same style that he had developed on the previous couple releases. However, he also incorporates more clean voice mixed in with this, being neither clean nor harsh, but a mixture of the two. It's very weak and wretched. He avoids this on "Apocalyptic Hybrid", for the most part, but it doesn't matter so much as that song is rather boring anyway. More often than not, throughout the duration of the record, he implements his new whining style and it may be the single worst element of the album. The songwriting is pretty weak, overall, but even the tracks that could have been enjoyable end up ruined because of the unnecessary variation in the vocals.

As for the songwriting, itself, the main issue here is consistency. On Abducted and The Final Chapter, the songs all fit together well and each one served a purpose to the album, as a whole. Hypocrisy features too many throw-away songs and rehashed ideas from the past. As a matter of fact, all of the best ideas on this album were already introduced on earlier releases. Perhaps, Peter had run out of ideas. That could be one of the reasons that he wanted to put an end to the band, initially. Or, it could be that the other two members, in being forced to contribute something and wanting to make sure their ideas fit into the band's style, simply ripped off what they'd done before. Possibly, it is a combination of both. There are a few songs that could have been decent, such as "Elastic Inverted Visions" and "Until the End". I've always maintained that Hypocrisy really shined when it came to the slower, almost doom-like songs. Of course, Peter's terrible vocals and the horrid production kill any chance that these had, as well.

That brings me to the final element that killed this album, dead in its tracks. The production is too slick and modern. It's the natural progression of Peter's production style, as one can see the evolution by looking back at the previous few albums. However, though I cannot pinpoint exactly how or why, he crossed the line with this one. An album like The Final Chapter can get away with the modern sound, but the self-titled effort possesses too many faults for this to be overlooked. It could also be that the songwriting, itself, had become too modern by this point.

Though bearing a handful of decent riffs, Hypocrisy is a failure and things would only get worse. In the end, this situation can be summed up with a quote from Friedrich Nietzsche: "One should die proudly when it is no longer possible to live proudly". The Final Chapter should have lived up to its name, and Hypocrisy Destroys Wacken could have served merely as an epitaph for the tombstone of this once respectable band.

Atmospheric Bliss - 94%

MaDTransilvanian, August 15th, 2009

Of all the myriad albums which make up the genre that is melodic death metal, perhaps none strike the listener as being more varied and, indeed, unique, than Hypocrisy’s self-titled sixth album. This is the first album written after Peter Tägtgren’s initial attempt to end Hypocrisy’s existence with the aptly titled The Final Chapter, its very existence being due to the overwhelming support shown to the band by its extensive fan base.

Hypocrisy is the album which, out of the band’s career of ten released albums, along with an eleventh one being just around the corner, takes the sound of death metal drenched in superb melodic riffs creating an atmosphere of incredible depth, to its logical extreme, with amazing results. Nowhere is this achievement more apparent than in the album opener: the perfectly chosen Fractured Millennium. Starting up with an epic atmospheric intro and building up into the classic melodic death metal song that no Hypocrisy concert can do without, this song announces what is to come. In many ways, this album is the peak of the Hypocrisy sound, slowly evolving from the masterworks that The Fourth Dimension, Abducted and The Final Chapter were to create an even more melodic atmosphere. Unlike some other bands playing melodic death metal, whose music often seems to lack anything but an empty shell of what death metal represents, Hypocrisy still retain the base of the genre, evolved from their earliest albums, but with more and more melody and atmospheric infusion brought in along the way.

All of the band members are at their very best here. First of all, Peter Tägtgren must be mentioned. His songwriting is, as usual, flawless for the most part (Time Warp is something of a complete failure), his keyboard and guitar work are impressive and his vocals, excellent. The riffs are perfect for the genre they’re in: melodic death metal, atmospheric style. They’re also very memorable in almost every song, not just stale riffs which are there to fill up space instead of being genuinely enjoyable as some lesser melodic death metal acts have been known to do. Peter proves that he can either play slowly (Elastic Inverted Visions, Disconnected Magnetic Corridors) or very fast (Apocalyptic Hybrid, Fusion Programmed Minds) with little difficulty and much talent. His slower-paced songs are slightly better though, retaining much more of an atmosphere to them, with the only exception to this rule being the extraordinary breakneck-speed Fusion Programmed Minds. Hypocrisy is where Peter showcases his clean vocals off the most alongside his usual sharp shrieks and those clean vocals fit the slower songs perfectly, even making one or two of them seem like ballads, an unlikely event on such an album. Finally, Peter’s usage of his keyboards is essential to the atmosphere of the album. He can craft sounds which are melodic in nature but also evoke a wide range of emotions, from fear to awe, giving off a sense of helplessness to the listener.

Amazing as though that man may be, he isn’t the only one responsible for this album, just the leader of a talented trio whose two other thirds are Lars Szöke and Michael Hedlund. The former’s solid drumming is a distinction on its own, as he achieves a constant set of rhythm all through the album, fitting in very well with the ensemble. None of his work is even remotely technical and his drumming is far from the quality exemplified by his Norwegian successor, Horgh, but he gets the job done very well almost everywhere on the album (again, Time Warp being the faulty link). This is actually quite significant, as his talent has often waned on the other albums, especially his last two with the band. As for Michael Hedlund, his bass playing has accompanied Hypocrisy from the beginning and continues to this day, and there’s a very good reason Peter keeps him around. Well, two actually: he goes a very good job adhering his playing to the desired sound, whatever that may be (Hypocrisy’s music is nothing if not varied) and he’s, along with Peter, the last founding member of the band now that Lars has been replaced, and his presence is important in order to keep the band’s sound true to its roots, even if it is in a constant state of evolution.

Hypocrisy is almost a perfect album. There’s only one thing keeping it from being so, and that’s Time Warp. The eighth song here, it’s nowhere near the level of quality permeating each and every other part of the album. It’s more reminiscent of the most awful moments of Catch 22, if anything. Yeah, I’m referring to that pseudo nu-metal sound (more of a slight influence really) discernable in some of the songs. It’s unfortunately here, in this third and final fast-paced song on the album, although it seems that this time Peter didn’t quite manage to get it right. Drums, vocals, riffs, everything just collapses into a huge mixture of mediocrity. As awful as that song is, fortunately it only is one song and it doesn’t affect the enjoyability of the rest of the album at all. Melodic death metal never got this atmospheric or epic before or since, and anyone remotely even interested in the genre must acquire this masterpiece.

The best release from one of metal's greats - 100%

Cretaceous_Bob, May 15th, 2007

No album I've bought has had the staying power that Hypocrisy's self-titled release has. This is the defining achievement of a band that has put out quality work for more than 15 years. Classics abound on this atmospheric melodic death metal masterpiece; I've listened to "Fractured Millenium," "Until the End," and "Reversed Reflections" more than anything else. Really, its a culmination of Tägtgren's creative output. The death metal moments, the thrashier moments, and the mid-paced melodic moments are all part of Hypocrisy's trademark sound, but nowhere else are all of these done as well as on this album.

The guitarwork on this album is a real treat, as well as the vocals. Hypocrisy has never surpassed the quality of the songwriting this album contains, nor the intensity of the music, and it shows. Friends of mine that normally ignored Hypocrisy declared that the self-titled is "fucking awesome" after being introduced to it.

If you claim to like any death metal at all, this band will definitely appeal to you, and if you enjoy any melodic death metal at all, this album will fucking blow you away.

One of the best albums I've ever purchased. I'd buy it again one hundred times over.

Defining melodic death metal! - 98%

Cravinov13, April 6th, 2007

Hypocrisy have never failed to impress with each and every album release they have made so far. With the release of their self-titled comeback album, the band reached new heights in perfecting the melodic death metal genre. After the release of their fifth full length album The Final Chapter, Hypocrisy went on what was expected to be a permanent hiatus, but after the major success of the classic death metal trending black metal release, Hypocrisy came back with their sixth full length classic album release. heir s/t is full of dark symphonic melody, blistering guitar riffs, wicked guitar solos, harmonic and scathing vocals, and atmospheres straight out of a sci-fi horror movie.

If you were to ask me what the greatest intro track was, I would say without blinking the first track on this album, Fractured Millennium. The song begins with a symphonic keyboard riffs that creates a powerful apocalyptic atmosphere. The song the ascends into a smooth drum and bass line that burst into a blistering scream, blast beats, and doom-esque guitar riffs. The song then slows down into a grooving guitar melody followed by Peter Tägtgren's scathing black metal sounding vocals. The song has a powerful atmosphere throughout and a very dynamic chorus with amazing musicianship and precision. Arguably the best Hypocrisy song ever made so far. The opening drum roll and ripping guitar solo of Apocalyptic Hybrid shows the thrash side of Hypocrisy as Peter Tägtgren belches out some deep death metal growls. The song is extremely fast paced and is easily defined as controlled chaos on the most brutal level. Although the song doesn’t contain as many presentful dynamics as the first track, it stands as a solid example of pure, scorching brutality.

Fusion Programmed Minds is a more typical Hypocrisy track, with constant catchy guitar riffs, steady blast beats and heavy bass lines. Peter Tägtgren delivers more of his screeching vocals throughout the track as the music rolls on in a constant aura of chugging riffs and thundering atmospheres. Elastic Inverted Visions is another rare example of melodic death metal at it’s prime. The song starts with mellow guitar strums followed by a catchy, ascending, doom-esque guitar riffage. The overlapping of the vocals is tested on the track, making a very electronic sounding atmosphere surrounding the slow yet heavy riffs. The song has amazing atmospheric melody and is extremely catchy as it flows in and out of it’s heavy and melodic elements.

The next track, Reversed Reflections, starts with some mid paced guitar riffs followed by some very smooth clean vocals. The song is one of the less heavy songs on the album and has real good song flow and atmosphere. Overall it is one of the more simple tracks that standout as good rest from the death metal brutality. Another on of Hypocrisy’s greatest pieces, Until The End, another doomy slow song that is fueled with heavy riffs and melodic guitar strums. The vocals on the song are some of Peter Tägtgren's best, showing a strong emotional tact to them. The song has great atmosphere and amazing musical aspects that make it one of the highlights of the album. Going back to a more typical melodic death metal style, Paranormal Mysteria kicks off with some heavy, slow riffs that pick up into a very upbeat, atmospheric tune followed by some screeching vocals as the song hits it’s crushing bridge. The song has some great riffs and grooves, but does not compare so much with some of the other tracks. Still easily a great song on this great album.

Every Hypocrisy album has at least one oddball track, and Time Warp being the one on this album. The song is very fast and very thrashy for the most part with yelling vocals that almost sound like nu-metal vocals mixed with Slayer. The song then steadies it’s pace as Peter Tägtgren continues to yell endlessly. The song is by far the worst on the album, but by no means a bad song (just more or less deeply out of place). The song will appeal to thrash fans the most from this CD. The deep and melodic atmosphere of the opening riffs to Disconnected Magnetic Corridors tell you you’re heading into another powerful, melodic track. The song is very straightforward and mellow toned, but catchy, along with more amazing vocals and bass work. The song is best described as one of those melodic death metal tracks that never seem to end but when it does you wish was longer.

As if the previous track wasn’t melodic enough, Paled Empty Sphere takes the cake as Hypocrisy’s ballad track. The song is the only one on the album that does not show much of a death metal influence (meaning the song could fit on an album by Hypocrisy that is the equivalent of Opeth’s Damnation). Every thing about the song is perfectly executed in a progressive atmosphere of melodic guitar strums, catchy bass tunes, slow drumming, dynamic choruses, and beautiful singing. A perfect closer track for a perfect album.

THIS WAS ORIGINALLY WRITTEN FOR SPUTNIKMUSIC.COM

Instant Trade - 10%

demonomania, March 1st, 2007

I picked this up with Entombed's "Wolverine Blues," both for under ten dollars. "Wolverine Blues" rolls this album up, smokes it, eats the roach, shits out the digested roach, and then makes the next copy of "Hypocrisy" each those shitty roach bits. While I gladly would have paid double for Entombed's excellent entry into the death n roll genre, they should have paid me to take this lackluster excuse for a Hypocrisy album off their shelves.

Hypocrisy is one of my favorite Swedeath bands, as they manage to blend the new ear for melody with the traditional stomping, fuzzy, brutal sound of Stockholm. Another reason I like them is that you're always able to tell that it's Evil Pete behind the whole thing - every album has his own peculiar muse stamped all over it. In this case, Pete's muse must have gotten lost. Or maybe wandered down a back alley, injected full of heroin, and gang-banged by Ben Folds Five.

Gone is the evil sound that filled the "Obsculum Obscenum" days, missing is the raw and spontaneous nature of "Into the Abyss," and not-yet-formulated is the perfect balance of "Virus." Hell, even that "Abduction" album is better than this, at least there were a couple cool songs on there amidst the nu-leanings.

What you get on "Hypocrisy" is a bunch of watered down melodeath riffs that fail to catch the listener's ear, a weak (at best) vocal performance from Pete that is completely bogged down in ATROCIOUS clean sections, drumming that may have been sampled from any other low-effort Gothenburger. What does it equal? An album to trade, instantly. Which I did - thanks to the trading section at the Metal Archives forum. I hope the cool dude I traded with in Poland enjoys this more than I did.

So in summary, avoid. If you want to collect everything Hypocrisy has put out, think twice about the middle section of their discography. I certainly won't be pursuing it any further. A few of these songs sounded cool on the concert DVD accompanying "Virus" - maybe all the spirit was sucked out of them by the production, recording process, bandmember mindset, who knows? This I do know - Hypocrisy is capable of much better.

A modern day classic - 100%

Lord_Jotun, January 20th, 2004

After standing on the verge of breaking up for some time around 1997, Hypocrisy needed something strong to mark their comeback. Therefore they dived into writing new material, and the result was an album that was originally meant to be called "Cloned", but for various reasons that title was dropped so the band made the decision to simply call it "Hypocrisy", to further underline its character of a new beginning. The "farewell" tour that followed the release of "The Final Chapter" and the devotion of the band's fans worldwide filled Peter, Mikael and Lars with new energy, and harmony inside the band was re-established when all the members (and not just Peter) began to contribute with ideas for the songwriting again.
With this album, the experimentation that began with "The Forth Dimension" and was later more developed with "Abducted" reached a new peak. Diversified song structures paved the way for bold and unusual arrangements, with Peter stretching the limits of his voice to fit the particular mood of each of the songs. Of course, the sound was once more excellent, as in everything produced in the well-known Abyss Studio.

"Hypocrisy" begins "Fractured Millennium", a perfect album opener with its great buildup at the beginning: first, eerie keyboards set a kind of sci-fi atmosphere (typical of post-1994 Hypocrisy), then the powerful bass and drums join the melody, and finally the guitars kick in, announced by an abrasive pickscape and accompained by Peter's raucous, inhuman scream. It's clear from the start that the band took more time to work out the arrangements of the songs (which were already excellent on the previous efforts), and even the sound manages to be better than in the past: the guitars are still acid and overpowering but not as sharp as they were on "Abducted", the drums have more power, the bass is thicker and the keyboards are given a more rounded and full presence. The vocals, however, are a story of their own. As said, on this album Peter tried to experiment on his voice, probing different solutions for each and every song. He uses several kind of voices - rasping screams, deep growls, clean chants and more - but instead of using one instead of the other, he often uses two or more of them together, adjusting their levels in the mix so that one of them dominates over the others but leaves them still very audible. This adds a new dimension to the sound, and indeed "Hypocrisy" has an aural depth unparalleled by any other album at the time, which fits perfectly the more intricate song structures.
"Fractured Millennium" itself is a mid-tempo in the vein of the band's "hit" "Roswell '47", but this time the melodies, while still being catchy and powerful at the same time, are more complex and mature in their key changes, the guitars create layers and layers of distorted melodies and Peter's vocals complete the job - there are clean vocals hidden in the chorus. This song has really a lot of stuff going on, despite its accessible nature, which is quite an achievement.

For a complete contrast, "Apocalyptic Hybrid" hits the listener like a train with its frightful speed and aggression. This song is best described as a relentless maelstrom of riffs flowing one into another at breakneck speed; the guitar work is insane, the drums never slow down, the vocals are sinister menacing. The display of musicianship shown here is totally amazing, this has to be one of the most frantic and mercless numbers Hypocrisy have ever put out - and yes, I'm counting the first albums too.
"Fusion Programmed Minds" lets the listener recover with some seconds of laid back distortion as an intro, but soon explodes into a Maiden-esque galloping groove that sustains the whole song. Peter sticks to sharp screams on this one, although on the chorus he tries a kind of semi-clean rasp that really gets me. The riffs are great, once more, so the song is a winner on the musical side too.
"Elastic Inverted Visions" is a track written by the band as a whole, and showcases some of the album's best melodic ideas so far; opening with a simple but really cool clean guitar line, this song becomes another great Hypocrisy mid-tempo with layers of guitars and keyboards building a great atmosphere. Peter shines once more, as he uses clean but aggressive vocals paired with hsi tradeemark screams, and even goes into a dual voice clean part during a quiet break.
The speed goes up again for "Reversed Reflections", another Classic Metal-influenced track built on some seriously kick-ass riffs, perfectly balancing melody and crunch. This is where Peter begins focusing more on clean vocals, and does a great job at it, as a good deal of melodic depth (like in the bridge) is provided indeed by his multi-tracked voice.

"Until the End" is one of the slowest moments of the album, but doesn't definitely lack in power thanks to its great riffs and Lars's clever bass drumming, which stays quiet during the verse, becomes faster during the bridge and reaches a peak in the chorus - and the rhythm always stays the same. The vocals are mostly clean and again multi-tracked to create beautiful harmonies, with Peter coming up with a low and sorrowful voice in the chorus (kinda reminds me of Andrew Eldritch of the Sisters Of Mercy); sorrowful is indeed the best adjective to describe the mood of the song, moved on with a slow and depressive pace by majestic keyboards and sad guitar melodies.
"Paranormal Mysteria" brings the groove back with a vengeance, an almost Black Sabbath-ish idea perverted by the band's post-Death Metal sound; wicked riffs rule the scene with little room for keyboards (which however fit perfeclty whenever they come in), and Peter's eveil screams return to the front, although there are brief (and wonderful) clean breaks to be found.
After such a streak of mid-tempos and slow meditations, the impact produced by "Time Warp" is even stronger than it would normally be. Although less frantic than "Apocalyptic Hybrid", this clearly Thrash-influenced assault is loaded with speed and anger; Peter's voice is clean but ferocious, and paired with some sharp-edged screaming outburtsts (the gradual switch from clean to screaming voice in "you're sucked into the time wwwWWWWAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRP!!!!" gets me every time). The riffs are some of the most powerful to be found in the band's cataloue, the drumming is relentless... yes, it's a great track, one of my favourites actually.

In complete contrast with the former assault, "Disconnected Magnetic Corridors" sticks to a slow tempo all the way through, but the variation that the rhythm doesn't bring is provided by the very complex melodic apparate. The riffs are linked to each other via very unusual and almost awkward key changes (and often loose harmonic structures can be found within one single riff), yet the superb arrangement makes the whole lot flow on very smoothly. The song has an almost psychedelic edge with its ethereal riffs and vocals, and every single instrument provides intricate melodic lines that blend in together wonderfully: the guitars and keyobards soar all over the place, the multi-tracked vocals summon unforgettably beautiful lines and Mikael's powerful bass creates the shape-shifting backbone which keeps the weird harmonic structures from clashing into cacophony and leads the song into ever unexpected directions. It's also interesting to note that this song, despite the very laid back drumming, was written by none less than Lars, who had also contributed with "Time Warp", just to show how much the whole band's involvement into the songwriting process breathed new life into the band's already wide-scoped sound.
"Paled Empty Sphere", the "official" closing track, was penned by Mikael and Peter like "Until teh End", and once again is a rather slow and melodic number, although not as overwhelmingly sad as the former. This song retains a pretty oniric atmosphere from the beautiful intro (featuring just quite keyboards and clean guitars) to the intense chorus; once again the arrangement is fantastic, as the guitars and keyboards grow louder along the way and reach a peak in the chorus, as Peter's clean vocals do. Great melodies, and great atmosphere. Tenth winner in a row.
There is, however, one more track to be found: "Self Inflicted Overload", which was listed as a bonus track on the first pressing of the album but actually appears in the subsequent regular copies anyway (luckily). This song is a pretty straightforward heabanger, really great to listen to; it's clear why the band decided to include it as a bonus track and not as part of the official tracklist, because it doesn't really fit with the rest of the songs. Peter's vocals are once again harsh for this one, although his high pitched screams at the end ("you won't get me aliiiiiiiiiiive"!) are something you don't want to miss.

With this album, Hypocrisy wanted to impress, and they sure did impress me. It's easy to get into, but offers something new with each and every listen thanks to its multi-layered song structures, and once again is a flawless display of mature musicianship served with the best production one can imagine. It's a great start if you are getting into Hypocrisy, and essential for any fan of the band. This is an album that deserves to be owned by any Metal fan, actually, so I'd better end this review here and let you go and get it.