without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
Being directly linked to the legendary Abyss Studio, an over the top sound is the least you can expect from any Hypocrisy album (at least from those recorded there). The question is: does Hypocrisy shred on stage as much as they do in the studio? The answer is contained in this tasty little package.
Recorded at the renowned Wacken Open Air Festival in 1998, "Hypocrisy Destroyes Wacken" is quite simply all you can ask for to a live album. First, to be sure to recreate a perfect sound on stage to avoid any further studio overdubs, the band had a 3 hour soundcheck (!!!), proving once more Peter Tägtgren's fame of perfectionist. And as you push play and are greeted by the first notes of "Roswell 47", you realize it was worth it, as Hypocrisy recreated their trademark crushing studio sound on stage. Anyone who heard "Abducted" should know this is by no means an easy task.
But of course a great sound doesn't make a great live album. The core of it all lies in the performance. Hypocrisy knows that, and they prove to be awesome musicians once more. All the songs sound organic and powerful even without the band's classic studio gimmicks, like vocals / guitar effects and keyboards. Actually, the band only uses a second guitarist (Mattias Kamijo) and very few DAT's to recreate indispensable keyboard sections (e.g.: the beginning of "Apocalypse") and some sampled voices (like on "The Final Chapter"). The perfect interaction between the two guitars and Mikael Hedlund's rumbling bass creates a rock solid wall of sound, recreating the studio counterparts so faithfully you will hardly notice any missing sounds.
This rawer appoach gives the songs a new dimension, and enhances the "live" feeling without butchering the original atmosphere.
Being recorded in 1998, the band's live set mainly focused on the newest fferings - "The Final Chapter" and "Abducted" -, but the tracklist includes songs from every album the band released to date. Of course, it's those older songs who make "Hypcrisy Destroys Wacken" such an interesting listen: "Osculum Obscenum", "Left To Rot" and "Pleasure of Molestation" have never sounded so ferocious and intense, freed from the static album production and Masse Bromberg's not very intense vocal performance compared to Peter's inhuman growls and shrieks. However, the rest of the set is just as rewarding: great pit movers like "Buried" or "Insaminated Adoption" unveil their real potential, and even slower tracks like "Apocalypse", "The Fourth Dimension" or the closing "The Final Chapter" don't lose an inch of intensity of heaviness compared to their album renditions. Add a couple of fan favourites like "Killing Art" and "A Coming Race", and what you have is the album's winning eleven. I could wish for some more ("Mind Corruption" or "Abducted" would destroy live), but the set remains lengthy and rich as it is.
As a bonus, Hypocrisy added four studio tracks as a "thank you" to all fans who didn't allow the band to quit after "The Final Chapter". Since two of these songs would later resurface on the band's following album, "Hypocrisy", I believe these songs were originally meant to be released as an EP forerunning the new album... whatever. "Time Warp" and "Until the End" (which gets mistyped twice on this cd - first as "Unkill the End" and then as "Till the End"!!) show two different sides of the same band, the first being a very fast blazer and the latter a moody, atmospheric ballad, both featuring Peter's clean voice on the forefront (thrash-like screams on "Time Warp" and melodic singing on "Until the End"). They dound like demos or pre-productions of the album songs (there are no liner notes explaining where the bonus tracks come from), but they already sound pretty developed and arranged, just with a rawer sound.
"Fuck U" is only available here, and as the title suggests is a very funny song, almost a punk rock parody with Peter sounding as if drunk; anyway, the song itself is a speedy headbanger built on very good riffs, and makes a very pleasant listen. To my knowledge, the last track, "Beginning of the End", was also available as the b-side of the "Carved Up" single, but I don't know if this is the same version (once again due to the absence of liner notes). It doesn't sound like it comes from the sessions of the previous three tracks, but it doesn't sound like a song from "Abducted" either, so it can possibly come from the "Abudcted" pre-production sessions (as Peter himself stated that lots of songs were dropped off the final tracklist because the band thought they weren't good enough). Anyway, it's another great song with many shifts from slower to fast tempos, with Peter's voice sounding closer to Black Metal than anything else.
So we have 11 great live songs and 4 very good bonus studio tracks. Excellent sound quality. Excellent performance. This works both as a treat for long time Hypocrisy followers as well as an introduction to new fans.
I can give it nothing but a full 100%.
Final words: go get this now.