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The Hypocrisy of it all - 76%

marktheviktor, September 14th, 2008

Here we have Hypocrisy, a band led by guitarist and metal producer extraordinaire Peter Tägtgren. Churning out three rather brutal full-lengths to kick off their discography, their affinity for gore and mutilation accompanied by brutal riffs and wicked bass lines was a testament that underground death lie proudly in the catacombs of real metal. And then in 1996 with the album Abducted…well if I may quote the opening lyrics of the title track, ”In 1994 something else took control. They came and grabbed me as I was sleeping in my bed.” But what probably really happened was in 1994, Peter Tägtgren took control and was grabbed by a book called The Communion by Whitley Strieber that was so enthralling it could not put him asleep in his bed. As a matter of fact it was so interesting that he would decide to use its themes in later albums too.

Musically, the album is a big change as well in that it is significantly more melodic and the guitars are now much more mid-paced. The drumming is very precise and the snares embody this new direction for songs. Mikael Hedlund returns on bass and his four-strings compliment the time signatures rather well especially on the catchy Roswell 47. It’s a song whose energy resonates a ripple effect on the rest of the songs that follow. This is the record’s biggest strength because Killing Art is the next song which most fans of their previous albums will enjoy the most off of Abducted. It’s upper tempo and speed riffing takes no precedence from the melodic drift of the album either. Here PT’s screeching growls are very much in tune to the brutality of Hypocrisy’s brand of death metal. The song is rather short but serves to impress upon the listener that these otherworldly visitors are close and of the killing kind.

The next song to follow juxtaposes the speed/death vibe of Killing Art with a more epic approach on guitars with clean choral interludes. It is called The Arrival of the Demons (Part 2) which implies a prequel to more of these alien hostility themes to be explored in other albums like The Arrival of course.

The production is first rate and Tägtgren really shows his proficiency behind the board as he strives for a tightly woven album that stops just short of being too progressive for its own good. Hypocrisy fans for the most part were served well in this transition. There is a little something for everyone who appreciates either side of the band’s output as this album seems to be a good middle ground since it is highly regarded by their fans.

One well placed track is When the Candle Fades. As the ninth song, it is another slow and hypnotic tune while being almost rockish at the same time. From here on out, the album makes a nice transition to the more melodic. For example, the last two songs are cleanly sung epic post scripts. Back to back songs like that to conclude the album may seem awkward at first but Tägtgren wisely avoids placing them between the more aggressive songs that would otherwise disrupt the pacing of the album. Besides that, Slippin’ Away and Drained do seem to be a logical conclusion to the euphoria that is projected upon the proceedings. The songs themselves are very meticulous and well done. Peter definitely showcases a gravelly and haunting clean vocal style that is reminiscent of Mark Knopfler.

There are of course keyboards on this album and that is probably the most apparent aspect of the production in regards to the change of pace from their previous releases. But since they are purely in the background, it doesn’t detract from the experience one bit. They are used greatly for effect on the more epic parts of some songs like the instrumental Reflections which is a song that gives the feel of a soundtrack to some sort of esoteric journey.

If there is one criticism of the album, it’s that the middle songs do tend to run together a bit. I got the feeling that the whole alien abduction theme gets a little redundant also. And while the solos are quite well done, they don’t stand out in any way when it comes to heaviness which is what a lot of the fans of Obsculum Obscenum will be disappointed by.

If anything, songs like Roswell 47 and Killing Art can be recommended as kick ass to play the arcade game Area 51 to. In other words, Abducted is a very fun death metal album with a bent but no gimmick. The warped sensibilities of paranoia and pain are awesomely conveyed. Less Pain and more Hypocrisy is preferred. This album will give you a good dose of the latter with a hint of the former. I recommend that you get Abducted. Only not by aliens! How's that for hypocrisy?