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Pure evil - 100%

MutatisMutandis, January 3rd, 2006

It’s a rare holiday when I actually pick up a death or black metal album I truly enjoy. Formulaically, I pick out two or three mp3s, listen to them religiously depending on wether they suit my pallet or not, then, also dependent on reaction one, pick up the earliest material I can find of theirs. As you can see, I have this down to a complete science. Why? Because I’m very, very stingy when it comes to purchasing albums that are over 10 dollars. That’s right, I’m a cheap asshole who does more research than a perky Harvard girl when it comes to subjects as irrelevant to my actual life chords as this.
Hypocrisy wasn’t one of those bands, though. I just had a whim to pick up their second album of three releases, Osculum Obscenum. After about 5 or 6 listens, I wiped off the drool, decided the bondage outfit I was wearing was not necessary for me to feel the full force of the punishment this album inflicts, and finally realized what people meant when they said Hypocrisy was one of the most extreme acts in all of metal.
Hypocrisy play an intense combination of harsh dark death metal and hate-filled, sometimes slightly melody laced black metal. The songs have a somewhat less epic feel than most of the albums I hold in this high regard, but flow so perfectly it’s difficult to believe they play such a standard, stale, genre. There are three factors aside the great riffing and natural flow that really make me giddy when listening to this, though. For one, the bass work is incredible. A fretless bass is at play here, and god damn, this guy know how to play. The best part about it is how audible it is at all times, and how it carries the music on par with the two guitarists.
The part two of my reasoning goes with the tastefully reserved keyboarding sprinkled throughout the album. True, they are rare, but they set a mood difficult for me to describe... it’s kind of like a ‘we rape goth kids’ or ‘we’re so evil it’s grimy’ statement. Any time they appear, it sounds like pure and utter blasphemy, and that’s a spicy meatball.
The third and possibly most ear catching factor is the absolutely crushing vocals of Masse Bromberg. You probably recognize him from Dark Funeral, which I’ve never really paid attention to due to their overall lack of will to push the envelope, but either way, he beats the hell out 90 percent of death metal vocalists like the red headed step children they are. Never have I heard such ridiculously evil growls and screeches that come across so coherently and bitingly he may as well be cussing like a sailor with a vice on his genitals. Just imagine Satan was narrating Revelations. That’s pretty much how he sounds.
Oh wait... the drums. Hard to believe I hadn’t brought that up earlier. Well, what’s to say? They’re excellent as everything else on this album is. Fast, technical, and powerful as the bejeezus. The production here is just as amped up and skull crushing as the vocals, and that’s a comparison I can’t make all too often. There are no bad songs on here, and repetitive listens have become mandatory for me in my aural diet. There’s even a cover of Venom’s infamous Black Metal, which is even better than when the pioneers settled it in the early 80's.
Overall, this is an absolute must have for any fan of the genre. I hold this in incredibly high regard, and it’s easily on my top ten list with My Dying Bride’s Turn Loose The Swans and Aeternus’ ...And So The Night Became. There's not one second of boredom to be found. I don’t know what the guys are up to these days, but I may as well check that out too... 10/10.