Hypocrisy – Worship Review

Like Angry Metal Guy said in his review for Hypocrisy’s A Taste of Extreme Divinity, there aren’t enough people who know of Hypocrisy. I’ll add to that by saying if you don’t know the brainchild of Peter Tägtgren, you’re an idiot, your mom hates you, and all your friends think you’re ridiculous. Look in the mirror and repeat after me: “I’m a nobody.” We’ve all had to do it. I did this very thing myself 20 years ago. It’s a humbling experience to know you’ve let yourself down. But, once you’re finished, everything will be right with the world, and you’ll never look back.

After releasing a debut of his own Americanized Swedeath, Ole Pete decided to let loose and explore the sound that eventually made Hypocrisy what it is. While I very much appreciate the band’s earliest work, it’s the transition to melodeath that made me stick around. Throw in a dash of X-Files level alien conspiracy, Tägtgren’s unique vocals and guitar tone, and we were blessed with the untouchable Abducted and The Fourth Dimension. But it hasn’t stopped there. While Hypocrisy has classic records, even their current work is up there with their best. For instance, records like Virus and A Taste of Extreme Divinity prove the consistency of the band’s material. Along with their musical consistency, you can always count on a crisp production from Petey. I could say the same thing about this year’s Worship.

The first thing I notice when the title track kicks in is the album’s master. Typical of Hypocrisy’s masters, there’s a fair amount of compression and brickwalling, but Worship has far more breathing room than its predecessors. While Virus was razor-sharp and cut your eardrums up with a knife, Worship is a smooth, easy listen.1 But, for better or worse, Worship also leans heavily on “slower” material to go with its dynamics. Coincidence or not, it’s clear from the start that Worship is no Virus.

Slower, more melodic numbers include two of my favorites on the album: “We’re the Walking Dead” and “Bug in the Net.” If nothing else but for their addictive choruses. Thankfully, it’s more than that. “We’re the Walking Dead” has a heart-wrenching pace that gets even moodier with the deep vocals and chorus. But “Bug in the Net” is even gloomier, like a combination of Virus‘ “Living to Die” and A Taste of Extreme Divinity‘s “The Quest.” Both are brilliant pieces and drip of that melodeath emotion that only Tägtgren can do.

That said, there are few ball-busting pieces on Worship. The standouts are the title track, “Greedy Bastards,” and “They Will Arrive.” All have driving riffs to match their face-punching choruses. “Worship” is a perfect opener to the album—teetering between unhinged and complete control. For instance, you’d never guess from the pleasing acoustic intro that a very tasty breakdown would appear on the back half of the song. “Greedy Bastards” is similar. It’s highly headbangable with a chorus that feels like Steel‘s sweaty paw slapping you in the face. Of the three, though, “They Will Arrive” is the most satisfying. It has that clever combination of addictive, melodic chorus and meaty death licks.

For me, these tracks are the most memorable of the lot. I wouldn’t say the rest of the album is filler, but Worship doesn’t have the urgency and standing power of more recent albums. Though not the same album, for multiple reasons, Worship reminds me of End of Disclosure. I like most of the album, but not all of it—leading me to jump around to my favorites and forget the rest. For instance, “Dead World” begins with a Tägtgren scream like no other, transitioning into some heavy, death riffs. But, with each listen, it unhooks itself from my brain and wanders away. Songs like “Brotherhood of the Serpent” and “Gods of the Underground” also fit this mold—enjoyable but not enough to fire me up. Thankfully, when the album hits, it hits hard. It’s not their best outing, but the dynamics, crushing riffs, and addictive choruses make it worth a spin or two.

Rating: 2.5/5.0
DR: 8 | Format Reviewed: 275 kb/s mp3
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Websites: hypocrisyband.com | facebook.com/hypocrisy
Releases Worldwide: November 26th, 2021

Show 1 footnote

  1. This is in no way a bash on Virus. I can’t imagine listening to that album without the harsh approach and neverending assaults it unleashes on my ears.
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