Review Summary: Sometimes heavy doesn't mean good.
I tried. For everyone out there ready to dissect everything I say and then tear me apart later, I just want to say I tried to like this album. I tried to imagine everything I had heard about Hypocrisy
was true, but sadly it isn't. There is absolutely no excuse to put down 8 out of 10 songs of the same thing. No excuse. It's not like those 8 songs are just average either, no, they are almost painful to listen to. The guitar distortion is way too heavy, the bass is simplistic at best, the vocals sound as if the band was trying too hard to make a straight up Death Metal album, when clearly they can write a hell of a lot better if they play Melodic Death Metal. Sometimes though, two good songs aren't enough to pull an album out of the obliterating car accident which is the rest of the album. I'm pretty sure this isn't Hypocrisy
at their best, but even so, with the amount of praise this band gets, they could have made something better than this.
Ok, rough start there. I'm not the kind of person who normally dislikes an album, especially an album from a band so highly esteemed as Hypocrisy
. It really takes a whole lot for me to give an album less than a 2.5, because I normally don't even think about buying albums which miss the bar by that much. I decided to give Hypocrisy
a go though, and made a blind eye purchase with their album Into The Abyss
. Everything about the album screamed awesome, that is until I actually put the CD into my stereo. Awesome cover art, awesome album name, awesome looking book on the inside. It might be that I was expecting too much from this album, but this thing just ruined my day. The album sounded bad, with a huge lack of creativity throughout almost the entire album, Into The Abyss
felt like one giant rush job, simply to get this thing out of the door to keep fans happy. A band with such a long history as Hypocrisy
should know better though, because the more you rush an album out the door, the worse it turns out.
We'll start off with the good stuff first, because I think I've shoved enough criticism down your throat by now. Two songs here stand out, and show that there is indeed a light at the end of the tunnel for Hypocrisy
. It's funny now that I look at it, but the two best songs on here are also the two longest songs on the album, which shows that when Hypocrisy
takes their time and actually writes a fairly long song, things turn out a lot better. I'm not saying that all the shorter songs in the world are terrible, it just seems this is the way things turned out on this album. We start off with the third track, entitled "Resurrected", and close it with the stunning final track "Deathrow (No Regrets)". These two songs show how Hypocrisy
can write a very, very good song simply by creating something different. With "Resurrected", the pace is very slow and crushing, with some awesome distorted vocals which really add some depth and variety to the otherwise bland sound put forth on this album. The guitars get more melodic as the song progresses, something which Hypocrisy
is apparently very good at, since any time when an actual melody is introduced into the song it turns into something amazing. Here, the melodies introduce an dark, epic atmosphere and mood to the song, which is apparent as "Resurrected" progresses forward, showing that Hypocrisy
has the capability of writing a good song. The highlight of this album is also the closer, "Deathrow (No Regrets)". Everything about this song is amazing, from the haunting beginning choir to the perfect guitar harmonies. It just begs the question, "Why the hell can't Hypocrisy
write a whole album of songs like these!?!?". As shown in these two songs, Hypocrisy
slows things down to add to the doom-metal-like heaviness, removing the chaos and replacing it with an ordered masquerade of melodies and hissing vocals coupled with some awesome guitar solos. Yes, this sounds remotely like the Hypocrisy
I had heard so much about.
It really is too bad though, that the rest of this album drives those two songs so far into the pavement that all remembrance of them disappears. I think the main fault here is the sad attempt by Hypocrisy
to divert from what they are good at (Melodic Death) and go towards something they obviously fail at (Regular Death Metal). It's almost too much to take in one sitting. The vocals simply don't mix with the chaotic drumming and the simple, crushing guitar riffs which play as fast as humanly possible in the background over and over and over again. The bass guitar doesn't help here, it is extremely simplistic and I think it's actually over-produced on this album, because during virtually every single verse I can hear it lying under the slightly distorted guitars, creating an annoying low plucking sound which drives me mad. The bass guitarist seems not to realize that he would sound a whole lot better if he actually tried to combine his bass in with the electric guitar and couple it up, adding that heavy, low undertone which sounds so good in Death Metal if it is done correctly. I really have no complaints about the drums, because it is one of the few things done right on this album, then again it's hard to mess up drums on a metal album unless they are pretty much nonexistent. Songs such as "Total Eclipse" and "Legions Descend" sound extremely alike, with nothing really separating them from one another.
Creativity and innovation is a huge factor for me when it comes to music I like, and Hypocrisy
isn't up to par in this respect. Ok, they have keyboards, that doesn't mean innovation is present in their sound. It may not have been a main goal of theirs to create something new, but please don't give me an album dozens of bands before you could have released. It's basically everyone playing as fast as you can for as long as possible before your hands become tired and you have to quit. Vocally, this album isn't much to look at either. It's either a higher-pitched hiss or a lower-pitched death metal growl, which is something I've certainly heard a million times before. The lack of creativity brings to mind The Absence's
newest album Riders Of The Plague
, being a huge disappointment and also one giant blur in the head of a metal fan who was so desperate to hear something new and groundbreaking, which was meant to leave a lasting impression. Instead, we have pure mediocrity. The one big difference between Into The Abyss
and Riders Of The Plague
is the fact that on Riders Of The Plague
, there was a ton of catchy melodies, just no variance. Here, we don't have the melodies (save two songs), and we certainly don't have the variance.
No thank you Sir, I do NOT
want some more.
+ "Deathrow (No Regrets)" and "Resurrected"
+ Solid Drumming
+ I Didn't Pay A Whole Lot For This
- Terrible Bass
- Vocals Are Painful To Listen To
- No Variety Except Two Songs
- Guitars Are Disappointing
- Almost No Melody From A Supposed "Melodic Death" Band