Band Photo: Hypocrisy (?)
From: Stockholm, Sweden
Last Known Status: Active
Ten years ago, the metal underground was abuzz as a new, sinister style crept out of the humid Floridian swamps. While the dying thrash scene valiantly stood its ground against the glam rock onslaught, death metal fought in the trenches against the influx of flannel-clad grunge loggers streaming out of the Northwest. One talented musician experienced the fight firsthand, and upon returning to his home country of Sweden, decided to form a band of his own. His name: Peter Tägtgren. His band: Hypocrisy. Today, only the burnt husk of death metal remains. And while some of the names linger on, most are still revered largely due to misplaced nostalgia. Only a few still have an impact on today's extreme metal scene. None more so than Hypocrisy.
Penetralia was released in 1992, but it wasn’t until Osculum Obscenum hit a year later that the metal community took notice, as it was the first Hypocrisy effort to combine the sonic pureness of old-school death metal with the hysterical frenzy of the burgeoning black metal scene. After Osculum Obscenum, Hypocrisy emerged with the line-up familiar to fans. On 1994's The Fourth Dimension, Tägtgren, drummer Lars Szöke and bass player Mikael Hedlund began to develop their magic formula: death metal at heart but full of variation and entirely open-ended.
Abducted established Hypocrisy as a leading force in the Swedish scene. It included the hit "Roswell 47" and defined the amorphous Hypocrisy sound. Tägtgren displayed his newfound talent for singing, and the album as a whole broke out of the limited death metal "box," exploring everything from death metal anthems, to black metal blasters, to Pink Floyd-inspired suicide ballads. Abducted served as a warning for the waning mid ‘90s death metal scene – evolve or die.
In 1997 rumors circulated that The Final Chapter would be exactly what the name implied. Tired of shouldering the burden of writing and producing Hypocrisy’s material and wanting to further develop his side-project, Pain, as well as his studio, Abyss Studio, Tägtgren decided to call it a day after The Final Chapter; however, pleas from fans, the growing success of the band and the immense fun he experienced when playing live made him continue. Riding high on renewed vigor, Hypocrisy released Hypocrisy Destroys Wacken in early 1999 followed by the experimental Hypocrisy later the same year. What once started as a pure death metal act now appealed to death, black and gothic metal fans alike. A year later, Into the Abyss was recorded in just a few weeks, an exercise in spontaneity that resulted in a display of energy so raw it proved that although death metal in its original form might have stagnated, its spirit could still drive music to exciting new dimensions.
After encapsulating their first 10 years with 2001’s 10 Years of Chaos and Confusion, Hypocrisy returns with a disc Tägtgren brazenly calls the first "real" Hypocrisy record. The band have never shied away from writing challenging material that didn’t follow a prescribed formula. Catch 22 is sure to "catch" long-time fans a little off guard as the band explores the entire range of their extensive repertoire. Modern sounds and influences meld with the traditional Hypocrisy aesthetic to make an entirely new beast – crushing, groovy, catchy and, at times, sorrowful ("All Turns Black"). Hypocrisy refuses to release cookie-cutter albums, and that may be the catch 22 for fans; expect the same repetitive formula every album, and you’re bound to be disappointed; open yourself to the unfettered creativity of Hypocrisy, and anything’s possible.