Hypocrisy - _Virus_
(Nuclear Blast, 2005)
by: Jackie Smit (
Hypocrisy got it right this time, and it was certainly long past due. With not two, but three stinkers in the bag, it's been nearly six years since the release of their self-titled sixth and arguably last listenable record. It's not as though one can be supercilious about it either; after all, how many bands have it in them to remain consistently great over the course of nine consecutive albums? So, it's especially surprising and inspiring therefore to hear that on the Swedish foursome's tenth studio outing, they have well and truly resurrected their craft.The one thing that _Virus_ is not, is lumbered beneath the weight of umpteen fresh ideas. The more astute listener will more than likely compare songs like "Warpath" and "A Thousand Lies" to the finer moments on _The Final Chapter_ or _Abducted_ fairly early on. The difference is that this time round, all of Hypocrisy's stellar qualities -- their knack for aggressive and dark riffery for one -- have been thrust to the fore, relegating the vain attempts of their past efforts to sound epic and catchy far into the background.You could argue that this new-found musical acrimony is part and parcel of ex-Immortal sticksman Horgh's induction into the group's ranks (and it's likely that Peter Tagtgren would be one of the first to agree with you on this) but in reality it's a sterling performance from the entire group. The only question after a record like this is whether or not the band can maintain the momentum on future releases. I'd say bring it on, but whatever you do guys, don't keep us waiting another six years.
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