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Hypocrisy - Penetralia
Review: The work of madmen and genius, this album is crafted from the simplest rock-derived rhythm-based death metal yet projects an impressive imagination in the creation of dark spaces and urgent yet doubtridden riffs. Dark enough to be black metal, with the cutting edge of aggression of speed metal, integrated into a speeding (although not overly technical) death metal format, populate a release whose songs cycle their own origins but thrust forth compelling rhythm in the median.
Vocals are the higher ranges of a death metal shriek and pace them impressions slightly behind tempo for an urgent, breathless effect when not nailing cadence with a rigorous guttural declaration. Conceptually this fits within the acerbic atheism and violent antisocial alienation spitting forth from shorter, impact-driven songs. Careful to use mostly a slippery tremelo speed texture, Hypocrisy also invent within slamming cross-sections of modal tension transfer to improve upon many of the techniques of technical Tampa bands.
The result is dark, violent, brows-furrowed anger and doom music, showing very much the influences of Slayer and Death, but only as musical integrates, as the end work is a unique production. Tonally simple, riffs are the tension between two points and in thundering chromatic work balance their brief melodies with strident enunciation, balancing a chain reaction to its preceding complement. Riffs are strong for their surging, rippling, wavelike motion and fit precisely into songs of few elements and small achievements amplified by careful arrangement layering introductory material to make consistent transitions.
Percussion and bass follow guitars while shifting through internal variations to compress variants into linearity. For its culmination, this album detours into the dark melodic "Penetralia" in which ballad form is inverted and mutated to provide a sense of descent and grim discovery. While the musical knowledge behind this work is cut from a basic template and thus songs do not vary melody or pitch greatly, the inventive fingerwork and adept kneading of riff shape construct together a convergence upon clarity that for this form of nihilistic rhythm music is distinctive and intuitive to a range of metal listeners.