Release Date: 26th November 2021
Record Label: Nuclear Blast
For Fans Of: At The Gates, Bloodbath, Katakl
After decades plying their trade, Hypocrisy have become very good at writing melodic death metal. So long as you don’t expect any significant boundary-pushing and are happy without any surprises, Worship is a pretty decent record. Peter Tägtgren and his not-so-merry-men seem to be settling into a comfortable middle-age and make no effort to rock the boat, but their thirteenth album is still an enjoyable listen.
Predictably, it’s a mix of fast, thrashy numbers and more methodical, Gothic-tinged material. The former are ably represented by the likes of ‘Greedy Bastards’ and the pummelling title track, while ‘We’re The Walking Dead’ and ‘Bug In The Net’ handle the gloomier end of the spectrum. There’s tracks here that are precision engineered to set the pit raging, but there’s also ones which exist to smother the audience in a suffocating air of dread.
What sets Hypocrisy apart from their contemporaries though is their choice of subject matter. They’ve always been fascinated by conspiracy theories and Worship is no different; Government cover-ups and visitors from other worlds make appearances in the lyric sheet once again. This lends an even more sinister edge to proceedings and if you’re ever forced to build a pyramid for your alien overlords while wearing nothing but tattered rags, Hypocrisy have the soundtrack ready to go.
This will all be very familiar for long-term fans. You could play this next to their 2004 release The Arrival and not notice much difference between the two. However, what they lack in innovation they make up for in execution. The riffs are still sharp, the choruses are catchy and there’s not a single bad song. Worship won’t herald a brave new world for death metal, but it’ll keep the circles spinning on the European festival circuit for a few more years.