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Hypocrisy: Penetralia (remaster)

Penetralia was the debut of one of Sweden's most beloved death metal acts, the legendary Hypocrisy. Originally released in 1992, and now lovingly remastered and reissued by Metal Mind Productions, Penetralia is a noteworthy release not only for the fact that it was the first for what would be many great albums for this band, but also featured on lead vocals Masse Bromberg, better known to many as Emperor Magnus Caligula from black metal gods Dark Funeral. Don't expect Bromberg's trademark screams here, as his growls, and the music, are heavily influenced by the Florida death metal scene, especially acts like Deicide and Morbid Angel. Back in this time period, band leader Peter Tagtgren was enamored with the Florida scene, and it's apparent all over Penetralia, perhaps the most punishing and brutal album in the Hypocrisy discography. With Tagtgren yet to become the lead singer and allowed to focus entirely on his guitar work, this album is chocked full of sledgehammer riffage and blinding solos, the rhythm team of bassist Mikael Hedlund and drummer Lars Szoke working overtime through ten tracks of pure death metal fury. Bromberg shows he knows how to handle being a brutal death metal growler, as he menacingly plows through pieces like "Impotent God", "Left to Rot", and "Burn By the Cross". Dark Funeral fans who have never heard these early Hypocrisy recordings will be quite surprised at his performance here. Tagtgren does take one lead vocal on the album, the mini-epic title track, which is a haunting slice of atmospheric, doomy death metal, featuring creepy keyboards during the opening segment before erupting into a raging maelstrom of pummeling & speedy death metal.

While Penetralia might seem a stark contrast to what Hypocrisy later evolved into over the years, it's still a solid debut that was a product of the times and hinted at what was to come from this popular melodic death metal band. Kudos to Metal Mind for the great looking digipack filled with photos, lyrics, and liner notes, plus the inclusion of two very good bonus tracks in "Life By Filth" and "Lead By Satanism".


Track Listing

  1. Impotent God
  2. Suffering Souls
  3. Nightmare
  4. Jesus Fall
  5. God Is A Lie
  6. Left To Rot
  7. Burn By The Cross
  8. To Escape Is To Die
  9. Take The Cross
  10. Penetralia
  11. Life of Filth-bonus
  12. Lead By Satanism-bonus

Added: May 11th 2008
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Score:
Related Link: Hypocrisy Website
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