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Hypocrisy: Catch 22

All credit to Peter Tagtgren for keeping death metal interesting -- a dubious honor in a moribund genre, but nonetheless, owed where it's due. Strangely, while the outer fringes and opening splashes of the songs on this latest full-length evoke everything from Scorpions-style anthems ("Seeds of the evil one")to Nu Metal of the Rage Against the Machine persuasion ("Turn the Page"), riff structures plug inevitably into a chugging, punchy Entombed formula with the tone borrowed from latter-day Carcass, yielding to ragged, vaguely melodic choruses that yearn in some kind of Pink Floyd way for resolution (Tagtgren summons an odd vocal homage to David Gilmour, especially on the mournful "All Turns Black"). It doesn't quite cohere -- not enough contrast or cohesion to make any one song memorable. I couldn't figure what to make of this album, other than that it ought to fully satisfy the needs of all those ex-con looking guys in the mosh pit when you see Hypocrisy play out in your town, but calling this 'the first' Hypocrisy record, as Peter does, smacks of the delusional, unless -- and I hope -- he's messing with us. And this on the heels of 10 Years of Chaos and Confusion, which I can't get enough of. I say pass.

Added: August 7th 2005
Reviewer: Alex S. Johnson
Related Link: Nuclear Blast USA
Hits: 3769
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Hypocrisy: Catch 22
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2005-08-07 08:22:25
My Score:

Catch 22 is the much maligned child of the Hypocrisy family, perhaps unjustly so. While Peter Tagtgren & Co. took a lot of heat for the nu-metal and industrial thrash sounds on this release (it's the least death metal album in their discography), there are still some strong tracks to merit repeated listens. Sure, the album kicks off weakly with "Don't Judge Me", but "Destroyed" is a kick ass, fist pumping anthem with furious guitar riffs and pounding drums from Lars Szoke. "On the Edge of Madness" is a brilliant symphonic death metal piece, with wonderful keyboard textures, driving riffs, plenty of guitar harmonies, and Tagtgren's lethal vocals. On "A Public Puppet" the band tries to churn out some metalcore, not too successfully I might add, but get back to some groovy metal on the rampaging "Uncontrolled", complete with a pretty catchy chorus. Despite some nifty wah-wah guitar intros, "Turn the Page" might be a little too much nu-metal or industrial for some. I kind of like it, perhaps not as a good Hypocrisy song, but as a decent modern metal track, although the drum sounds on this piece are just way too tinny and thin sounding. "Hatred" is kind of more of the same, a little heavier, but less interesting, and it's not until "Another Dead End (For Another Dead Man)" that the band returns to their melodic death metal roots. This ones a furious thrash and burn, fueled by deathly vocals, and wonderful guitar work. "Seeds of the Chosen One" screams melodic all the way, as Tagtgren lays down some double tracked harmony guitars ala Judas Priest of Iron Maiden at the outro, then turns the piece into a slammin' and crunchy anthem, complete with heavy riffs, plenty of harmonies, and a catchy chorus. Shades of Pink Floyd, Porcupine Tree, or Opeth can be heard on the dreary prog-rock of "All Turns Black", with Tagtgren's clean vocals and soaring guitar work leading the way.

While nowhere near the classics Hypocrisy, The Arrival, Final Chapter, or any of their other earlier releases, Catch 22 still is a must own for the Hypocrisy fan, and perhaps metal fans who shy away from the more extreme death metal albums from this band might like the more tamed and accessible approach the band took here. Certainly check this out also if you enjoy Tagtgren's project Pain, which is along similar lines.

Track Listing

1) Don't Judge Me
2) Destroyed
3) Edge Of Madness
4) A Public Puppet
5) Uncontrolled
6) Turn The Page
7) Hatred
8) Another Dead End (For Another Dead Man)
9) Seeds of the Chosen One
10) All Turns Black

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