By now most of you will have heard that "The Final Chapter" is the last Hypocrisy album, and if not you can certainly guess it by the title. A shame, really, as Hypocrisy are one of the few old school bands who I felt have retained relevancy amongst the onslaught of black metal upstarts and thrash revivalists.
As on their last album, "Abducted", the topic is once again alien abduction. The only printed lyrics are for the song "The Final Chapter", which details a captive's sexual exploitation by his abductors and subsequent psychological trauma. While Hypocrisy fail to give the listener the same level of discomforting nausea that Dark Angel used to excel at, most fans will be tuning in for the music, which is more than exceptional. There are moments of solemn atmospherics, replete with keyboards and tremolo picking, but these are few and far between the predominant non-stop riffing. One of the things that makes Hypocrisy a contender is their ability to fuse new elements, such as the black metal synth melodies or the retro Maidenisms of Peter Tagtgren's soloing style, to their sound without losing control of their compositions.
The production (by Tagtgren) on "The Final Chapter" is excellent for a death metal band, though I await with salacious appetite the day when bands like Hypocrisy receive the same mixing and engineering as commercial heavyweights such as White Zombie or Nine Inch Nails. But for now, I'll settle for crystal clear double-bass drumming and a cleanly distorted soloing tone which doesn't smear one note into the next.
All in all, a fond farewell, and one that should keep fans looking forward to Peter Tagtgren's subsequent efforts, though the day will surely come when Hypocrisy reforms for another monster album before returning into The Abyss from whence they came.