Many bands seem to get a bit bored after years of playing the same style. Some of these bands chuck in the towel and call it quits. Others make a genuine attempt to do something different. This is not always successful, especially when a band chooses a new direction that leaves their well-earned fans feeling disillusioned and frustrated. I think Hypocrisy was very close to crossing this boundary with 2002’s “Catch 22″. Personally, I didn’t find it too bad, but it definitely had a nu-metal feel to it that just didn’t sit well with the hordes of death metal fans that have followed Hypocrisy since the early 90s.
So, what’s “The Arrival” got to offer? The answer is, Hypocrisy have gone back to what they do best. This album is completely in the vein of “The Final Chapter” and “Hypocrisy” and is sure to make the previously disgruntled fans happy little campers.
For the uninitiated, Hypocrisy play death metal, but they have a rather distinctive sound. Most of their albums are a mix of slower melodic tracks and pedal to the metal more standard death metal tracks. It’s the slower tracks that have always got my attention, but I’m glad the band chooses to mix things up. As they say, variety is the spice of life.
“The Arrival” is all by the books Hypocrisy. The science fiction theme runs through the album’s lyrics and artwork once again, and the vocals constantly switch between a scream and a growl. Anyone who thought Peter’s vocals were getting too soft will be sufficiently impressed (even more-so if you get the latest Bloodbath album).
“Erased” is a superb track that’s up there with the bands best work, but there really aren’t any filler tracks here. The production is great, as if we’d expect anything less when Peter Tagtgren is involved, and the music is catchy enough to demand repeat listens.
Overall, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by “The Arrival”, as I thought the band’s better years were behind them. Hypocrisy has shown that there’s a lot of life left in this legendary Swedish act yet.