Peter Tagtren has led Hypocrisy from a talented Tampa-inspired death outfit to one of the most impressive extreme metal bands on the planet. Written after Tagtren had vowed to break up the band [during The Final Chapter] and then had a change of heart after getting a good ego-stroke at the Milwaukee Metalfest, Hypocrisy stands as their most adventurous and accomplished effort to date.
Over repeated listens, Hypocrisy reveals moods of great sadness and surprisingly delicate beauty within songs like Fractured Millenium and Until the End. The futility and depression of The Final Chapter was really embraced and Peter's guitar playing contains a starnge melodicism and complexity that firmly plants him as one of the finest composers in metal. He throws in a few old-school thrashers like Time Warp and Apocalyptic Hybrid, but the best songs on the albums drip with emotion and subtle hooks that just sink deeper with time.
Tagtren's vocal performace is also worth mentioning. Throuhgout the album, he pushes his throat from low death growls to a comfortable mid-range shouting to insane high pitched screams and even throws in some very good clean vocals on some songs. He produced his voice as a multi-layered instrument, playing different lines and voices over and around each other perfectly. The production alone is commendable, but when it's coupled with a perfomance of this caliber and both are done by the same person, it's amazing. But for all that, it's the album closer - a convincing ballad called Paled Empty Sphere - that contains the most impressive vocal stunt. During the pre-chorus, Tagtren sings a clean line that sounds very much like a yodel...and he makes it work. It's subtle, not something you'll notice right away, but it's probably one of the most successful experiments you're likely to hear in recent metal.
This is probably one of my favorite metal albums. It's one of the rare ones that just hits and hits and hits, never sounding old, never aging, never running out. Hopefully they'll come back to this style soon, as no one else out there is even coming close.