Vocalist/guitarist Peter Tagtren is the mayor of a small village in Sweden(population, 25). He wanted to get away from the rat race of the big city, so he bought a remote village, 3 hours from Stockholm. It's supposed to be about midway, between Oslo and Stockholm. He rents out houses to people there. This is also where his famed Abyss
Studio is located. Celtic Frost
, Dimmu Borgir
, and Children Of Bodom
have all recorded some of their music there.
This is the 11th album from this Swedish melodic death metal band. They took a 4 year break from the previous album, to clear their minds and come up with some fresh material. This album was recorded, mixed, and produced at Abyss
Studio of course. The quality of this recording is exceptional. It sounds very clear and crisp. It's no wonder why all of those other big name bands wanted to record their music there.
Valley Of The Damned, is a speedy and melodic song. It starts off sounding like an early Judas Priest
song, but played 3 times faster. Then it's interspersed with nordic melodies, that are played at medium tempo. Hang Him High is about a killer on death row, whose only remorse is his failure to successfully kill some of his victims. Weed Out
The Weak, has some very flashy guitar work, that reminds me of Guitarist Niklas Sundin from Dark Tranquillity
. No Tomorrow has a kick ass rhythm, it's about the fear of surgery. Taste
Divinity, starts off with very grim bass riffs and then thrashes along at a fast tempo. Alive has a groovier rhythm that can be compared to Vesania
. The Quest is a slow and boring song. It sounds like the slow and boring songs from their previous albums. I'm convinced that they follow the same recipe for songs like this. Tamed(Filled With Fear) starts off with some melodic thrash, then the song inverts into a groovy rhythm, like Vesania
. Sky Is Falling Down
has a catchy rhythm, with melodic guitar picking. The Sinner
is a return to their early roots of their grimmer songs.
I've been a fan of Hypocrisy
for 10 years and I miss their grimmer style of metal. Well, we can forget about expecting any albums like that from them in the future. We just have to accept the fact that this is the style of metal that they have evolved into. On this album I can detect some early Judas Priest
influence on one song. At a few times in this album, their are some drum blast beats that sound very similar to those by drummer Mike Portnoy of Dream Theater
. It's hard for me to compare the style of Hypocrisy
to other bands. But I would say that they sound closest to Catamenia
or Dark Tranquillity