Nuclear Blast
Release date: September 5, 2005

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Peter Tägtgren has to be one of the busiest men in the business. The trademark sound of his Abyss studios has become one of the industry’s most desired, and since both Pain and Hypocrisy have grown big … most of us have trouble coping with one full-time job, this man cannot have any spare time to speak of.

Although Pain –- his techno-meets-Metal-one-man project -– has experienced quite some success, most notably in his homeland of Sweden, but also in several other European countries, it is because of Hypocrisy that he, and guitarist Andreas Holma, bassist Michael Hedlund, and drummer Horgh of Immortal fame(this is not at all a solo project although the first few lines may make it seem otherwise) will be remembered. They have through the years acquired high status in the Metal community, and Virus should definitely build further on this.

After a short intro, “Warpath” kicks in, and this is a blindingly good track. A quite brutal opening paves way for a swinging verse with Tägtgren’s awesome growling voice and a tight drum groove before the marvelous chorus kicks in with a great melody line accompanied by deadly tight double-bass kicks and mighty choir-aah keys. This is the album’s best track, and one of this year’s highlights.

“Scrutinized” is also in the more brutal vein but unfortunately far from the quality of the opener. Luckily, “Fearless” is far better, being a very good, very catchy track, which is an obvious choice for a single. Although the chorus is a bit tougher with more prominent drums and guitars, this track is more Pain than Hypocrisy, really, but very cool still. “Incised Before I’ve Ceased” is also in this vein, at least in terms of having catchy choruses. This song is overall heavier, though, but these two songs, together with the raunchy and very cool “Let the Knife Do The Talking,” which are the most melodic on the album, in addition to the bombastic opener, that is.

“Craving for Another Killing” is on the anonymous side, as is “A Thousand Lies.” “Blooddrenched” and “Compulsive Psychosis” are two classic Hypocrisy-style Death Metal “Light” songs with melodic riffing, intense drum patterns, and a mix of growls and melodic shouting/singing in the chorus, and both tunes are very good, solid pieces of Swedish Metal. The closing track, “Living To Die,” is slower in pace and has a more epic feel as the riffing is almost reminiscent of Savatage (not unlike the main riff to “Morphine Child” of Poets and Madmen, actually) and the arrangement is more pompous than usual. The orchestrations do not come out that well, but the track is still pretty cool. The chorus is very good with its catchy and majestic melody line, which suits Tägtgren’s voice excellently, and the track is perfect for an album closer.

With solid musicianship and a trademark production, this is all in all a very good album from a band, which, for the most part, always delivers quality albums. A must-have for the fans of this band, and for everyone hungry for good, Scandinavian, Melodic Death Metal.


  • Torgeir P. Krokfjord

    Torgeir was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. After hearing Malmsteen's "Vengeance" on a guitar mag CD at the age of 12 or 13, he began doing hopeless interpretations of Yngwie licks and it just took off from there. After shorter stints at other zines he was snatched to Metal Express Radio in 2003. Alongside Yngwie, Savatage, WASP, Symphony X, Blind Guardian, Emperor, Arch Enemy, In Flames, Opeth, Motörhead, Manowar, and Queensrÿche are a quick list of musical faves. Torgeir is also guitarist in the Heavy/Prog/Thrash outfit Sarpedon.

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