A Taste of Extreme Divinity

When reviewing the latest release by a group with a back catalogue such as Hypocrisy‘s, the question comes up of whether to compare it to previous releases in terms of “success” or whether to let it stand alone. I’ll try to do a bit of both in this review, because it’s only fair. Hypocrisy‘s timeline spans nearly 20 years, amazingly enough, and they have certainly progressed but never lost touch with their core sound. A Taste of Extreme Divinity, released in the United States this month, demonstrates this fact. While taking the cryptic Hypocrisy sound to a new dimension, Peter Tägtgren and crew have also kept a hold on their past, a measure which has created an entirely new and utterly kick-ass record that still bites like vintage Hypocrisy.

First impressions assert A Taste of Extreme Divinity‘s ties to past albums such as The Final Chapter, Into the Abyss or The Arrival, with a patented blend of sinister melody and weighty crunch. At the same time, it’s an album that can stand on its own as a monolithic slab of melodic death metal. Opener “Valley of the Damned,” which has more in common with 2005’s blazing Virus than most others on the new album, thrashes and writhes in all the right places. Tracks such as “Solar Empire” and “No Tomorrow” layer epic, paranoid melodies atop some underlying evil (aliens? demons?) that is unmistakably Hypocrisy. Others, like “Taste the Extreme Divine” and “Tamed (Filled With Fear),” crunch in the best mid- to late-’90s fashion, while still others such as the slow and otherworldly “The Quest” hearken back to The Fourth Dimension days. In other words, A Taste of Extreme Divinity is a smorgasbord of the best from Hypocrisy’s catalogue, but nothing seems rehashed.

The masterful hands and ears of musician and producer extraordinaire Peter Tägtgren have done it again — they have created a simultaneously crushing and melodic masterpiece that is every bit as essential to Hypocrisy‘s discography as 1993’s Osculum Obscenum. The trademark Hypocrisy presence, though always morphing and evolving, is present in full force on A Taste of Extreme Divinity. Fans who may have been deterred by the lackluster Catch 22 have hopefully gotten their asses back on board, although if not, this would be the place to do so. Definitely a worthy follow-up to 2005’s Virus and worth listening to over and over.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Jodi Van Walleghem
November 5th, 2009


  1. Commented by: Stiffy

    Cryptic is a great way to describe their sound. Unique band. Always has been.

  2. Commented by: Biff Tannan

    What do you mean they never lost touch with their core sound ??? Huh ? Have you ever heard Osculom Obscenum?
    The only thing that is that even remotely connects them with their crushing roots is the fact that they still use guitar,bass,drums and vocals ; )

  3. Commented by: gabaghoul

    I think Biff has a crush on Jodi

  4. Commented by: Biff Tannan

    “I think Biff has a crush on Jodi”

    what gave it away ?? My uncharacteristic use of a smiley face ? Is she cute?

  5. Commented by: Biff Tannan

    How the fuck is the new Katatonia?? Anyone heard it ? Waiting for a review on here! Lucky Europeans have had it for a few days already.

  6. Commented by: gabaghoul

    Shane’s writing it up soon. how come you don’t post on the forums btw?

  7. Commented by: Biff Tannan

    Eh….don’t know. Maybe I will. I usually stick to the Nuclear War Now! forum…more my type of music. I tend to come off as a hideous troll on here because I hate a lot of this ‘metal’ : ) But I enjoy some of the articles on here, so I stop by often.

  8. Commented by: Biff Tannan

    so….. is it good ? I’ve read mixed things about it,so I guess I’ll have to wait and hear it for myself.

    I just hope it’s better than The Great Cold Distance. It had 3 or 4 great songs, but a lot of filler and some ‘nu-metal’ tendencies to my ears….

    I LOVE that band…hoping for a masterpiece!

  9. Commented by: gabaghoul

    what’s the difference between the stuff we cover here vs Nuclear War Now! don’t know what that site is.

    the new Katatonia… sonically it’s the best they’ve ever sounded, very lush and layered, love the new keyboard sounds specifically – some really heavy downtuned riffs here and there (which you might find nu-metal, I dunno).

    the songs are a lot harder to pin down though, they’re not as accessible as GCD or Viva. probably the most morose and depressed album of their entire career actually. so I am really torn on this one – not liking it as much as I’d hoped, even though it’s been on all day. Forsaken and Idle Blood are the real standouts so far (but maybe that’s because Idle Blood sounds like Damnation-era Opeth more than classic Katatonia).

    sorry for hijacking your Hypocrisy review Jodi!

  10. Commented by: Biff Tannan

    Nuclear War Now! Is a label run by a guy from Redwood City, CA. He does a lot of really intricate “Die Hard” vinyl pressings of old classics, signs a lot of obscure thrash/black/death bands from around the world. Lots of south american stuff. Great stuff on that label….generally, the harder edge stuff such as Blasphemy/Sarcofago etc.. tons of vinyl nerds like myself on there. Its a great place to learn about great, unknown bands new and old !

    Sounds like the Katatonia is a head scratcher!

  11. Commented by: gabaghoul

    cool I don’t know much about the SA scene, I will check it out. there do seem to be a ton of Chilean blogspot sites though!

  12. Commented by: Biff Tannan

    South America has produced some KILLER bands over the years….I think a lot of the political/social turmoil really fuels the bestial nature of the music.

  13. Commented by: Brandon Duncan


  14. Commented by: gabaghoul

    pm me and send me a list to check out

  15. Commented by: Shane


    If you promise to show your face on our boards I’ll do the Katatonia like right away. I have a feeling you would get a long pretty well with Vulg, Cynic, and Ohiogrinder on here. What say you Gaba?

  16. Commented by: gabaghoul

    yeah stop lurking in the wading pool and jump in the deep end already, I promise we won’t poop in it

  17. Commented by: Biff Tannan

    I created an account…but it’s saying my account is inactive. Didn’t get an email for activation…..

  18. Commented by: gabaghoul

    create a new one!

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