Penetralia/ Osculum Obscenum (Reissue)

This is a remastered/reissue of the first 2 classic albums from Hypocrisy, the 1992 debut, Penetralia and the 1993 sophomore release Osculum Obscenum. I’m not here to give a history lesson on this legendary Swedish act, but suffice it to say, these 2 albums have become huge influences in the death metal genre, even over 20 years later where I still hear new bands grabbing some riffs of these 2 amazing albums. Many people, at the time, often compared Hypocrisy to Deicide, due to the brutal blasting, vocal patterns and lyrics. I always felt that this was a pretty good description, however Hypocrisy retained enough of a European/Scandinavian sound that, at that time, was all their own, especially on these 2 albums.

This remaster/reissue is presented in a double disc digipak. The first disc is Penetralia and 2 live songs. The remaster sounds punishing, with the drums really coming through beautifully, that double bass is scorching and the guitars and bass guitar twang really come through incredible and punchy. Just wait until “Impotent God” comes through your speakers and you will understand how much better this sounds as well as the always ferocious, “God is a Lie”. This was the first Hypocrisy album and they were a bit sloppy with some of the blast beats, not sounding too tight, however the guitar work was stupendous with memorable riffs on ever song. A classic debut!!

Disc 2 is Osculum Obscenum with 3 live songs and to this day, remains one of my favorite death metal albums of all time. Whether you’re a fan/musician you cannot possibly deny that with this release Peter Tägtgren created one of the heaviest guitar sounds, even to this day. And the remaster brings it out more so. When the title track is first growled out, that fuckin riff, to this day collapses my chest, the remaster further caving in my chest cavity. Or what about the opening riff to the killer, “Infant Sacrifices”, goddamit, it has continued to wreck havoc on city blocks 20 years later. Hypocrisy upped the blast beats on this album, also creating heavier passages and each song seemed to be more memorable than the next. One of the most perfect death metal albums of all time!!

Now while these albums still slay to this day, I have some qualms regarding the reissue. I am not sure how much input the band had in this, but when I see a reissue I want to see it stacked to the gills with shit. There are no liner notes and no band member comments. Not even a description as to when/who/where this was remastered. The booklet opens and thankfully the amazing Penetralia artwork is fully intact, on the first panel, with some pics of the band and then flyers that lead into the Obsculum Obscenum section. This part I’m pretty upset at since the album cover is not complete, with the eye balls cut off in the corners and only half of the demon/god figure showing. This is a disappointment since this is one of the craziest album covers of all time. Also the label could have included the Pleasure of Molestation demo and Inferior Devoties EP like they did in the 90’s, non-remastered reissue. A remastering of those also included on this disc would have made this an elite reissue. At the end of the day, though, I still recommend you picking this up, because the upgraded sound to these legendary albums sounds fuckin amazing!

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Frank Rini
August 16th, 2013


  1. Commented by: Jay

    want / need

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