Thursday, May 16, 2013

Hypocrisy - Inferior Devoties (1994)

Before he felt safe to jump completely out of the closet with the release of 1996's 'Abducted', Peter Tagtgren used to pretend that he was a "macho man" and was intent on selling that illusion by releasing a couple of ultra-generic Swedish death metal albums in the early '90's. Looking back on it now, it's rather plain to see Tagtgren's raging homosexual tendencies as 'Penetralia' (the title says it all) and 'Osculum Obscenum' ('Exclamation of a Necrofag', anyone?) were rather paltry and half-hearted attempts at coming across as some sort of purveyor of brutality. Throughout the years we would see Peter sneaking out of the closet to indulge his cravings for cock with forays into black metal (The Abyss, War) and  techno/industrial (Pain) but it wasn't until 1996 that Peter had had enough of pretending to be something that he wasn't (a heterosexual) and decided to come crashing out from the confinements of his closet stronghold, full bore, and declare himself 'King of all that is Gay', a title that would go unchallenged, for the most part, until the arrival of 'In Flames' (again, title says all).

Hidden in between Hypocrisy's fraudulent beginnings and their grand declaration of homosexuality lies the one release that I can say I enjoyed, which came in the form of the 1994 ep, 'Inferior Devoties'.

For a hot second it seemed as if Hypocrisy were onto something here, but then they would end up taking the sound they had discovered here and redress it with their former mediocrity for their next full length 'The Fourth Dimension'.

In all fairness, 'Inferior Devoties' finds the band at their most vicious. If I had to draw a comparison I would say that this comes pretty close to what 'Liers in Wait' were doing on their 'Spiritually Uncontrolled Art', though considerably less technical than that release. 'Inferior Devoties' is more straightforward than 'SUA' but no less vicious or abrasive. The riffing is high in quality as I honestly cannot detect a dud among any of the songs showcased here, except, of course, the title track, which is merely an updated rendition of an older track originally released on the rather average sounding 'Osculum Obscenum'.

I do have to say, for all his faults, Peter's vocals are absolutely fucking awesome here. makes me wonder why they bothered with the fat guy who sang on their previous material. For a guy who looks like he's been on a year long crack binge, he belts out some unbelievably powerful and commanding death metal roars and some impressive screams as well.

Unfortunately the band didn't sound half as convincing as this when it came time to release their next full length, and again, it was back to the boring bullshit that they had used as a foundation for their career, though by that time they had chosen to forsake the tried and true Sunlight style for a weaker, more timid sounding affair.

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