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Few death metal outfits ever manage to create as recognizable a trademark sound as Hypocrisy have developed in the 20+ years of their career. Nevertheless I wasn´t sure what exactly to expect from their new album. Its predecessor, A Taste Of Extreme Divinity, had left me with very mixed feelings - while it wasn´t bad as such, it failed to excite me in any way, no matter how often I listened it. Maybe grandmaster Tägtgren himself felt that it lacked a certain edge, because his advance comments about End Of Disclosure promised a nod to the band´s older, darker and heavier material. But when the title track was released as the first single, my first reaction was mild disappointment again. Hypocrisy goes pop?
The second advance video track, however, spoke a quite different language. Powerful and aggressive, "Tales Of Thy Spineless" was just the kind of appetizer that whets your appetite for more of the same. It also is a prime example of Tägtgren´s talent for spicing songs up with unexpected twists and turns - listen to the break at 3:34 and you´ll know what I mean.
These two songs form the opening duo of the album, and despite my initial reaction to the title track, I admit that integrated into the whole, it works just fine. The third track, "The Eye" is massive enough to make for an instant fan favorite, but personally I find it somewhat boring between the multi-faceted "Spineless" and the high-speed "United We Fall". The spot in the middle of the nine-song album is given to "44 Double Zero", which takes up the traditional Hypocrisy topic of alien contact. Other songs deal with familiar subjects as well, such as conspiracies and the imminent end of the world as we know it. However, at his poetic best we find Peter in the very down-to-earth lyrics to "Soldier Of Fortune", which tells the story of a young man ending ending up as cannon fodder in one of too many pointless wars. By coincidence, the music for this song was composed in collaboration with the songwriter´s own son. It is another highlight of the albums, although my top favorites are "Hell Is Where I Stay" and the closing "The Return". Both are a slower in tempo, but all the heavier for it - "Hell" in particular hits you like a fully-loaded freight train. The dramatic six-minute "The Return" starts almost softly but builds up to majestic heights. A worthy ending to an album that lives up well to its creator´s promise.
1. End Of Disclosure
2. Tales Of Thy Spineless
3. The Eye
4. United We Fall
5. 44 Double Zero
6. Hell Is Where I Stay
7. Soldier Of Fortune
8. When Death Calls
9. The Return