It has been mentioned in the past that Death Metal is one of the less popular genres of Heavy Metal, but the scene appears to be alive and well in Glasgow as the packed crowd in Stereo prepare for the live return of Swedish band Hypocrisy to Glasgow for the first time since 2006.
At 9:00pm on the dot, 'Give It Up' by AC/DC fades from the PA as the lights dim and the band take to the stage in total darkness – save for a torch helping the drummer to find his position. With a short blast of intro music, the band makes a solid start going straight into the title track of their new album (and their first new recordings since 2009), 'End of Disclosure'.
Drummer Reidar 'Horgh' Horghagen is seated high up on his riser with his head narrowly missing the ceiling whilst the trio of guitarists head bang in unison below him. The band have a good all-round solid sound from the beginning, with touring guitarist Tomas Elofsson's sound especially fresh when set against the murky bass guitar and drum combination.
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'Tales Of Thy Spineless' gives vocalist Peter Tägtgren the first chance to demonstrate his (truly) blood curling scream before the song reaches top speed and even this early in the set, the head bangers down the front are getting down to it, whilst a number of younger audience members (this was an under-14s show after all) towards the back of the crowd stand open mouthed in appreciation of the skill involved in playing Death Metal tracks like this without dropping a note.
It certainly seems like the band has a burgeoning fan base in Glasgow and for the next hour and a quarter, they simply fly through their set. There are a couple of slower numbers like the (almost) Doom Metal drudge of 'The Abyss' and 'Elastic Inverted Visions', which still have the band and audience head banging away as one whilst at the same time being bathed in light which gives an ethereal feeling to proceedings.
There is some stage banter between Tägtgren and the audience but this is kept to a minimum and is simply a chance for him to catch his breath, however he does use one such break to dedicate the new track 'United We Fall' to "all the crazy fuckers (in the room)" - which accounts for pretty much every person in the venue tonight - save for a few drop-outs back at the bar. This is also when the first (and only) crowd-surfer of the night makes their appearance, and with no security down at the front of the stage, he's left (literally) hanging around above the crowds heads until he's unceremoniously dropped just before the fantastic guitar solo from Elofsson!
New tracks like 'The Eye' and '44 Double Zero' get a good reception from the head bangers down the front with the former being a good solid tune and one of my favourites of the night, before the latter has the mosh pit once again going full force with the faithful down the front repeatedly hoisting their devil horns in the air. It's at this point that the structural pole in the middle of the stage starts to become a major hindrance to bass player Mikael Hedlund as he and Elofsson try and swap sides of the stage – easier said than done!
The band thrash their way through 'Necronomicon' (referred to as "fast shit" by Tägtgren and he ain't wrong!), 'Buried' – truly awe-inspiring stuff – both of which keeps the crowd and bands energy up even though the end of the night is looming, and the main set comes to an almost Thrash Metal end with 'War-Path'.
After a quick break, the band are back onstage for a seamless encore of 'The Gathering' and 'Adjusting The Sun' before finishing with 'Eraser' which has the crowd giving their all one final time. Considering that the band haven't played Glasgow for a while, this was certainly a good indication that their fan base hasn't declined and let's hope that they don't leave it too long until they come back again.
End of Disclosure
Tales of Thy Spineless
Left to Rot
Fire in the Sky
United We Fall
44 Double Zero
Elastic Inverted Visions
Adjusting the Sun
You can catch Hypocrisy live here:
Wednesday 1st May – Gramercy Theater, New York, USA
Thursday 2nd May – Stafford Palace Theater, Stafford Springs, Connecticut, USA
Friday 3rd May – Foufounes Électriques, Montreal, Canada
Saturday 4th May – The Annex Wreckroom, Toronto, Canada
Sunday 5th May – The Foundry, Lakewood, Ohio, USA
Monday 6th May – Reggie's Rock Club, Chicago, Illinois, USA
Tuesday 7th May – Station 4 St. Paul, Minnesota, USA
Wednesday 8th May – The Zoo, Winnipeg, Canada
Thursday 9th May – The Exchange, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Peter Tägtgren – Vocals, Guitar
Mikael Hedlund – Bass
Reidar "Horgh" Horghagen – Drums
Tomas Elofsson – Guitar
Official Website: http://www.hypocrisy.cc/