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Review of the Album "Penetralia" by Swedish Death Metal Band Hypocrisy

Updated on December 28, 2020
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Ara is a Journalism graduate from California State University Northridge who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

This photo symbolizes the title of this album which means the innermost part of a building or a secret kind of place.
This photo symbolizes the title of this album which means the innermost part of a building or a secret kind of place. | Source

Penetralia Is One of Two Albums Without Peter Tatgtgren Doing Lead Vocals

Every band has a beginning from which they start their musical careers. Sweden’s Hypocrisy which has been known as a death metal band primarily really wowed and impressed me with their 1994 studio album “The Fourth Dimension.” But I decided to give their 1992 debut album Penetralia a review & analysis. However, doing the vocals for the majority of the album is Masse Broberg. Penetralia actually means the innermost parts of a building. It can also refer to a secret kind of place.

Musical Style of Penetralia & Lyrical Themes

The style right away is noticeable as being in the early death metal type of music. A few examples that come to mind are the early albums of Paradise Lost. The lyrical themes in this early period have to deal with hell and Satanism, not the most pleasant subjects to be exposed to. The band however, makes this a solid death metal release early on as the riffs fit in with the growling vocals which are of a really low guttural type. Even the drumming and the constant low growls are a clue that Penetralia is an early standard, heavy death metal album.

"Impotent God"

Penetralia Album Review Continued

The solo in the song Nightmare sounds kind of like what US thrash metal band Slayer would use in their lead guitar work. As usual though, with a standard death metal album like this, it can get musically stale for some fans. However, the song called Left to Rot finally changes the feel and we hear some atmospheric black metal sound here! It is about time these Swedish guys did something different musically! Penetralia is one of those really dark albums in terms of its guitar and you can tell right away with the first song called Impotent God. There is a section in this song that repeats with the heavy riffing as there is a time change and some chanting section comes in. The song called Jesus Fall might as well be a satirical attempt by Hypocrisy to try and explain the downfall of Jesus. The song might also be trying to point out the flaws of human nature because humans are destined to face death at some point. By the middle of the album, the fast hardcore drums that the band Napalm Death has been used to using can be heard in this album. It seems that the influences of Hypocrisy range from death metal to punk to melodic death metal in some cases.

"Nightmare"

Source

Final Thoughts About Penetralia

“To Escape is to Die” is a heavy song that features the use of the kind of melody that I would hear the late Chuck Schuldiner use in some of the songs he wrote. The double bass drumming greets the listener unexpectedly as the greatness of this album is only enhanced. Penetralia is the last song of this album which has operatic style chants along with the kind of guitar work that makes Swedish death metal bands famous. Immediately, yes we hear the influence of early Florida death metal in this song as Peter takes over on the vocals for this last song. For an early death metal album Penetralia is a decent release from Sweden’s Hypocrisy.

© 2019 Ara Vahanian

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