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A prolific and influential Swedish heavy metal group that explores themes like the occult, conspiracy theories, astrobiology, societal unrest, and mental illness, Hypocrisy emerged in the early '90s with a sound rooted in uncompromising traditional death metal. As the decades progressed, the band adopted a more melodic, though no less punitive sound, which they applied with extreme prejudice on career highlights like Hypocrisy (1999), Virus (2005), End of Disclosure (2013), and Worship (2021). Hypocrisy was formed by Peter Tägtgren in 1990 upon his return to Sweden from Florida, where he had been inspired by that state's flourishing death metal scene (bands like Morbid Angel, Deicide, Death, and Obituary). Hypocrisy's first demo was recorded entirely by Tägtgren himself; once it secured him a record deal, he recruited a lineup of Masse Broberg (vocals), Jonas Österberg (guitar), Mikael Hedlund (bass), and Lars Szöke (drums), while he himself settled on guitar. This lineup released Penetralia in 1992, at which point Österberg left the group. Obsculum Obscenum appeared in 1993, and Broberg subsequently departed as well, with Tägtgren assuming vocal duties. Thus reconstituted as a power trio, Hypocrisy began to hit its stride, recording The Fourth Dimension (1994), Abducted (1996), and The Final Chapter (1997); in the meantime, Tägtgren developed an alternate career as a producer, working with bands like Dimmu Borgir, Immortal, and Dark Funeral. Hypocrisy officially disbanded following the release of The Final Chapter; however, fan interest persuaded Tägtgren to reconsider the breakup, and a live album, Hypocrisy Destroys Wacken 1998, was released in early 1999 as a precursor of things to come. A new album, Hypocrisy, followed shortly thereafter, and elicited near-universal critical acclaim. Into the Abyss appeared the following year, with Catch-22 (the band's eighth long-player) arriving in 2002. Hypocrisy closed out the decade with a string of well-received efforts, including Virus (2005) and A Taste of Extreme Divinity (2009). After the release of 2013's hard-hitting End of Disclosure, the band went on hiatus, but returned in 2021 with the crushing and imaginative Worship, which featured a lineup that included Tägtgren, longtime bassist Mikael Hedlund, and drummer Reidar Horghagen.
© Steve Huey & James Christopher Monger /TiVo
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