Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.
The Arrival is a Very Mature Musical Release in the Career of Hypocrisy
Hypocrisy, the Swedish death metal band that made their mark on the Scandinavian death metal scene of the 1990s returned in 2004 with their next album called The Arrival. Of course, since I have been a fan of these guys since The Fourth Dimension knew that this album needed a listen, review, and analysis. The Arrival is where we really witness the onset of the next phase of Hypocrisy’s career as the band has been transformed into more of a melodic death metal band as opposed to a more traditional death metal band that they were for the early part of their career.
The Arrival is also the last album to feature the contributions of original drummer Lars Szoke. By this time in the band’s career, Peter Tagtgren shows his vocal diversity. He now has a more raspy vocal approach instead of the lower grunts we may have heard 10 years prior.
"Slave to the Parasites"
The Arrival Album Analysis of the First Four Songs
Starting with the first song called “Born Dead Buried Alive,” the song shifts back and forth between a more melodic approach in the beginning to a faster Arch Enemy type of song in the middle. You can notice this time change if you recall what happened in the album Burning Bridges by Arch Enemy. The amount of melody that is present on the song “Eraser” is a good way to remind us of other bands that used a similar technique such as Celestial Sorrow. “Stillborn” is a song that lyrically is about someone telling about their experience as they were dying. Do we return to this Earth in the future? Are we alive on this Earth as part of a curse? The song is a philosophical way to look at and analyze the human existence. “Slave to the Parasites” is a song that continues this tradition of melody that we hear on this album as the song lyrically describes a person that has become a prisoner to their destructive thoughts and they feel like they are being eaten from the inside, hence, the reference to parasites is made.
Final Thoughts About the Album The Arrival
Then when we get to the song “New World” the main riff kind of just chugs along as the vocals get even rougher. The song is about the decay of human nature as lyrically there is reference to this new world which is going to come and wipe out human lives. The new world is also the one in which the world is living in now having to deal with the effects caused by the global Corona Virus pandemic. Of course, few of us could have known at the time that such an affliction would be brought upon this world. “The Abyss” is a song that stylistically resembles the band’s early 1990s work such as what we heard on The Fourth Dimension back in 1994. But this is written in a more modern way though. “Dead Sky Dawning” is a song that lyrically describes a situation where someone woke up to witness a completely different world than he had seen before. He sees a “dead sky dawning” upon the world and he wonders whether this is real or whether he is witnessing a dream. Stylistically, The Arrival can be considered to be a mixture of what bands would have been influenced by Hypocrisy including the bands Norther and Arch Enemy. Peter’s voice in this album is raspy enough to be similar to Petri Lindroos of the band Ensiferum. Nonetheless, The Arrival is more than likely the musical peak for Sweden’s Hypocrisy as they have gotten more melodic, more creative, and even changed vocal styles.
© 2020 Ara Vahanian