Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.
About "The Fourth Dimension" and the Album's Cover
Hypocrisy is a really heavy and dark death metal band from Sweden that was on hold but as of February 2018, they are active again. However, in 1995, I got a chance to listen to their 1994 album called "The Fourth Dimension" and I was impressed! However, let’s also discuss the meaning or symbolism behind the album cover. The cover shows a body that is on a chair and it is heavily wrapped up. The body is in a solitary room, possibly a jail cell. On the ceiling is an open hole leading to somewhere up above, maybe to another world or another dimension. The cover art and symbolism therefore do match with the album’s title.
The Song Apocalypse is a Great Way for the Band to Have Started The Fourth Dimension
The orchestration in the first song called Apocalypse sets the tone for what is going to be a VERY heavy album filled with grunts by vocalist and guitarist Peter Tagtgren. The grunts are a level between David Sanchez Gonzalez and a heavier version of Chris Barnes. Not all slow, heavy songs are good but this one is a solid one that shows that Hypocrisy has the talent of heaviness even when their speed is slow. Hypocrisy shows me that they are able to write spooky songs that make sense from a musical standpoint. The slow, atmospheric part turns to heavy guitar mixed in and then there is a brief moment of silence as the bass can be heard. After the spoken narration, the real side of the band comes in and this band gets down to business.
There is a quality about European metal bands and Swedish metal bands that their orchestration along with their musicianship seems to fit in perfectly. Hypocrisy is a VERY heavy band but if you can tolerate the heaviness and be able to tune into an entire one of their albums, you are tough enough to handle it.
There is a section in which our ears get a break from the heavy guitars as the bass can be heard as well. However, I would be hard pressed to say tht this album is heavier than the album called Orthodox by Czech death metal band Krabathor. This album probably isn’t as heavy as that one but for the time that it was written (1994) it might as well be an album that defined death metal in Sweden.
Analysis of the Songs "Mind Corruption" and "Reincarnation"
The song called Mind Corruption has a riff that we would hear in the band Arch Enemy when Johan Liiva was their vocalist in 1996. The song can describe what religious fanatics in the Middle East try to do to brainwash their citizens. These fanatics will take away their people’s goals and aspirations while brainwashing them for a questionable cause. The song Reincarnation has one of the best riffs in the career of this band. The solo in this song is influenced by American thrash metal band Testament.
The Song Called Reincarnation
The Album Has American Metal Band Influences
The song Reborn has Slayer style leads in it as the band uses speed after another slow song. Path to Babylon has a solo similar to the song called Angelclaw. The vocals are of a lower grunt style but of the same speed as Johan Liiva would have sung while he was in Arch Enemy. However, Johan Liiva’s vocals are of a rougher and higher pitched kind of death metal vocals. The song called Slaughtered (not the song by Pantera) is a song about people that are considered to be apostates and typically these people will meet their doom. The song called T.E.M.P.T. is a heavy song that is influenced by 1980’s death metal (think Chuck Schuldiner).
The North Wind is the Album's Strongest Song
However, the strongest song in this album is the song called “The North Wind,” a song about the North Wind that blows so strongly that it drags people away to their deaths. The song tells a sort of story, a tale of how death and evil spreads over the Earth leaving much chaos in its path.
There is the Title Track as Well in This Album
The Fourth Dimension (song) starts out soft briefly before you hear the heavy guitar sound. There is an atmospheric feel in this song similar to Dutch band Within Temptation. The song is about someone that is slowly witnessing their own death and they frantically try to bring themselves back to their body rather than going to an undesired place. Maybe he has something further to do on this planet before he departs.
The Song Called The North Wind
How Good is The Fourth Dimension?
Overall, The Fourth Dimension is a very good early standard death metal album. It has the darkness, heaviness, and brutality that was common in these kinds of albums. However, it is not perfect because it does not have enough melody to be an elite album but it is still very solid.
© 2017 Ara Vahanian