HYPOCRISY, the Swedish band that had released some of the most original Extreme Metal albums ever (including THE most original with their self-titled), started in the early 90s as a rather "generic" Death Metal act. It was inspired basically by the Floridian scene, adopting that straight-to-vein Satanist atmosphere that gave as legacy legends like DEICIDE and MORBID ANGEL, but also with notorious touches of primitive Black, specially in what refers to the occultist soundscapes created. It was, actually, after some time in Florida that Peter Tägtgren founded HYPOCRISY back in Sweden, writing all by himself a first demo called "Rest In Pain". That demo already contained the primitive versions of a few songs later present on "Penetralia", but there was one thing that specially tormented Tägtgren's nights: the lack of a good vocalist; and well, his summoning was heard and straight from hell came the best growler possible: Masse Bromberg, now known as Magnus Caligula in DARK FUNERAL and GOD AMONG INSECTS.
The base for the legend's first strike was ready. Wonders can born out of the union between one of the most genial songwriters and just the best Death Metal vocalist on Earth (you don't Know the potential of Masse Bromberg until you listen to "Penetralia" or "Osculum Obscenum") and this album demostrated it. This is just a sinister album, scary, creepy, deep, blasphemous and I could go on for years naming adjectives to describe "Penetralia".
The main influence I see here is DEICIDE, but this shit is much, much more evil. Most times is fast and ripping, with a diabolic drumming and schizophrenic riffs... when it turns slower, it's so haunting that overwhelms. The anger is unleashed in songs like "Impotent God", "God Is A Lie" and "Left To Rot", your blood begins to chill when the threatening "Nightmare" crawls from below and well, the self-titled song deserves a review apart...a dark soundtrack for an inner state of mind, intimate yet so freightening. The guitars are hypnotic as hell and the vocals fullfilled by desperation. This is the only track in the album where Peter Tägtgren does the voice himself and the result is a master song that had became my favourite in the whole HYPOCRISY's discography.
I don't really see a negative element in "Penetralia". Strong, angry, a filthy Death Metal masterpiece that makes you smell the worst of man, the scum of life. The kind of cheesy lyrics of some tracks that two pieces that don't reach the level of the rest are the only reasons for not to give it a 10, but the debut album of HYPOCRISY is certainly a MUST in any serious Extreme Metal collection. (Online August 2, 2006)