I’d never heard any of HYPOCRISY’s work before this album, but I’d heard so much hype about them and was fairly acquainted with “the god of Death Metal”, as he is known by his fans, Peter Tägtgren, due to his contribution to so many other fantastic albums and bands. I learned after listening to “Into The Abyss” however, that maybe I should have started off with some of HYPOCRISY’s greatly acclaimed first few albums, as this particular release really doesn’t interest me in any way.
The feel of the album is a rather dull, unchanging collection of mediocre riffs and boring songs. The performance is fine, but the musical content is really what holds the album back. Tägtgren’s vocals are harsh enough for a “Death Metal” album (although it sounds Doom-like in most places), but he seems uninspired to say the least. There are some average guitar solos, and overall the speed is slow-ish or Thrash paced; but none of your NILE-esque blasting here I’m afraid. Of course I’m not even sure if this sound is in any way similar to their previous albums. One might suggest that the band needs a change of direction after 6 or so previous releases, but whether this is a change or a continuation is still irrelevant in the fact that the band sounds fed up: probably the reason that Tägtgren has so many side projects now.
There are some good parts of the album, however. The final track, “Fractured Millennium” is fairly decent stab at an epic track, there are a few highlights in other songs and despite the lack of original material, in my opinion, the songs are injected with a fair bit of energy. Other than that the only thing I can see which could compel anyone to buy this album would be the back catalogue of the band, the links to Peter Tägtgren or perhaps the front cover. Perhaps this genre/sound isn’t my cup of Metal, but there’s little more I can say. (Online February 20, 2006)