Any of a kingdom (Virus) of prokaryotes, usually ultramicroscopic, that consist of nucleic acid, either RNA or DNA, within a case of protein. They infect animals, plants, and bacteria and reproduce only within living cells. Viruses are considered as being either living organisms or inert chemicals.

Viruses can be surprisingly elegant things. While some, such as CMV, contain as much genetic material as some bacteria, others have the bare minimum to be able to enter a cell and reproduce. It's tempting to think of viruses as incredibly cunning organisms - in fact, it's probably more accurate to think of them as a self-sustaining chemical reaction which happens to involve animal cells. Viruses don't think, yet are capable of defeating a highly evolved immune system and everything modern science can throw at them. I find them both terrifying and strangely attractive. See prions for the logical continuation of simplifying infective bodies, and become somewhat concerned.

ASCII Art drawing of a typical virus (in this case a T4 phage virus):
    head            tail
 ____|____  _________|_________
'         ''               __  '
  ______                __/  __
 /      \              /  __/
/ (((((  \_|---------_|\_/
\  ))))) /"|---------"|/ \__
 \______/              \__  \__
          /   /      /    \__
  / collar   /      /            \
 /          /       \            tail fibers
/         sheath    base plate
\
 protein coat
 
 (((
  ))) nucleic acids (inside protein coat)

Typical cycle for the spread of viral infection:

  1. The virus attaches by it's tail fibers to a cell wall by recognizing certian features on the cell's receptor sites.
  2. The virus works like a syringe by breaking down the cell wall at the base plate, and then using the sheath to pump the DNA through the cell wall into the cell.
  3. The empty virus capsule (protein coat, sheath, etc) is discarded.
  4. The cell begins making hundreds of copies of the entire virus using the DNA it was injected with.
  5. The cell walls break down and release these viruses into the host.
virtual shredder = V = visionary

virus n.

[from the obvious analogy with biological viruses, via SF] A cracker program that searches out other programs and `infects' them by embedding a copy of itself in them, so that they become Trojan horses. When these programs are executed, the embedded virus is executed too, thus propagating the `infection'. This normally happens invisibly to the user. Unlike a worm, a virus cannot infect other computers without assistance. It is propagated by vectors such as humans trading programs with their friends (see SEX). The virus may do nothing but propagate itself and then allow the program to run normally. Usually, however, after propagating silently for a while, it starts doing things like writing cute messages on the terminal or playing strange tricks with the display (some viruses include nice display hacks). Many nasty viruses, written by particularly perversely minded crackers, do irreversible damage, like nuking all the user's files.

In the 1990s, viruses became a serious problem, especially among Windows users; the lack of security on these machines enables viruses to spread easily, even infecting the operating system (Unix machines, by contrast, are immune to such attacks). The production of special anti-virus software has become an industry, and a number of exaggerated media reports have caused outbreaks of near hysteria among users; many lusers tend to blame everything that doesn't work as they had expected on virus attacks. Accordingly, this sense of `virus' has passed not only into techspeak but into also popular usage (where it is often incorrectly used to denote a worm or even a Trojan horse). See phage; compare back door; see also Unix conspiracy.

--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.

A computer virus is basically a snippet of code that replicates and ocassionally does something else. It typically uses some other computer program or executable area as the "host".

There are many different types of computer viruses.

Boot block virus
Virus that spreads from boot block to another. Somewhat common in the era when people still used floppies to boot computers commonly. (First PC/MS-DOS virus was called Brain, and it was a boot virus and the first stealth virus!
Executable virus
A virus that infects executables (binaries or scripts). Typically it attaches itself to the end of the executable and adds a jump instruction to the front.
Document viruses/Macro viruses
Spread via macros stored in documents, using an application as the host.

Most infecting viruses check if the host file already has an infection. (Sometimes not. In this day and age, gigabyteful executables might be shrugged at.) These virus "signatures" are often used as basis of virus detection (but in case of polymorphic viruses, new kinds of heuristics have risen. Sorry, my literature is from end-1990s. =( )

The age of huge computer networks has brought us...

E-mail viruses
These are bordering on a worm and virus (some experts call this a "hybrid threat") - some of these have traits of both. Typically, they spread as E-mail attachments; the users are lured to open infected document (see document virus) or run an executable (this is behavior closer to a normal worm, but since it needs manual steps to spread instead of being fully automatic, it's also viral in nature).

In fact, E-mail viruses are older than Outlook Express... (see Christmas Tree Virus.)

Legality of viruses: In most countries, it seems, writing and intentional spearding of viruses is considered dishonorable (if not by courts, at least by users!), in some countries it is downright illegal. (Making and intentional spreading is illegal in Finland - of all countries! And this happened in the country that has F-Secure...)

Oh yeah, and the eternal nitpick: Not long ago, the plural of 'virus' was whatever you damn pleased wherever you wanted, but these days, you need to malloc() it.

A virus is a non-cellular genetic element that hijacks a cell for its own replication. In its extracellular state the virus particle ,also known as a virion, is metabolically inert and does not carry out respiration or biosynthetic functions. After the infection of a cell, the virus genome is produced and the components that make up the virus particle's protein coat are synthesized from and by the cell's own structural and metabolic components.

The word virus originally meant any poisonous emanation, such as the poison from a snake. Louis Pasteur often referred to pathogenic bacteria as viruses. By the end of the 19th century, a large number of bacteria had been isolated and shown to cause disease, but there were some infectious diseases for which no bacterial cause could be shown. One of these diseases was foot-and-mouth disease, a serious skin disease in animals. In 1898 Freidrich Loeffler and Paul Frosch found the cause. They showed that the agent that caused foot-and-mouth could pass through filters that would stop any bacteria. They showed it was not a toxin by demonstrating that it could cause disease at very low dilutions and was transmitted through filtered material between animals. Over the next few years a number of filterable agents were shown to be the cause of various plant and animal diseases. They came to be known as filterable viruses, but as more work was done on them, the word "filterable" was dropped.

In 1915, the British scientist F.W. Twort discovered a class of virus that infects bacteria; the French scientist F. d'Herelle named them bacteriophages in 1917. Although bacteriophages are still viruses the name has stuck.

The virus genome can be either DNA or RNA based, in either single or double stranded form.

Virus Families

a. DNA Viruses

Double-stranded DNA

Bacteriophages:

Plant Virus Groups:
Animal Virus Groups:
Single-stranded DNA

Bacteriophages:
Plant Virus Groups:
Animal Virus Groups:
b. RNA Viruses

Double-stranded RNA

Bacteriophages
Plant Virus Groups
Animal Virus Groups:
Single-stranded RNA

Bacteriophages
Plant Virus Groups

Animal Virus Groups:

It is now well established that viruses can cause cancer. Certain viruses can bring about a genetic change that results in the initiation of tumour formation. This initiation event could be the activation of a proto-oncogene into an oncogene or the deactivation of a tumour-supressor gene. Once initiation has occurred the cell may remain dormant for some time, until an environmental change brings about promotion. Once a cell has been promoted to the cancerous condition, continued cell-division can result in tumour formation.

Although it is difficult to establish, it is now accepted that the following cancers have viral causes.


Dictionary of Biological Terms, 11th Edition. Lawrence, E (ed). Longman Scientific & Technical, 1995
Biology of Microorganisms, 7th Edition. Brock et al. Prentice Hall International, 1994

Overview

Viruses are one of the five types of microbes1. Unlike bacteria (q.v.), viruses are non-cellular.

A single virus particle, called a virion, consists of genetic material inside a protein shell (see Structure, below). In this stage a virus is, in essence, inert chemical matter. A virus infects a host cell, injecting its genetic material into the host cell, which is then converted into a virus factory. The cell makes many copies of the virus, which then break down the cell wall and are released to repeat the process with other cells.

Viruses have been classified both as living and nonliving at different times. Scientists still have no definitive answer. Only their hairdresser knows for sure!

Some common viral forms are listed under Diseases, below.

Taxonomy

Not being classified as life in the normal sense, viruses are not classified in the normal system of Kingdoms. Virus taxonomy does not use the Latinized binomial system of Carolus Linnaeus used in biological taxonomy.

The International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) has proposed a standard system of viral classification. The "Seventh Report of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses" recognized more than 1,550 virus species belonging to 3 orders, 56 families, 9 subfamilies and 233 genera.

Classification is based on factors such as:

  • The type of nucleic acid, RNA or DNA;
  • The shape of the capsid;
  • Whether the nucleic acid is single or double strand;
  • Whether the capsid is enveloped by other cell material, or not;
  • The presence of sense or anti-sense nucleic acid;2
  • The type of host cells infected.

A bacteriophage, sometimes simply called a phage, is a virus that infects bacteria.

Structure and form

A virus consists of nucleic acid3, 4 within a protein shell, which is called a capsid. Viruses have one of three basic forms: polyhedral (such as the polio virus), helical (such as the Tobacco mosaic virus), or complex.

Bacteriophages can take complex forms, often with a protein appendage attached to the capsid. This appendage is used to inject the virus genome into the host bacteria.

The T4 bacteriophage is one such complex form. (See jafuser's excellent ASCII diagram, above.) It looks like a microscopic robot spider or the Apollo project's lunar lander, with an icosahedral capsid containing the viral genome, mounted on a rodlike appendage, to which are attached several other, leg-like appendages. The legs are used to secure the T4 to a bacterium, and then the rod injects the viral genome into the cell.

Most viruses are extremely small, measuring approximately 15 to 25 nanometers in diameter, with an observed upper limit of 150 nanometers for large spherical forms. Hepatitis C, as an example, is approximately 50 nanometers in size.

Reproduction (Replication)

Viral infection can spread from injection into a cell to complete replication of multiple new viral particles in a 20 to 30 minute time span. Particularly virulent forms, such as Dengue fever, produce numerous copies of the virus per cell and can rapidly infect any host body.

A typical virus replication cycle5 (the lytic cycle):

  • Adsorption - The virus attaches to a cell wall. Certain proteins in the virus react with cellular receptor sites. (Cells which lack matching receptors are not susceptible to the virus.)
  • Penetration - The virus breaks down the cell wall, and then injects its genome like a syringe through the cell wall. The now-empty capsid is discarded.
  • Uncoating - The viral genome discards any protective coating inside the host cell.
  • Replication - The cell's own DNA is destroyed by the invading genome. The cell begins copying the virus genome, and new virions are automatically assembled. (This copying usually occurs mainly inside the cell nucleus in eukaryotes.)
  • Assembly - New virions assemble from the replicated parts.
  • Release - The cell wall breaks down and the virions are released into the host to repeat the cycle. Often the host cell is killed, but in some cases it may not be, allowing the virus to remain dormant and recur again later.

In some cases, called "the lysogenic cycle" (or "pathway"), the viral genome does not begin copying itself immediately. Instead, it inserts itself into the DNA of the cell, modifying the chromosome. It is then copied along with the cell's normal DNA in numerous generations as part of the bacteria's normal reproductive cycle (via binary fission). This lysogenic state is stable, but not permanent. Later, in response to a change in conditions, induction occurs which (re)activates the lytic cycle.

The discovery of how a virus incorporates itself into a cell's DNA and be copied along with it laid the groundwork for genetic engineering, in which viral techniques are used to modify the genome.

Diseases

Viruses can cause many diseases in humans. Here are some of the more common viral diseases:


Footnotes

  1. The others are bacteria, protozoans, fungi, and helminths (worms).
  2. The anti-sense strand is the second strand in double strand DNA or RNA, which can be used to 'switch off' genetic actions.
  3. A single or double of either RNA or DNA, but not both types together. RNA viruses are more commonly plant viruses, while DNA viruses are commonly animal viruses.
  4. This genetic material is a key difference between viruses and prions, as prions contain only proteins.
  5. Please forgive the overlap with jafuser's excellent writeup, which didn't quite say what I needed.

Primary references

  • Other writeups in this node. This writeup began life as high school biology lecture outline. Some redundancies exist with other writeups in this node, both for completeness and because they were used as a source for this work. Care has been taken to minimize the redundancies.
  • http://biology.about.com/library/weekly/aa110900a.htm
  • http://www.kcom.edu/faculty/chamberlain/Website/Lects/PROPERT.HTM
  • http://www-micro.msb.le.ac.uk/335/VirusGroups.html
  • http://www.sparknotes.com/biology/microorganisms/viruses/section1.html
  • http://homepage.smc.edu/ishida_carolyn/Week12/Week14ViralRep.htm

The entire world is a graveyard!

Trawling around the Internet Movie Database a number of months ago, I found myself looking at the various filming locations of several obscure movies, with an emphasis on films that had been filmed in far-flung, exotic locations. One in particular that caught my eye was the 1980 Japanese-International flick Virus, known in Japan as Fukkatsu no hi (復活の日). It was filmed in several run-of-the-mill locales such as Washington DC, Tokyo, and West Germany, but also in Antarctica, specifically Palmer Station and McMurdo Station. Normally you don't see too many films taking place in Antarctica that were actually filmed there, so when Platinum Films released Virus on DVD in 2004, I picked up a copy and gave it a shot.

Virus was released in 1980, and it was directed by acclaimed Japanese director Fukasaku Kinji, who would go on to direct such classics as Battle Royale (Batoru rowaiaru) and The Geisha House (Omocha) later in his career before succumbing to prostate cancer in 2003. Working with a screenplay penned by Takada Kôji and a cadre of veteran actors including George Kennedy (Airport '79, The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!), Chuck Connors (Geronimo, Soylent Green), Edward James Olmos ("Miami Vice," Blade Runner), Glenn Ford (Superman, Midway), Robert Vaughn (The Magnificent Seven, BASEketball) and Olivia Hussey (The Corsican Brothers, "Jesus of Nazareth"), Virus was a highly ambitious project, probably the most massive production undertaken by all involved.

Spoilers ahead!

The plot centers around an engineered virus dubbed MM-88, which the United States developed for use in biological warfare. After the final product is perfected in West Germany, it is stolen by East German bio-terrorists, after a shootout with some CIA agents in a tiny West German shack. The terrorists board a plane, bound for the United States, to unleash their illbegotten gains. However, en route, their plane crashes into a snowswept mountain in the Italian Alps, leaving no survivors. (This particular plot point is a plot hole; the virus is supposedly unable to survive in sub-zero temperatures, but here it infects the world after a crash on a snowy mountain peak.) From there, the virus, freed from its canister, begins to propagate. Soon it's everywhere, and within a matter of weeks has completely eradicated the entire population of the world with the sole exception being the inhabitants of the scientific research stations in Antarctica.

The lingering effects of the virus across the rest of the world aren't the only threats facing our intrepid scientists, however: before everyone dies, a high-ranking US general sneaks into a NORAD bunker somewhere in the continental United States and arms the country's missile defence system, which, as the plot would have us believe, is immune to total power grid failure indefinitely, and has nuclear missiles pointed at a great many cities all across the world, and even one pointed at Palmer Station (despite the fact that Palmer is a US installation). The Antarcticans know this because one of their number, Admiral Conway (George Kennedy), is also a high-ranking military officer, and his position affords him a radio transmission from the dying US president (Glenn Ford), who tells him of the world's decimation and of the possibility of impending nuclear doom. That sets the board and gets the pieces moving; heroic British submarine captain McLeod (Chuck Connors) and plucky Japanese scientist Yoshizumi (Kusakari Masao) set out from Palmer in McLeod's submarine, bound for Washington DC, where they hope to find the NORAD bunker and disable the missile defense system.

Meanwhile, at Palmer, Argentinian scientist Marit (Olivia Hussey) goes into labour, and gives birth to a baby boy. The joy of motherhood is to be short-lived, however, as Marit is one of only eight females in Antarctica, yet there are over two thousand men. The high-ranking brass of several nations decrees that, in order to repopulate the earth, the women will have to take turns having sex with a wide variety of men to speed up the process of conception, pregnancy, and birth. Therefore they lay aside the concept of monogamy, and begin their new lives as gifts for the multitude of the male population of Antarctica.

Eventually, after ten days at sea, McLeod and Yoshizumi arrive in Washington, and find the NORAD bunker. However, they are too late; the missiles have already been launched, though the one earmarked for Palmer Station is apparently not launched (this is never explained, however). McLeod dies in the process, leaving Yoshizumi without a ride back to Palmer. Thus, he sets out on an epic hike from Washington down to the Strait of Magellan at the bottom of South America. This walk takes him several years, and along the way we get to watch as he goes slowly mad, before finally reaching the Strait, where he's greeted by a ship sent from Palmer (how they knew to pick him up also goes unexplained). As the credits roll, we're meant to believe that life continues in this way.

Bombs away!

The film suffers from several problems. The most noticeable, it seems, would be how extremely dated the whole thing looks and sounds. The DVD seems to have been sourced from a video tape recorded off cable sometime in the middle 1980s, and as such, it has a great deal of video artifacts, sudden jumps and cuts, and quite a bit of sound washing out or disappearing altogether before suddenly piping back in. There are a lot of niggling little plot points that go unexplained, as mentioned above, which does not add much to the realism of the film, and in fact greatly detracts from it. The acting is astoundingly wooden, by all the actors, even those that had previously had or went on to attain reputations for decent acting. The performance is more than a little undermined by the fact that the cast is made up entirely of character actors (with the possible exception of Robert Vaughn, whose role in Virus as a liberal congressman is minor to say the least) with no actual leading woman or man in any role.

The Antarctican scenery is beautiful, but they don't spend enough time out in it; most of the scenes are shot either inside Palmer Station or inside a submarine, with a few random scenes set inside Argentina's Base Esperanza and Japan's Showa Station. We get to see some of the USA's McMurdo Station from the outside as well, and a few shots of the Southern Ocean. The rest of the scenery includes random towns in South America that Yoshizumi encounters, and Washington DC both during the crisis, where we get to watch President Glenn Ford, his advisors, and the hot-headed general bent on armageddon argue incessantly about who was to blame, and post-armageddon when McLeod and Yoshizumi visit it. There are some montage shots of various other places, notably Tokyo, Rome, Los Angeles, London, and Paris, all of them either in the death throes or as scenes of post-armageddon wreckage.

The scenery notwithstanding, Virus was, for me at least, extremely boring. So much so that I found myself wishing that the one errant missle that was supposed to hit Palmer Station would've launched successfully, just so I wouldn't have to sit through anymore inane dialogue, the petty squabbling and grab-assing that the fight/argument scenes entailed, or the nervous, disdainful looks on the faces of the Antarctican comfort women. It would've been a much easier film to watch without having to see Yoshizumi hold a lengthy, one-sided conversation with a corpse in a dilapidated Brazilian church during his sojourn south from Washington.

There are two versions of Virus in circulation; one is 108 minutes long, and cuts out quite a lot of the story. This version was shown on cable TV. The other version, which is the one I viewed, is 155 minutes long and has nothing cut out. According to reviews posted at the IMDB, the latter version is the only one worth watching, but given all its faults, I tend to disagree with that assessment. I could only recommend this film if the dated, washed-out look and the myriad technical faults won't bother you. For what it is, I guess it makes a decent Cold War-era disaster film, where one of the main horrors presented is the notion that in a brave new world such as the film wants us to see, Americans are forced to get along with their Soviet counterparts.

Watch out for Edward James Olmos, here playing Captain Lopez of Argentina, who provides what little comic relief this film has to offer. I don't think his inherent chuckle-worthiness was intentional, though, but his hiked-up white bellbottom pants (ah, the late 70s), his penchant for fistfights without provocation, and his talent for playing sleepy lounge tunes on the piano is not to be missed if you really want to sit through this travesty. Look for a minor role by Japanese martial artist/actor Sonny Chiba, too, as one of the Japanese scientists.

Despite a $16M budget ($45M in 2005 dollars), Virus was a major failure in Japan and abroad. It was never even shown in theatres in the United States; it was instead cut (to the 108 minute version) and sold directly to various cable TV stations.

Japanese title: Fukkatsu no hi
International titles: Virus / Day of Resurrection / The End (video title)
Director: Fukasaku Kinji
Screenwriters: Komatsu Sakyo (novel), Takada Kôji (screenplay)
Certifications: Australia: PG / Norway: 15 / United Kingdom: PG / USA: PG / Argentina: Atp / West Germany:12 / United Kingdom: 12 (2004 DVD rating)
Languages: English / French / German / Japanese

Reference:

http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0080768/
http://www.timeout.com/film/63041.html

Virus is an album by the Swedish death metal band Hypocrisy. It is archetypal of the so-called Gothenburg metal, which is essentially a very melodic type of death metal. By the standards of death metal, Hypocrisy is fairly popular. Hypocrisy makes melodic death metal. This essentially means you combine the brutal, distorted guitars, powerful drums and lyrics about anything wrong, evil or rotten of regular death metal and then add very complex melodies. A very common theme for Hypocrisy, apart from the standard death metal themes of violence, death, sex, disease and society going to hell, is alien abduction. Aliens and the alien, distorted sound of metal combine very well, and the theme is quite prominent on the album before Virus, The Arrival. However, the alien theme is not very present on this album.

I'll now attempt to describe and review the album, and also describe how it fits into metal in general.

1. XVI (0:16) XVI is essentially 16 seconds of near silence. It consists of the sound of blowing wind and ends with the crack of lightning. Gimmicks like this are not uncommon in metal.

2. War Path (4:23) The album begins in earnest with this track, and what a start! The song immediately opens with a flurry of guitars, fast, complex and merciless. Then, Peter Tägtgren's vocals rip through the maelstrom of sound, with a scream lasting 12 seconds. This is one of the longest screams on any metal album-the man must have great lungs. Fast, heavy singing mixes with the background guitar. Then, suddenly, the background music all but stops, moving the focus from the instruments to the vocals. This is exactly the kind of trick that makes death metal death metal (apart from the nasty bits). The instruments and the vocals move through the chorus in perfect harmony, as the song continues in a slightly slower pace, interjected with clever riffs. The song continues alternatively stressing the brutal lyrics and the equally brutal instruments. In short, this is one of the best examples of a modern death metal song. If you want to sample one song and see if you like death metal, you might try this one.

3. Scrutinized (4:25) Scrutinized is about the widespread spying of especially Western governments on their own citizens - something that I grew up with believing was typical of the former Warsaw Pact states. The emphasis here is on the lyrics, and the supporting guitars and drums are relatively simple, as if they don't want to distract you from the message. The theme of political criticism is common in death metal, which is one of the differences with perhaps more well-known black metal. This track is a very good example of this.

4. Fearless (4:23) This track starts slowly, with deep grunts and is pretty much a "standard" death metal song. It doesn't contain clever gimmicks or complex melodies, it's just straight, pure rage put into music. The relatively pure and raw style of the song combine of course very well with the subject matter.

5. Craving for another killing (3:50) Very, very fast song, with lyrics that are almost unintelligible due to the speed with which they are sung. After the brutal start, the speed goes down a little, and the song becomes more melodic. This also allows the chorus to stand out a little better. While it's fast and aggressive, it lacks the sophistication of the previous songs, making this one of the more forgettable tracks on this album.

6.Let the knife do the talking (4:19) In my opinion, this is simply a brilliant song title. While letting the gun do the talking is already pretty brutal, knives make matters quite personal and hence even worse. The song doesn't disappoint. The start is slow, layered, and very melodic. This makes it contrast very strongly with the previous song. After the into, clean vocals are used to convey the lyrics. The theme is murder and the salvation of death, and the lyrics go into all the gory details. Twisted to the core, this song reminds why there is death in death metal.

7. A thousand lies. (4:52) This song is about heroin abuse. It starts ephemeral, with a voice luring us to the drugs. Then, a cacophony of vocals and instruments thunder over the luring voice, calling the promise of hard drugs what it is: a thousand lies. The song then continues ad mid-tempo, condemning the evils of drugs, after which the chorus is repeated in full force. While the way of delivering the message is unconventional, I think this is a very good way of warning for the dangers of drug abuse, especially because a metal singer probably knows what he is talking about.

8. Incised before I've ceased (4:28) Simple instrumental beginning that contrasts strongly with the previous track. The the song is probably about alien abduction, but it might also be about surgery in general - modern medicine stretching lives further than they should be stretched. As noted, alien abduction is a common theme for Hypocrisy. The song is typically death metal in style, with a rather simple structure. There are a few tempo changes, though.

9. Blooddrenched (3:43) Fast, brutal song. The theme is, again, murder, and this time, it is accompanied by fast, aggressive singing, drumming and guitar riffs. The song sounds like a little, compressed ball of anger: it hits like a brick wall. In this song, the complex melody further amplifies this effect: it's almost as if your brain has to work overtime to be able to "process" the sound. This effect is not uncommon in death metal, and this track is a very good example.

10. Compulsive psychosis (4:14) Somewhat slower than the previous song, the lyrics of this song are sung with a deep growl that is difficult to understand. After about 1 minute, the music becomes slower and less complex, and the singing turns into something resembling an alien scream. This underscores the song's theme, which is insanity. The song contains some clever riffs that form a perfect intermezzo between the singing.

11. Living to die (5:39) Apart from fast, brutal songs, Hypocrisy occasionally makes slow, ballad-like songs. This is one of of them, and perhaps the best. The song is about wanting to die. The beautiful, slow pace makes it seem as though you just "fade" out of existence. The sadness and ennui is simply overpowering, being permeated by the languid tempo the instruments, the lyrics and the voice. The clean lyrics are very easy to understand and deliver the message with almost surgical precision. I can't think of any song that can change my mood as strongly as this one. This is, in my opinion, a masterpiece of modern melodic death metal.

Overall, this album clearly is among Hypocrisy's best. Lacking the bombast of the self-titled album or the overpowering alienness of The Arrival, it manages to touch the core of death metal. Because it manages to explore so many facets of this genre, I would recommend this album to people who are curious about death metal, and melodic death metal in particular.

Vi"rus (?), n. [L., a slimy liquid, a poisonous liquid, poison, stench; akin to Gr. poison, Skr. visha. Cf. Wizen, v. i.]

1. Med. (a)

Contagious or poisonous matter, as of specific ulcers, the bite of snakes, etc.; -- applied to organic poisons.

(b)

The special contagion, inappreciable to the senses and acting in exceedingly minute quantities, by which a disease is introduced into the organism and maintained there.

⇒ The specific virus of diseases is now regarded as a microscopic living vegetable organism which multiplies within the body, and, either by its own action or by the associated development of a chemical poison, causes the phenomena of the special disease.

2.

Fig.: Any morbid corrupting quality in intellectual or moral conditions; something that poisons the mind or the soul; as, the virus of obscene books.

 

© Webster 1913.

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