With the first lines of album opener “Make It Bleed” a clever nod to the group’s other three full-length records, (“We’ve been somatically defiled, exiled, and now this new era has come to an end”), the tune highlights that riffs and song-structure are two of the key elements to Whitechapel’s sound, as opposed to the aimlessly place breakdowns and overused diminished note patterns used by a lot of generic deathcore acts.
“I, Dementia” is just a punishing tune, with the pace pulled back to really turn up the heavy factor, while the slightly off-time and differently toned guitars during the middle section of “Hate Creation” shows the band’s growth into a slightly more progressive territory.
The best thing about Whitechapel is that it’s full of great hooks and memorable passages. Although they won’t be so apparent straight away, by the third or fourth spin the tracks will really begin to jump out, and Whitechapel really are one of the best bands in subgenre at pure song writing. The awesome “Section 8,” re-recorded from last year’s Recorrupted EP, is a big highlight, and brings absolutely everything to the table in so far as brutality and sheer power.
Phil Bozeman’s lyrics are straight-up hate filled and negative, and the best part is that you can sense that he’s not simply going through the motions, you can tell that the frontman really believes every line he’s roaring and screaming. Closing track “Possibilities of an Impossible Existence” is a prime example of Bozeman spitting out hate and vitriol, while “(Cult)uralist” features some almost impossibly quick vocal passages.
Whitechapel is the first full-length with drummer Ben Harclerode, and while he doesn’t bring anything too huge to the table, the newest band member does a solid job. Speaking of drums, the sound that producer Mark Lewis gets out of the kit on this album is huge, as are the rest of the instruments and the engineer are deservedly becoming one of the most sought after man in metal to record with.
Not quite as strong as their previous LP A New Era of Corruption, Whitechapel is still a fantastic release, and really should be used as an example of how good and vital deathcore sounds when it’s done correctly. This isn’t a band jumping on a hip trend, trying to cash in with the new scene of metal kids; this is six dudes creating honest to goodness, anger filled, and aggressive metal music. And if that doesn’t even slightly titillate you, you’re probably on the wrong website.
(released June 19, 2012 on Metal Blade Records)