Whitechapel (Metal Blade Records)
Enter the third chapter of WHITECHAPEL with the brand new self-titled album. While the last two albums were pretty much strictly brutal deathcore and Somatic Defilement being a grind album, this album sees the band venturing into melodic death metal territory while still retaining the extremely heavy deathcore elements that have made them such a big name in music today. From the piano driven opener of “Make It Bleed” and the melodic sections of “(Cult)uralist,” to the conclusion of “Possibilities Of An Impossible Existence,” this album captures the band at their intense peak that most (myself included) thought they couldn’t top after A New Era Of Corruption.
With “Make It Bleed,” they use a vastly different template than before. There are a lot of guitar solos that all create a dark and somber mood, which plays off of the aggressive parts of Phil Bozeman’s intense vocals and Ben Savage’s technical guitar leads. Everything just sounds much more cleaner and refined than ever before, partly due to the addition of new drummer Ben Harclerode (ex-KNIGHTS OF THE ABYSS) behind the kit. His playing is very different from Kevin Lane’s as he progresses between the different sections of each song like it’s nothing.
There are so many highlights on the album that it’s near difficult to pick favorites. One of them would have to be “I, Dementia.” This track is easily the heaviest track on the album and one of the few that is pure deathcore. But just saying that it’s deathcore doesn’t properly give it the room it deserves because it’s nothing like they’ve written before. It can be added that it goes at more of a doom metal tempo as well. While the progression isn’t near as experimental as the other tracks, this proves the point that sometimes less is truly better. It never hurts to have a more minimal and straightforward track like this one that is sure to be a live staple in their future.
Another real stand out track is definitely “Dead Silence.” This track further instills this new era of Whitechapel that will be cemented in metal history forever. This is where the instruments play center stage and throw the listener into a cataclysm of sound. When the three guitars all seamlessly play brutal and intense riffs alongside the dedication of Ben’s drumming, it shows that not only did this band record the best album they’ve ever done, they are serious about it. You can just feel the emotion through the insane riffs alone. While Phil did nothing short of a stellar job, this song has enough strength to be a full on instrumental track.
By: Ridge “Deadite” Briel