Review Summary: Whitechapel mature and show that they want to do something memorable
Deathcore has always been a very hit-or-miss genre of music, one that a very select few people actually appreciate and has spawned hundreds of terrible bands trying to create music that is listenable but fail miserably. One of the “unique” bands to come out of the genre is Whitechapel, who have stood out among the bands in their genre because some of their music is actually tolerable. Their debut, The Somatic Defilement, was rather poor, but there were glimpses of potential hidden within the record. The title track was an example of this, with vocalist Phil Bozeman unleashing a ferocious, guttural growl at 0:23 into the song and had a tasteful outro. Their follow up, 2008’s This is Exile, refined their musical approach and focused a lot on their triple guitar attack as well as the vocals. On this latest effort, entitled A New Era of Corruption, the band have pushed their sound even further and brought in a few guests, resulting in their best work to date.
Part of what makes Whitechapel tolerable is their vocalist and their unique approach to the guitar sound. Phil Bozeman is a talented death metal vocalist, and he is one of the main strong points of the band. His growls and screams drive the music, and on this record he implements new styles of screaming into his vocals. This helps keep the songs interesting and not bore the listener with a half hour of low screams over and over again. The guitar work is also a plus, and while 3 guitars is a bit excessive and doesn’t always sound great live, Whitechapel manage to have some great riffing here and there and the leads are also interesting. The bass can sometimes be heard sometimes too, which is another plus as it didn’t have any particular role in earlier efforts and was drowned out by the triple guitar distortion. Kevin Lane’s drumming is also another important factor in the band. He clearly is a talented death metal drummer and is relentless behind his kit.
Another thing that makes this album different from anything else Whitechapel have done is the addition of guest vocalists. Chino Moreno has a small part in “Reprogrammed to Hate”, which is easily one of the best songs on the album. Its heavy, it’s got Chino’s screams, and it actually has a pretty good solo. The part where Chino and Phil scream together is just ***ing awesome, it reminds me of Chinos ending scream from “Royal” on Diamond Eyes but it’s mixed with Phil’s intense low scream. Vincent Bennett makes an appearance on “Murder Sermon”, which is also pretty well done and is a nice switch-up in the song’s overall heavy sound, but it still fails in comparison to “Reprogrammed to Hate”. The beginning of the album is very strong and promising, but it loses steam towards the end.
In a genre of bands who come and go and don’t do anything to keep us interested, Whitechapel are clearly showing that they want to do something memorable. This is proven on their maturation with A New Era of Corruption. They simply won’t back down and seem to be getting better with each album, and who knows, maybe they’ll put out something even more surprising in the future.
Decent review. You hardly even talked about the album, and when referring to the musicianship of each member you just said they were 'good' at what they do, which I don't feel is anywhere near enough explanation needed for someone completely new to the genre/band to understand.