Review Summary: Have Whitechapel finally decided to evolve? With "A New Era of Corruption," it certainly looks that way..
Oh, Deathcore! You have become quite popular amongst the fad enticed teenagers of the 21st century! With your constant breakdowns and simple song structures, you certainly have garnered quite a following of young, mindless metal wannabe’s who long for their next breakdown to dance horrendously to. As they flail and kick, I wonder what it is that has made this modern subgenre of Metal such a trendy thing? Is it originality? Why certainly not! This genre lacks any sliver of originality whatsoever. Perhaps we will never get to the bottom of the very important question: “Just why do people love this crap?”
As leaders of the Deathcore genre, Whitechapel know exactly how to draw a crowd. I mean, after all, they have been milking the genre of Deathcore for all they can get since its very beginning. Over the last few years now, Whitechapel have scoured the mountain of Metal to become one of the leaders and most recognized bands within the genre. No, they are not on the level of modern Metal giants like Killswitch Engage and others, but, for a band that focuses on the extreme, they have become pretty damn successful. Like most stale and unoriginal Deathcore bands, it’s quite easy to accept the notion that Whitechapel will never really evolve. However, to much surprise, Whitechapel have evolved over the last year, and quite a lot for that matter!
With their newest release, “A New Era of Corruption,” Whitechapel have set out to create an extremely heavy album while tweaking there sound enough to silence their detractors. However, are they successful? In short: not completely, but it’s a great start in the right direction. See, while “A New Era of Corruption” is not drastically different enough to entice haters of Deathcore to jump on board and give it a spin, it is mature enough to draw some attention and incite some definite hope for a band that many thought would never be able to mature beyond the point of constant breakdowns.
First of all, let’s discuss what this band does right on the album. The musicianship is much more developed on “A New Era of Corruption” than Whitechapel’s last release “This is Exile.” Finally, the use of three guitarists in this band is starting to pay off. There are many harmonies and cool parts that really stand out on this album. As a matter of fact, the first song “Devolver” features some interesting harmonies by the trio. The next track, “Breeding Violence,” which happens to be one of the albums finest tracks, incorporates some guitar solo’s, which add some real character to the song. Other songs even feature acoustic guitar interludes, which add a nice change of pace from the constant onslaught of double bass and blast beats. The most impressive musician on this album, however, happens to be the vocalist, Phil Bozeman. Bozeman has always been a fantastic vocalist and easily the best part of Whitechapel. On this album, he does not hold back one bit. His lows are incredible, but most of all, he can be understood, which was one of his goals for this album. Also, this album features one of the best guest vocal appearances I have heard in quite some time. Deftones lead vocalist, Chino Moreno, makes a short appearance on the track “Reprogrammed To Hate,” and while short, his part is extremely effective and easily one of the best reasons why the song is actually really damn good.
Now, while there are many good things about this album, there are also many bad things that continue to hold it back from being Whitechapel’s escape from the stale traditions of Deathcore. Of course, there are plenty of breakdowns on this album, but, like most Whitechapel albums, none of them are really effective nor memorable. Instead, they are added into parts where they can be easily foreseen by the listener, which makes them ten times less effective and this is where Whitechapel truly go wrong with this album. This band has a lot of impressive factors about it, but towards the latter half of this album they resort back to their old tradition of writing, which makes the last half of the album much less impressive than the first half. It truly is a sad thing, because with more work and development this album could have really been something special and possibly could have garnered quite a bit of respect for a band that is, otherwise, pretty looked down on outside of their beloved genre of Deathcore.
Don’t get me wrong, this album is a huge improvement for Whitechapel. With this album, Whitechapel have established themselves as a much more mature band in many area’s and have taken a massive step in the right direction. Hopefully with their next release Whitechapel can escape the generic breakdowns and traditional Deathcore tendencies by actually writing an excellent album. Otherwise, they will remain in the realm of mediocrity, but, with this release, they have managed to up their game and actually release a good, listenable album.