Review Summary: The magnum opus by deathcore’s undeserved target of hate.
Whitechapel is a deathcore band from Tennessee that emerged in 2007 with their first album The Somatic Defilement. TSD was a concept album about the life and times of Jack The Ripper and the name of the band is a reference to a part of London where the said occurrences took place. Many pass Whitechapel off as yet another unnecessary band in a bloated and talentless genre riddled with lazy songs arrangements and little or no technical ability, completely untrue. This Is Exile is the epitome of what deathcore should be.
The album opens with Father of Lies. The three guitarists unleash a dizzying barrage of notes set to a quick drum fill followed by a gut-renching low growl courtesy of vocalist Phil Bozeman. The structure of the song is progressive in its own right because the band never really repeats anything but they flow from one idea to the next seamlessly. At around 1:35 the band segues into a melodic bridge alien to their contemporaries but this is only the calm before the storm. All hell breaks looks as they launch into a dissonant breakdown as Bozeman declares “My procreator, stand your ***ing ground”. The breakdown rhythm carries through the rest of the song but it’s the melodic lead part courtesy of Zach Householder that gives the song and almost ambient feel until it’s fade out.
The next five tracks aim straight for your throat with a murderous intent. The title track and Possession are two of the band’s most famous songs and with good reason. The interplay between the three guitarists is exceptional on the intro of this song. The tension builds and builds as the guitarists make use of the ever popular first fret dissonant chord prevalent in today’s “core” scene and unleash an off time breakdown, can you say fresh? Possession is the clincher; every member is on top of their game on this song. The song follows along the same lines as it’s predecessors as it chooses flow over repetition. The highlight of the song is arguably the catchiest part the band has ever written; the part that will ensure maximum crowd participation. At 2:15 Bozeman grabs your attention and screams “We are the disease that spreads amongst this filthy race”, commenting on the fact that society’s downfall is in fact the very people who make up its populous.
Death Becomes Him is the classic track on the album, a heavy yet beautiful instrumental only lasting 3:18. Once again the band showcases an almost ambient influence in this track, and gives further proof that these are the saviors of “core” music in general. While the track features a fair amount of chugging the lead parts once again keep the riff from sounding stale (a technique that is a common element of contemporaries The Acacia Strains’ signature sound).
This Is Exile is a spectacular album that demonstrates how this genre should sound; even the lyrics are excellent, providing a dark outlook on how corruption has led our society down a dark path. Each member is of a high level of technical proficiency with their respective instruments and (more importantly) they are also growing as songwriters. This Is Exile is THE deathcore album.
-Brilliant guitar interplay
-Vocals are top notch
-Father of Lies
-Death Becomes Him
-To All That Are Dead