Review Summary: A solid debut, that hints at more to come.
Whitechapel are a band that, in recent years, have become rather famous due to the internet. In particular, they became known due to Myspace's community, and in many ways I am rather glad they were. Their genre, Deathcore, has forever been plagues with generic bands that bring nothing new to the table, or completely disorganised *** front to back. However, Whitechapel are a little different, knowing perfectly how to arrange their music, and having a three-guitar ear assault that truly does destroy much of the genre alone.
They also have an exceptionally talented vocalist in Phil Bozeman. Whilst his various styles were not really discovered until the last two albums, on this album he displays some great pig squeels, some truly brutal lows, and some gut-wrenching high screams. This is the one album that has no instances of his clean vocals, and to some this will seem like a great thing. His vocal styles on this album fit the music perfectly, as their are very few more melodic sections that they would introduce on album 2, This Is Exile.
Lyrically, the band are no slackers either. It really does seem as if Phil had picked up a thesaurus and found some of the most out there terms for various other words, and threw them together into a blender of hate and aggression. The album is a concept album based around the Jack The Ripper killings, and the lyrics convey this sickening tale of the murder of prostitutes really well... except lines such as "Sent the slut back to Hell"...
The trio of guitarists do a good job on this album, for saying it is just a debut. Admittedly, one of them does absolutely bugger all throughout most of the songs. However, it was a debut, so this can be forgiven. How many debut's can you name where every member is fully on key? Very few.
The highlights of this album are the raw aggression of Articulo Mortis, which has some fantastic breakdowns to it as well. Devirgination Studies has a fantastic long low growl towards the end that signals a breakdown, and it also has some nice guitar arrangements throughout that make it a pleasure to listen to in a usually stagnant genre.
However, the real centrepiece of the album, the one that showcases every band members talent, is the legendary Vicer Exciser. This song is one of the band's most well known, and for good reasons. The musicianship displayed on it is very good, with utter brutality throughout, some absolutely evil vocals. The breakdown towards the end is where this song displays its absolute best though, with some truly sickening lyrics, culminating in "you will never *** again". Sheer incredible.
Unfortunately, this album is plagued by the fact that some of the songs are not quite as original, including the title track, The Somatic Defilement, which truly is a boring song, and never hits quite as hard as the better cuts off the album. Overall though, this is a great debut, and Whitechapel should be proud, not only that this is a good album, but also that they have improved vastly since this.