Review Summary: Whitechapel made a perfect start to their career, and it kept me listening, headbanging and gave me some hope for the deathcore genre.
Being a kid who avoided deathcore for the longest possible time, I never pictured myself enjoying a band like Whitechapel. Well that's all in the past now. Whitechapel were an unusual lot for me, as I found myself getting into the band via their first album instead of a later one for the first time aside from System of a Down. Anyway, enough of that. Here's for the track by track analysis. Excluding "Necrotizing" because I hate the typical deathcore intro.
The Somatic Defilement - 10/10
Possibly my favourite track on the album were it not for certain moments in other songs.
This is the perfect opener for an album of it's kind, sporting insanely low growls and great screaming, amazing drum work and exactly what you would expect from the triple onslaught in the guitar work, in a simple trade for undetectable bass. This was the sweet sugary apple of the album, as it instantly brought me back from uncertainty due to the dreadful intro. The album goes from a speeding wrecking ball effort, into an almost Melodic outro. While monster of a vocalist Phil Bozeman growls about his new marriage to a corpse and proclaiming "we'll rot hand in hand". A beautiful and captivating violin-like synth comes in underneath it, setting the perfect mood for this twisted love song.
Devirgination Studies - 6/10
Reminding me of the typical death metal gross-out concept of the last song, I was not exactly surprised to see this track's name come up afterwards. Unfortunately not met with positive feedback originally, I didn't listen to this one with amazing expectations. The musicianship, while nowhere near as good as on the title track, is still competent. Sounding like your usual deathcore song, it transitions from the riffs. To an overly generic breakdown, though I can still headbang to it and enjoy the song in general. The vocals are more focused on the high screams instead of the growls, though there are a lot of moments where the two are blended with each other just like on the other track, which does sound good.
Prostatic Fluid Asphyxiation - 8/10
Perfect malevolence, instantly hammering your face with a Morningstar is how I described this song. It sounds like Phil is having a coughing fit right at the start, but an amazing one at that. The lyrics once again are all gore, sadistic sexual malpractice, the general core of this album. There is nothing wrong with that, but with a name like "Prostatic Fluid Asphyxiation" you'd have to be an idiot not to expect those lyrics. The guitars are just like on the last two tracks, about as low as Phil's growls and still stomping along. The drums are also, still up to the expectations the title track set. The vocals on this song are it's strong point, the growls have moments on this song that make me smile all too wickedly, most notably here; "As she chokes and gargles spit, I amputate her salty clitoris". Phil has a real way with words on this entire album, mixing pure gut-wrenching sickness with poetic moments that just sell it for millions.
Fairy Fay - 5/10
Opening exactly with a sound like a chainsaw, and also mentioning a chainsaw. This song is a weak point only because it is so easily surpassed by other songs, the musicianship isn't laughable. It's just like Devirgination Studies, while good, it can get boring at times.
Like almost all the songs on this album, the vocals are still amazing. Phil continues to spew out pure malevolence, while smashing your face in with his stone-cold low growls. I have never heard anybody else who can scream that low and do it so well at any time in my life. Save for maybe Mikael Akerfeldt of Opeth, but this isn't a popularity contest. 2:20 and onwards sets an awesome stomping screaming masterpeice of a section on this song however, making me almost forget about the over simplicity of this track.
Ear to Ear - 9/10
This track almost gave me a nostalgic attack, due to the title. It reminded me of my 7 year old self, playing as Sweeney Todd. Threatening to slit somebodies throat, "ear to ear!".
Everything on this track is perfect, the drums are excellent as always. The vocals are still horrifyingly good, and the guitars just smash you as always. The bass is still, sadly nonexistant. The first part of the song, is just a stampede of heavy sound that impresses. Though, not as much as the midsection onwards. An almost, almost melodic riff plays under the amazing lyrical work that accompanies, and the drums do not dissapoint either; "Necromaniac persuing dreams of liquid suffocation
Your neck is smiling at me ear to ***ing ear
The trachea exposed, pulsing haemoglobin entities at me
Your neck is smiling ear to ***ing ear
The gurgling of gore, the sound of splitting hide, the grinding of the bones
Ear to ***ing ear
The verdict isn't met until you're dead
Ear to ***ing ear"
Alone In The Morgue - 7/10
A sinister track that made me think of the earlier works of Cannibal Corpse, this is among one of the most evil sounding songs of this album.
Deliciously psychotic vocals still supplied by Phil, the guitars and the drums effectively create a song that will make you afraid to prowl the darkness alone. While at this point, the over gross-out is almost comical, it is still not done badly. The album does have nothing but this, expecting anything different? You will be disappointed, but if you like this lyrical content anyway, you'll live.
Festering Fiesta - 1/10
I don't like this track. It's just easily Whitechapel's worst track, ever.
I'd like to review this, but I've not managed to fully listen to it without getting bored and switching to the next one.
Vicer Exciser - 9/10
Originally I thought this was the album closer, and I was alright with this. Hot damn was I alright!
This is one of Whitechapel's most notable works, ask any die-hard fan and I'm sure they'll love or at least know this song.
It doesn't get much better on this album other than 2 other tracks, it practically bludgeons you to death and doesn't apologize for it. The guitars don't let up, the drums kick ass and the vocals scare the *** out of you if you're still settling in. This is not one track to try and get a friend into Whitechapel with.
Articulo Mortis - 11/10
My favourite track, and a perfect album closer. This album started beautiful and ended beautiful to me. And here's why.
This album opens like an exorcism, it is total chaos of overlayed growls and high-screams. The guitars are just... wow for a deathcore band. And the drums smash your faces instead of the drum-kit. If you're sure you're beaten and bloody enough, think again. By the time 1:56 hits you will hit another moment of beauty. Just like the end of the title track. You are hit with a melodic riff. Though in the form of a breakdown, this riff goes on for a good 46 seconds. When it ends you are smashed once again by the outro to the album, Phil screaming "and now you'll rot!" over and over again, gradually becoming more distorted along with the whole of the song. ... Simply perfect.
Now, this album did of course have some reasons for it's lower score. One, it is far too inaccessible, though that doesn't matter. The band were essentially going for the brutal audience, and even I who usually loathes that kind of audience found myself loving this album more than I'd expect. Two, the bass. As many people point out, Whitechapel's poor bassist never seems to EVER get heard on their albums. I'm sure he's there somewhere though.
Overall, this album is what started it all. And goddamn did it start well, aside from some short points, the entire album is worth the listen if you have a strong stomach like myself. And like good music among a hit-or-miss genre.