Whitechapel
Our Endless War


3.0
good

Review

by Andrew Gold CONTRIBUTOR (66 Reviews)
April 27th, 2014 | 202 replies | 13,912 views


Release Date: 04/29/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Whitechapel's tightest release to date, take it or leave it.

Whitechapel is often unfairly lumped together with other black sheep of the deathcore scene; bands like Oceano, Suicide Silence, and Emmure, that have essentially taken the idea of death metal, wiped their ass with it and released their excrement-stained toilet paper to the public in the form of 40-minute LPs. And of course, people bought it. Although Whitechapel share a few less than desirable traits with these bands, such as the unnecessarily frequent use of breakdowns and monotonous guttural screams, they managed to be one step ahead of those bands for one reason: they actually know how to play their instruments. For every breakdown Whitechapel play, they counter it with a blistering riff or a catchy melodic guitar lead. For the most part, the breakdowns themselves aren’t the mindless binary chugs common to the genre; they’re more groove-based and strategically placed at the climaxes of the songs. And yet Whitechapel still manage to shoot themselves in the foot, because for every well-placed breakdown they use, there are a handful of throwaway chug-fests scattered throughout the middle of their songs, generally speaking. The frivolous chugging can only be seen as an amateurish crutch – a result of poor songwriting, and these crutches have ultimately prevented Whitechapel from ever making a truly memorable album.

Little has changed from Whitechapel’s self-titled release to their newest outing, Our Endless War, which isn’t exactly a bad thing. As usual, Mark Lewis’s production pulls no punches, finding the perfect balance between grittiness and clarity. Musically, as mundane as some songs from Whitechapel were, the good songs on the album were among the best in their catalog. Thrash-y opener “Make It Bleed” showed the band at their most structurally cohesive, beginning with an ominous piano intro leading into a surprisingly mature riff-barrage, fit with clean refrains in the middle of the track serving as momentary breaths of fresh air between the pummeling blasts of death metal. This sense of cohesion is further developed on Our Endless War. Whitechapel no longer fill the meat of their tracks with onerous chug-tech shifts; rather, they’ve come to finally write songs – fully realized and unified in their ideas, whether good or bad. This makes Our Endless War not only the easiest Whitechapel album to listen to from beginning to end, but also the band’s tightest release to date.

Opener “Rise” serves as the calm before the storm, easing into the album’s eponymous track. “Our Endless War” has its feet firmly planted in hardcore, even kicking off with a perfunctory “let’s go!” that would have been better saved for a live setting. However, its sheer energy and the infectious leads in the chorus make it an undeniable head-banger and possible live staple, despite being one of the album’s more straightforward cuts. Whitechapel prove that they haven’t lost a step speed-wise on the gripping penultimate track “Blacked Out.” On the other hand, the relatively tame closer, “Diggs Road,” presents a level of restraint foreign to standard deathcore affairs. From the ominous clean guitar bookends to the multiple guitar solos, it’s a constantly progressing track that seldom reuses ideas (sans the devilishly catchy chorus) and never sacrifices its cohesion for unpredictability. The aforementioned songwriting improvement is also apparent in the album’s two bonus tracks, which have hints of the adolescent vigor that made their early material so alluring.

Whitechapel’s focus on song-to-song coherency is not to be confused with consistency, though. The good songs shine as they should, but likewise, the bad songs are really terrible. Groove-based tracks, such as “The Saw Is the Law” and “Let Me Burn,” make up the bulk of the album. But Whitechapel take groove to a whole new level with “Worship the Digital Age,” which could’ve been a B-side to Emmure’s Eternal Enemies if I didn’t know any better – possibly the most inane brodown-infested song of their entire career. This is followed by “How Times Have Changed,” which shows the band at their most technically boring – a three-and-a-half minute deathcore caricature if you will. On a more universal level, Phil Bozeman’s lyrics have regressed from silly to downright stupid.

Nothing satisfies me
A cold dark room is where you'll find me
I can feel the hatred slowly climbing
Go fuck yourself if you don't like what I'm writing
Don't ask me where to start
And I don't really care if your life is falling apart
Don't waste your time, you're gonna burn in hell
Say seven hail Mary's and kill yourself!


Usually death metal lyrics are passably asinine, but some of these cringe-worthy lines are impossible to ignore. This is made worse by the fact that Bozeman’s vocals are as stagnant as ever. He doesn’t even attempt to hit the highs like he did on A New Era of Corruption and This Is Exile; rather he lazily alternates between run-of-the-mill death growls and irritating guttural lows for the ‘ultra-heavy’ sections.

What Whitechapel has achieved on Our Endless War is a double-edged sword, not unlike their previous albums, and the new hitch is ironically what plagued their material in the first place: the songwriting. Instead of having good ideas in bad songs and vice versa, the tracks are divided into being either thoroughly great, or extraordinarily abysmal. This is a step in the right direction for Whitechapel, though. Now that they can write actual songs, all they need to do is scrape off the excess in order to make the truly memorable album they were always capable of.



Recent reviews by this author
Within the Ruins PhenomenaSonic Syndicate Sonic Syndicate
Origin OmnipresentMuse Dead Star/In Your World
Justin Timberlake The 20/20 Experience 2 of 2Black Tongue Born Hanged
user ratings (164)
Chart.
3
good
other reviews of this album
Darion Paone (2.5)
This release will leave you dissatisfied and depressingly bored, but that's par for the course when ...

Aftertheascension (2.5)
Gems Buried among pure dirt, Our Endless War is an inconsistent and often times laughably bad LP, bu...

Ben Kuettel (3.5)
Relying on the same strengths as usual, Whitechapel’s Our Endless War is glaringly inconsistent ye...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
April 27th 2014



20600 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

wanted to review something special for my 60th


not really but this actually isnt bad

stream: http://www.metalblade.com/whitechapel/

Digging: Fallujah - The Flesh Prevails

SnakeDelilah
April 27th 2014



5304 Comments


For a second, I thought the summary said "...take it or leave it or die."

Digging: Bob Dylan - Highway 61 Revisited

deathschool
April 27th 2014



6020 Comments


I choose death.

Digging: Dog Fashion Disco - Sweet Nothings

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
April 27th 2014



20600 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

For a second, I thought the summary said "...take it or leave it or die."


sounds like a whitechapel song title

Funeralopolis
April 27th 2014



10992 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Kind of disagree with some of the points in the review but good review none the less. A New Era Of Corruption will probably always be my favourite by them. I don't feel like the songs on this are really any better fleshed out than their other stuff or at least their last two albums. The songs on this album are pretty diverse and I feel it takes away from the consistency, in both sound and quality this is probably their least consistent album. Also his screams are probably more diverse on this album than usual, you didn't mention the controversial frequency of mid range screams that consist of most of this album that a lot of fans are arguing about, but this is probably their most diverse album vocally (although I wish he'd just stick to the gutturals).


Digging: Sweet Smoke - Just A Poke

Diamondize
April 27th 2014



1139 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Good review. I actually dig their new direction. There are still a few kinks to be ironed out, but it's still a fun album regardless.

Digging: Aquilus - Griseus

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
April 27th 2014



20600 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

@funeral really? i think its their most mundane album vocally. i mention it in the second to last paragraph.

agreed about a new era being their best but all their albums are in the 2.5-3 range for me

Funeralopolis
April 27th 2014



10992 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I agree it is vocally mundane in the fact that his mid range vocals are pretty meh especially in comparison to his gutturals but this band definitely was never vocally diverse.

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
April 27th 2014



20600 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

true. i do miss his highs on their earlier albums though. added a little extra flair

ScuroFantasma
April 27th 2014



1112 Comments


Fantastic review man

Digging: Equilibrium - Erdentempel

BassDemon333
April 27th 2014



3350 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I'm just not enjoying this as much as the self-titled. I loved the experimentation on that one, and the only song that really feels like a progression from that is Diggs Road which is very different for Whitechapel.

Still though, as awful as the lyrics are Worship The Digital Age is awesome. That beginning with the ridiculously low guttural from Bozeman is insane and reminds me of their earlier work. Good review though by the way.

Fluttertrank
April 27th 2014



17098 Comments


band sucks.

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
April 27th 2014



20600 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

thanks scuro

bass, i agree the first minute or so of worship the digital age is sweet but as soon as the breakdown comes in it becomes horrible imo. i can see it being a fun song live though

SlMBOLlC
April 27th 2014



4829 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Great review. Intro is spot on

BassDemon333
April 27th 2014



3350 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah the second half of it isn't nearly as good as the first. I was surprised at how disappointing Bozemans performance was this time around though. He just uses that one monotonous scream for pretty much the entire record, and its not that he isn't capable of those awesome highs and lows that he always used to do anymore either because at that recent Suicide Silence memorial show he was insane with his vocals. I guess he just decided to try a different approach or something but it isn't nearly as effective.

emester
April 27th 2014



1979 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Might actually give this a try. Wish me luck...

Digging: Overkill - White Devil Armory

TalonsOfFire
April 27th 2014



4879 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Let Me Burn is so good

Digging: Opeth - Pale Communion

Arcade
Contributing Reviewer
April 27th 2014



1816 Comments


Fucking shocking band but yay insurrection review. Your review quality is inversely related to this bands overall quality (compliment)

Digging: California Breed - California Breed

Nocturnal
April 27th 2014



1329 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This album could've been so much more especially after the huge potential of their last release. This is the sound of a
band with huge potential getting lazy. Phils lyrics slacked hard and the guitarists digressed on the riffing.

thelastsignal
April 27th 2014



952 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Nice review, man. I've only recently heard their self-titled, but I thought it was their best offering to date. Still somewhat interested to hear this one.

Digging: Mastodon - Once More 'Round the Sun



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy