01. Make It Bleed
02. Hate Creation
04. I, Dementia
05. Section 8
07. Dead Silence
08. The Night Remains
10. Possibilities Of An Impossible Existence
[Metal Blade Records]
Whitechapel are a band that have drawn scrutiny over the years for being a pretty standard deathcore band. Their previous album, A New Era of Corruption however, began to show their maturity as musicians, and they began to justify their use of three guitarists by shying away from breakdown after breakdown, and instead experimenting with solos and atmospheric work. On this, their self-titled new release, the group have matured even further, and have their finest batch of songs to date, offering even more diversity than you’d believe from the band you know — or think you know.
This record is proof positive for anyone in doubt that these are some talented musicians. The sign of any good musician is when they can attain success, then evolve themselves and continue to learn and expand their range. The members of Whitechapel have done just that, moving from their breakdown-oriented style on their debut to a more musical, song-oriented release. The members of the band have definitely been working towards making more memorable songs rather than songs with memorable parts. This album attacks full songs, and has a few which have become favorites.
‘Hate Creation‘, the first single, is probably my new favorite song by the band. From start to finish it is a punishing, relentless song that has every element that makes the band so spectacular: heavy riffs that remain memorable even after the song ends, breakdowns to bang your head and slam to, and even some tasteful lead work that is not only atmospheric but makes the song that much better. ‘Possibilities Of An Impossible Existence‘ is also another favorite, and probably my favorite Whitechapel album closer. The fact that it reprises the piano intro from ‘Make It Bleed’ drives the point home that Whitechapel is a serious album rather than a collection of songs, ultimately finishing the album on a high note.
The band has also made good with utilizing all three guitarists in a way that makes all of them stand out. When Recorrupted was released, their new song ‘Section 8‘ gave us a taste of how they were beginning to utilize the triple-axe-attack to set themselves apart from other bands under the deathcore moniker. I love hearing everyone playing something that contributes to the song in its own unique way, whether it is playing against the rhythm or playing something totally different, while still being a complement. However, my gripe is that at times the guitars doing this amazing lead work and adding that atmospheric touch are buried in the mix behind the rhythm guitars. Some songs leave me wishing that the rhythm was lower in the mix so the lead work is more audible; often times, the grooving low end takes precedence over a fairly technical guitar lead that can barely be made out.
The production on this record is great otherwise. No loudness war is going on here, and the band seems to understand that fine line between being too loud and too soft, and are just loud enough so that I don’t have a persistent ring in my ears by the time I’m done listening to the album. Once again, the wizard known as Mark Lewis has pulled through with a beautiful sounding album. They also turned Phil’s vocals up a tiny bit, which I really enjoy; Phil is one of the best deathcore/death metal vocalists out there right now, as well as a fantastic lyricist. “We’ve been somatically defiled, exiled, and now this new era has come to an end,” the opening lines from ‘Make It Bleed,’ is a nod to the titles of their past three albums (The Somatic Defilement, This Is Exile, A New Era Of Corruption), which any fan will appreciate.
Whitechapel are one of those bands that have yet to make a “bad” album, and this album is the next chapter of their lives, where they ascend the ranks and begin gaining recognition as one of the best bands in their genre. Overall, this is a must have for 2012, and if you don’t already have tickets to Mayhem Festival yet, then this is just another reason to go out and buy them.
Whitechapel’s Whitechapel gets:
– SS, with AD in spirit.