Whitechapel have become synonymous with deathcore. Just by mentioning the name you are mentioning a band that has made one of the greatest records in the genre, with a couple others high up on the list as well. Over the years, especially since A New Era Of Corruption, the band has worked a lot more death metal into their sound, full embracing it with Whitechapel and continuing it, to the dismay of some, on Our Endless War. However, Whitechapel's 6th studio album is set to release today, and quite frankly, this album not only marks the biggest change in recent memory for the band, but also brings with it a bevy of expectations that they must reach in order to please their fans. So, do they do it? Do they reach the bar they set back in 2007 while working on This is Exile, or do they take the path most do down the line, which is churn out music as if it's on an assembly line?
Even a cursory glance of our biweekly “What Heavy Blog Is Really Listening To” posts (last week’s update here) will reveal that there is a great deal of variety among our staff’s musical tastes. Due to this, we brainstormed the idea of “Playlist Swap,” another biweekly segment that takes place between playlist updates. We randomly select participants from each update, have them pick their favorite track from each of the nine albums in their grid and then send the list over to the other person/people to listen to and comment on. Within these commentaries occurs praise, criticism and discovery, and we hope that you experience a few instances of this last point as well. This week’s post brought editors Eden Kupermintz and Scott Murphy together to peruse each other’s tastes:
Deathcore has come a long way since its early days. Bands such as Whitechapel and The Acacia Strain have been doing it for over a decade now, and even Despised Icon are back at it again. It's not a resurgence o... Read More...
Shylmagoghnar are a conundrum. The Metal Archives lists their genre as progressive/melodic death metal, but that is a misnomer. Those looking for prog will be disappointed; the only song that could reasonably masquerade as such is the opener, “I Am the Abyss”. The other genre tag is even more misleading - Emergence has almost none of the raw aggression or speed characteristic of any form of death metal. The production is clear as day, and keyboards provide soft atmospheric textures that swaddle the album in a decidedly not death metal glaze. Elements of black metal, such as the rasped vocals and wicked tremolo riffs in “Edin in Ashes” also permeate the album, but not enough to be considered defining characteristics. What is left, then, is an album that defies genre boundaries, not out of pretension or defiance but simply because two Dutch guys got together and wrote some metal on the instruments they knew how to play. And fortunately for us, they’ve written some remarkably tight songs.