Review: Whitechapel, Self-Titled

 By Georgi Bomb

If we take 2011’s EP, Recorrupted, and compare it to Whitechapel’s latest, self-titled offering, then there really is no comparison.

Whilst the Recorrupted EP seemed to follow a stereotypical route down the death core path, including dub step remixes of classic tracks such as This Is Exile, the new album takes a completely different route.

Although Recorrupted wasn’t a terrible release, it is definitely quivering in the shadows of their self-titled album, due out June 19 through Metal Blade Records.

The addition of new drummer, Ben Harclerode (ex-Knights of the Abyss), brings a whole new level of strength to the group and contributes to the new dynamic that is apparent on the band’s fourth studio LP.

Abound with hostility, the album refuses to sit still; it has so many twists and turns that are fused together by an addictive groove, dispelling all monotony.

As the opening track, Make It Bleed, begins, there is an atmospheric build up, leading you to believe that perhaps Whitechapel are following every other modern death metal band and having an instrumental intro number.

This is incorrect however, as it isn’t long before it slams in quicker than a drunken brawl on a Saturday night. This has everything, melodic groove, heavy breakdowns and vicious vocals.

The lead single, Hate Creation, carries some resemblance not only to Meshuggah, but also to Machine Head’s Burn My Eyes days.

This is a perfect example of the progression of Whitechapel. They seem to be evolving on this album and for the better.

Although some parts fall into the lighter side of the genre, brought about by the prominent groove, there is still a certain level of brutality; the blast is still here.

The lighter parts always seem to be at the start of the track, that ends up vanishing as the rest of the track unfolds, with more hostility that Whitechapel have previously displayed.

Although the lighter edge could be seen as a weakness, it works as an enticement. It is impossible to scan over the album as there is no certainty which direction the music will head.

I, Dementia is the strongest track on the album. Overflowing with anger and combines a gripping melody that flows in and out.

What’s good about this album is that although they have evolved their sound, there are still two classic Whitechapel tunes in place. Section 8 and Dead Silence really showcase Phil Bozeman vocals, almost reminiscent of This Is Exile.

It remains strong and heavy right to the end until Devoid, which – like the intro – starts as an in-between track. This soon alters and punches in with the authentic head banging groove that Whitechapel have demonstrated all the way through.

Lyrically, Bozeman hasn’t stuck to one concept. Aiming to hit an emotional depth, which has clearly been achieved. The animosity and passion cannot be denied, the lyrics cover all kinds of social and humanity hatred.

Despite every band’s aim of wanting to constantly produce their best work to date, it has to be said that this could be Whitechapel’s defining album.

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