I’ve had a soft spot for Whitechapel for a couple of years now. Whenever I want to listen to something that will really psych me up then I whack on some and it fires me up. I personally really enjoyed their previous two albums, Our Endless War and Whitechapel, so I was intrigued to see whether this one would build upon themes explored in previous albums. In short it does, but in different ways…
The album opens with the building style section of “The Void” before the almighty roars of Phil Bozeman send things into overdrive. One thing I immediately noted is that he’s experimented a lot more with vocal styles on this album. None of them feel out of place and they all deliver in their own unique way. A rather speedy guitar solo slots nicely into the track before kicking back into the chorus and a rather unconventional breakdown that does fit. Kind of..
“The Mark of The Blade” then slows things down a tad into a more traditional chug affair with an overall simplistic feel that you could pleasantly walk/jog to. “Elitist ones” however, is more a groove-laden song with some rather tasty parts, which I struggled not to ‘headbang’ along to. Whilst the lyrical topic might not be your average ‘deathcore’ , they weave it in the with the music in expert fashion and as such make it one of the standout tracks for me.
Now what can I say about “Bring me Home” other than I quite like it. I was initially apprehensive when I heard that there was going to be clean vocals, but they fit really rather well. The calm that was present in the previous is all but shattered with double barrelled assault of “Tremors” and “A Killing Industry”. The later being quite a thrashy number laden with some rather groovy riffing, which makes for a nice change from the mid-paced chug.
Slowing things back down is the track “Tormented” which opens rather calmly before slamming down like a ton of bricks that is actually how the track feels. A giant heavy colossus that crushes all in its path. It’s an altogether different picture with the instrumental track “Brotherhood” whose acoustic guitar opening gives way into an altogether tame song. That’s not to say it’s not heavy, but it delivers it in a different way to the rest of the album.
“Dwell in the Shadows” opens with a inhale of breath before Phil proceeds to scream his guts out to this rather melodious number. It has a lot more melody than some of the other tracks on the album and is thus one of the standout tracks on the album. “Venomous” on the other hand feels like a old school rock song on steroids. Coupling grooving bass and drums with the Phil’s knack for spitting words left, right and centre, it reflects it title rather well.
Finishing the album off with a song that sounds very similar to “Rise(Our Endless War)” in the beginning is the track “Decennium”. It keeps a similar vibe throughout the song with the clean vocals that appeared earlier making reappearing. Honestly, this song fits the clean vocals in a lot better and it’s honestly one of my new favourite tracks by the guys. It combines both the traditional heavy riffing with the new themes that they explored on this album. Mashing all that together results in a very enjoyable song.
Whilst the album builds upon their previous efforts, I have to say that it also takes things off in a slightly different direction. Whether this direction is to your liking is not up to me to decide. But I will say this… Give the album a listen and if you like it then go buy it. If you don’t, then that’s fine as well. Just don’t be one of those elitist snobs that hates on anything that isn’t Trve Metal…
Standout tracks: Elitist ones, Bring Me Home, Dwell in the Shadows, Decennium