Metal Blade Records
18 June 2012
by Danny Montana
Just in the same way that the 100m sprint record time is going to keep on getting faster and faster, the heaviness of the metal genre is just going to get heavier and heavier. It’s just how things go when you get to extremes.
Whitechapel have certainly not taken any weight off their delivery and with so many deathcore bands littering the gig circuit across the world, it’s difficult to really stand out but there are moments on their fourth release in six years that it’s clear that this band is trying to do just that.
From the piano-led opening bars of ‘Make It Bleed’ all the way through to the same piano that closes ‘Possibilities of an Impossible Existence’ and indeed the album, there is ambition and real desire to remain different from and slightly more than the rest.
The subtle electronics that course within the veins of the slow and crunching ‘I, Demetia’ is the Tennessee sextet proving that you can have a plundering moshcore anthem without a billion by-the-numbers beatdowns peppering an already very spicy song.
There’s still familiarity to be found in songs like ‘The Night Remains’ and ‘Section 8’, which first appeared in a slightly different form on the Recorrupted EP, but ultimately this album sees Whitechapel stepping out of every comfort zone known to man.
How angry does one have to be to claim the status of deathcore vocalist? You wonder if Phil Bozeman has even had one nice thing happen to him in his life. So often, growled and screamed vocals are indecipherable but Bozeman has achieved a sharp clarity in his voice. It means that all the regular cliché lyrics about society being crap rather than religion this time are highlighted. It’s as powerful a message as ever but it’s still unclear whether he’s saying anything new. Either way, he’s angry. That’s obvious.
Whitechapel have chosen their fourth album to be their self-titled because it’s they feel it’s the purest distillation of their music. There’s not a ballad in sight but mixed in with the blastbeats and growls is true experimentation and a desire to write music without a template. That’s why this band is better than all the rest.
Sounds like: unrelenting brutality, freeform chaos, Whitechapel
Top tracks: I, Dementia; (Cult)uralist; Section 8