Originally written by Erik Thomas.
With the licensing/distribution agreement with the UK’s Siege of Amida Records, USA’s Candlelight Records Division finally have some quality deathcore on their roster, and I’ve been getting my head beaten in by the likes of Rose Funeral, The Partisan Turbine, Knights of the Abyss and Tennessee’s Whitechapel.
Folks, as much as most you hate the whole melding of ‘reeees’, breakdowns, At The Gates thievery and pseudo grindcore, Whitechapel (much to the chagrin of Emmure, I imagine) have in fact delivered one of the most brutal albums of 2007.
This is mostly due to the far more grindcore/death metal themes (far more than Emmure, though their album is damn heavy in its own right) of the Jack the Ripper based band, (Whitechapel was the district of London where ol’ Jack carved out his legend) and their less childish, more direct and flat out brutal approach to deathcore that should have far more appeal to the traditional death metal/grindcore crowd than the usual fans of the genre.
This is one heavy bitch. This is the Anna Nicole Smith of deathcore. A feral, downtuned, Alan Douches mastered, lumbering monster of an album that manages to inject some impressive pinch harmonic filled grind amid the plethora of neck snapping breakdowns, deep growls and blasts. Unlike other deathcore bands that simply base their album around the breakdowns and weakly thrown together spazzy nu-grind, Whitechapel are adept and convincing at both. The title track, after its guttural, cavernous rapturous first four minutes, surprises with an orchestral climax that I’d like to see the band expand on. Standout “Ear to Ear” delivers an utterly punishing mix of massive grooves and clever guitar work that shows far more than a casual listen to East Coast death metal as most of their peers. “Prosthetic Fluid Asphyxiation” is just a bludgeoning beat down and closer “Articulo Mortis” shows the band flexing all of their burly, melodic and grinding muscles into one deft album ending exclamation point on a briskly brutal 32-minute assault that will find itself flirting with my year end list simply due to its tangible and pummeling heft.
Of course, those that think that short haired kids like The Faceless, As Blood Runs Black, Job For a Cowboy, Despised Icon, Suicide Silence, All Shall Perish (all of which are nowhere as heavy as Whitechapel) and such have no place in death metal can feel free to return to their caves and listen to Six Feet Under. I however embrace this newer, sleeker breed of death metal and their hoodies, especially when done this convincingly.
Though I do still hate comb-overs.