If you Google deathcore bands, the first name that comes up is Whitechapel. There is a good reason why. Besides being named after the district in East London where Jack the Ripper did his dirty work, their three guitar attack, twisted lyrics, and the extraordinary vocals of Phil Bozeman make them a force to be reckoned with in metal. Whitechapel is set to release their fifth studio album, “Our Endless War,” on April 29, 2014.
One thing you can always count on when it comes to an album from Whitechapel is that it is going to be brutal. “Our Endless War” is just that. However, do not expect one riff and breakdown after another on this record. Whitechapel does a nice job of mixing it up. Even though the album starts out with a slow building intro, ‘Rise,’ you are soon thrown into the pit by the title track. Compared to anything Whitechapel has done in the past, this track has more of a feel to it musically and lyrically. The first single off the album, ‘The Saw is the Law,’ changes things up again. Crushing blast beats alternate with bouncy, djenty guitar riffs making you want to turn it up even louder.
‘Mono’ is a blatant tribute to Slipknot with a few breakdowns thrown in to keep it core. If you have not blown your speakers by now, ‘Let Me Burn’ will get it done. Phil’s opening line of “The mouth of Hell is open wide tonight” says it all. This track is a down tuned, bouncy, br00tal brawl and probably my favorite song on the record. ‘Worship the Digital Age’ is the first straight up deathcore tune. Starting out with some appropriate digital noise, it fades into blast beats and guttural growls. Phil does a great impersonation of another great Phil on ‘How Times Have Changed.’ You will know what I mean when you hear the bridge.
‘Psychopathy’ sounds like a throwback tune. It could easily have been on any of Whitechapel’s previous releases. Even though the choruses are breakdown heaven, ‘Blacked Out’ is mostly a collection of blistering riffs and blasting drums. The album closes with ‘Diggs Road,’ a slower, gritty tune about suicide. The version I reviewed also included two cool bonus tracks. Grab that version if you can.
The production of “Our Endless War” is excellent. The guitar trio of Ben Savage, Alex Wade, and Zach Householder are a united front of technical shredding. Gabe Crisp’s bass has presence, not buried under a pile of guitars. Ben Herclode’s drums are clean, precise, and powerful. Speaking of powerful, the vocal pyrotechnics are off the charts on this record. I think Phil Bozeman gives his most diverse performance to date.
Overall, “Our Endless War” is kick ass album. The songs are not only killer, but also catchy. They combine the Whitechapel sound of the past with the present, and use the band’s influences to their benefit, not their detriment. Drop the needle on this one and let it burn!