This November/December, Whitechapel will embark on a North American tour, entitled “Decade of Defilement”, to commemorate the 10th anniversary of The Somatic Defilement. Continue reading
A name often associated with the much maligned deathcore explosion that rocked the metal world in 2006-07, Whitechapel continues to march forward (and slowly distance themselves from the glut of mediocrity within the subgenre) with the release of their fifth studio album, Our Endless War (Metal Blade).
Much like their 2012 self-titled effort, Whitechapel once again chose to work with producer Mark Lewis and deliver another ten track offering focusing on groove with tinges of melody, guitar solos and actual hooks. And you can’t really knock on the band for going down that avenue. It’s an approach that’s worked well for the Tennessee collective thus far as its garnered them strong commercial success (with regards to deathcore they’re sales are only surpassed by artistically inferior acts like Suicide Silence, Bring me the Horizon, etc…). However this muscular, groove oriented style marks them as creatively stifled if compared to the likes of All Shall Perish or The Red Chord.
While the meat of the record is still in the down-tuned chug of songs like ‘The Saw is the Law’ and ‘Mono’ there are some pleasant surprises in the Whitechapel arsenal this go around. The album’s vaguely political title-track (and best number they’ve written in years), reminds the listener that Whitechapel hasn’t forgotten about the hardcore punk aspect of their musical DNA. This unexpected dynamic shift in sound got me wondering why it so took so long for deathcore bands to dabble in the hardcore portion of their genre.
To contrast the hardcore snarl, tracks like ‘Blacked Out’ and ‘Worship the Digital Age’ are blast-beat filled compositions that channel Whitechapel’s most death metal oriented release, the underrated and recently reissued The Somatic Defilement. Our Endless War is peppered with these gut-punching gems, but it’s never consistent enough.
My issue with Whitechapel is perfectly captured with this latest album. They’re perfectly content with being just good enough and showing the occasional glimpse at greatness. But like I stated before, if something is working then why change it? Whitechapel will continue to sell well and get solid tour offers off the strength of Our Endless War. I’ll readily admit that I’ll watch them live again and look forward to many of these new songs, but I’m still waiting for their truly great album that will completely shed the deathcore label.