Deathcore, a fusion of death metal and metalcore, has sky-rocketed in popularity recently, seemingly replacing metalcore. With bands like Suicide Silence and Job For A Cowboy (whom I despise each of), now all the Hot Topic kids find another genre to flock to.
To be blunt, I do NOT like deathcore. I feel it is a cash-in on death metal with blatant metalcore tendencies. Most bands end up sounding virtually identical (SS, JFAC, Salt The Wound, A Different Breed Of Killer, Knights Of The Abyss, Carnifex, Bring Me The Horizon, etc.). However, there are a few bands who stand out, and are more on the death metal side than metalcore. One of them is Despised Icon, whom i really enjoy. The other is Whitechapel.
Named after the county in London home to Jack the Ripper, this Tennessee-based brutal deathcore band really shows they’re above other bands in this genre with this release. Given the label and associated acts, I did not expect anything good out of this release, but I looked it up just for giggles and laughs. What I got really impressed me.
First, the riffs. While three guitarists is very unnecessary for this genre, Zach Householder, Alex Wade, and Ben Savage do make moderate use of them. You’ll often hear melody between two guitars to one low-heavy rhythm. There are a LOT of breakdowns on this album, but the riffs themselves are more than just segues to these breakdowns. There are many legit-death metal riffs here, and boy do they rule! Bassist Gabe Crisp doesn’t have much shine time here, but his rhythms do flow well with the guitars, and add to the heaviness. Drummer Kevin Lane shows his talents well, with rapid-fire double bass and the signature breakdown grooves, he shows he has a lot of talent. And last but not least, we have frontman Phil Bozeman. He has good range, from a mid-range voice that sounds like a half-growl and half-shout, low gutturals, and high-pitched shrieks.
The best songs:
“Necrotizing” is the intro, which has a spoken word that sounds like it’s from a documentary played to a blast beat that gradually gets louder, until it breaks into the title track. “The Somatic Defilement” is by far the best song Whitechapel has done. With the opening drum roll and scream, you get one hell of a ride. Phil’s growls sound great on this song, and the guitarists play some crushing riffs. Even the breakdowns sound good. But it only gets better toward the end of the song, where it breaks into a Gothenburg-influenced riff combined with keyboards, with the lyric “Until death do us part we’ll rot hand in hand.” Easily the best song on the album, and in Whitechapel’s arsenal.
“Prostatic Fluid Asphyxiation,” given the title, is influenced by classic gore death metal. Phil’s screams are in top form, his growls good, and the riffs are crushing throughout.
“Fairy Fay” begins with a quick drum fill, and breaks into a crushing riff/breakdown. Phil’s vocals are great, and the breakdown is good.
“Vicer Exciser” is the first song I really heard by Whitechapel, and it seems to be one of their most popular songs. Containing their well known “In the name of anatomy…” lyric, the song is heavy, with breakdowns a-plenty.
Will this album change the very fabric of metal? No. Does this album contain revolutionary ideas? No. Is this album a shining light in the abysmal sea of deathcore. Definitely. Whitechapel did release a follow-up in July 08, but I believe that album is inferior. If you like this album, also get the last two albums by Despised Icon, as they are all good albums that prove there IS good deathcore.
2. The Somatic Defilement-(05:19)-6/5 Best song!
3. Devirgination Studies-(03:12)-5/5
4. Prostatic Fluid Asphyxiation-(03:33)-5/5
5. Fairy Fay-(03:33)-5/5
6. Ear to Ear-(03:30)-4/5
7. Alone in the Morgue-(02:53)-5/5
8. Festering Fiesta-(02:29)-5/5
9. Vicer Exciser-(02:52)-5/5
10. Articulo Mortis-(04:03)-5/5
“In the name of anatomy, I shall dismember and attain what is rightfully mine.”