Our Endless War

Written by: CEM on 20/08/2014 17:51:24

Assuming that any deathcore fan has yet to hear the psychotic vibrations of Whitechapel is utterly absurd. Founded in 2006, the band has released four studio albums, five music videos and are presently signed to Metal Blade Records. Recently finished with their 34 show co-headline tour with Devil Driver, Carnifex and Fit for An Autopsy they relent only for a month before they embark on another full U.S tour. Whitechapel is a coalition of well produced metal and a perfect storm of obliterating guitars and blast beats. Peaking at #13 (release day) on the top 200 itunes and reaching #1 on both the metal and rock charts the road to eternal respect among metal heads might be right around the corner for this sextet from Knoxville, Tennessee.

From an early stage the band has strived to reveal our sadistic humanity for what it is, presenting the causality of our hedonistic ways. The sheer technicality of “The Somatic Defilement” eviscerated any sense of pre-fame anxiety and has upheld a name worth betting on for a destructive show. The years since have faired Whitechapel well as they continue to prove their intellectual prowess in both songwriting and lyricism. Updating their influences and finding new ways of interpreting their skills as musicians is a common trend when given the chance to record albums. The continuation of their progression takes the form of a twelve-track totalitarian soundtrack given the name “Our Endless War”. This album comes as an expected breath of fresh air and establishes a less traveled pathway in terms of incorporating hardcore influences into the carnage of thrash that flowed through the preceding album. A “ground and pound”, if you will, of pulverizing drums and subsonic low end guitars.

Riffs made for a bouncy castle compliments the overload of syncopated vocal stems that Phil Bozeman produces in “The Saw is the Law”. A clear indication that their priorities have shifted ever so slightly in the direction of promoting lyrics while the verses draw attention to the salutary guitar parts found in “This is Exile”. Not that this lessens the value of the album holistically, but some of the chords do get a bit repetitive in structure, especially when overpowered by the drums and vocals. An interesting part in “Let Me Burn” towards the end reminds me of something Misha Mansoor (Periphery) would write but fits almost like an “I” piece filling the perfect amount of rows in Tetris. The sense that being a deathcore band no longer appears to interest them nearly as much any more can be heard throughout. But they have yet to take the plunge into uncharted waters. Their love of hatred does not appear to be altered and is a ultimately their trademark. I will admit the solo in “Blacked Out” is very traditional at first listen, but after a couple more the incorporation of jazz elements harmonically and rhythmically become a little clearer. This was one of several solos guested by guitarist Ben Eller, appearing on "The Saw Is The Law", "Psychopathy" and both solos on "Diggs Road". Some have compared this album to Suicide Silence's “No Time To Bleed” and elements of Meshuggah's early material which I completely disagree with. Mostly because of the ingenuity of it all, exchanging disjunct structure whilst religiously chugging through “choruses”. The deathcore aspects do hold remnants of Suicide Silence and Oceano but if one is willing to look past this the job of providing a solid album seems to be completed.

The discussion surrounding their use of digitally amplified guitars can almost be forgotten as soon as it's heard. The fact of the matter is that although the layering would represent that of a more live construct in terms of tone and equalization, it amasses to a somewhat thin sound even when listened to on studio monitors. I say this because Whitechapel have ubiquitously presented us with an underlying sludge that ties most of their albums together. The low-end of their EVH 5150 III into a Mesa cab is what I assume people feel they are lacking in the newest rendering of pure destruction, a valid wish for a die hard fan, I feel. Although, a large group of musicians have been leaning towards physical amp simulators, the one Whitechapel uses is called the Kemper Profiler Amplification. You send a live signal through your preferred amp and it basically does as its says, profiles the output and saves it as a preset in their DAW (Logic. Cubase, Pro Tools, etc.). I'm not entirely sure why fans despise this process, all it does is make the DI signal cleaner, same sound as if they had recorded through their usual set-up. Alex Wade, their guitarist, does an interview with beyondthewatch.com where he explains all of this in more detail if you're interested in learning more about it.

The reason I present this album in such a positive light isn't necessarily because I see it as a classic but because it foreshadows a more consciously developed sound that could steer Whitechapel into heavy metal history. Pushing aside all newcomers with unrestrained ferocity and asserting their rightful dominance. Seeing as I live in London, I can tell you that whatever these guys are doing now is far more pleasurable than visiting the semi-gentrified elitist filled second-hand vinyl cafés and sub-par curry houses you find strolling down Brick Lane to get to Whitechapel station. I don't see anyone really losing faith in them over this release, so why not call it a success and leave it at that.


Download: The Saw Is The Law, Let Me Burn, Mono, Blacked Out
For The Fans Of: Mudvayne, The Black Dahlia Murder, Nile, Aborted, Despised Icon
Listen: facebook.com

Release date 29.04.2014
Metal Blade Records

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