Who put this Linkin Park on my Whitechapel album? Am I being trolled? Oh no it’s an actual emotional meaningful piano piece on a track called “Make It Bleed”. Makes sense. A lead comes in and we’re off into death metal territory. Ah, the familiarity of it all. The vocals are fast n raw, the riffs are more than deathchugs finally (They make appearances, don’t worry) and it’s not too shabby of an evolution/experimentation. Whitechapel’s new self titled release is not a return to form, sure there are some definite deathcore elements in the mix but it’s riffs, leads and other instruments all adding to the new sound that is Whitechapel. This new sound also has lost some power, except with the drumming, I feel the drumming on this album is the best yet. The riffs are pretty good but the interruption of random instruments mess with the flow of the album sometimes. Especially on the first track. There is also a nod to late 90′s early 2000′s nu-metal. It’s hard to not notice and associate the obvious music with that genre. Hate Creation is the first time you will notice this. With the little whisper to scream part, other than that the riffing and brutality on the track is damn good. Phil’s vocals are pretty gnarly on this track as well.
(Cult)uralist is up next and it’s pretty crushing. It’s weird how good this song is yet I have no interest in it really. There is nothing truly wrong with it, decent riffs and Phil going off like a madman. There is even a catchy quote that I’m sure will be on big bold letters on the back of a shirt soon. The solo on this track stands out and is pretty good. I’m sure this will be a good one to play live. Next up is a track called “I, Dementia” and this track sticks out to me. The intro is cool and the groove is a headbangers dream. The riff is simple yet catchy. “Section 8″ is a good song, it was previously released on last year’s EP so I’ve heard this enough times already. I usually skipped it due to this. Sure it’s a good song but I’ve already covered it. It’s the only “old school” Whitechapel on the entire album. Just straight up pistol whipping your face until it’s jelly.
“Faces” rushes in and makes sure you are paying attention. The song is faster paced and more thrash oriented. This song is another one that stuck out to me, it’s a hybrid of old Whitechapel and evolved Whitechapel. I can already see the circle pits going nuts to this song. The next track doesn’t let you down either as it begins immediately after; “Dead Silence” delivers. The song is just heavy as hell and they keep the riffing interesting. The chorus sounds familiar, like they’ve used it before. The chord still sounds good though. This song is just rad, it’s another good headbanger, which is important. I also dig how they end this song.
Next up is “The Night Remains” which has a powerful Chimaira style intro, then it gets just plain homicidal from then on out. I hate the kill switch on the microphone though at the 52 second mark, just cheesy as fuck. I was in the garage by myself and said out loud “Haha, that was fucking gay!” Even after several listens I just find it unnecessary. This song is the shortest traditional song on the album and besides that one annoying part, the song isn’t bad at all. Setting up the final track is this instrumental track called “Devoid”. Whitechapel does a very very good job with their instrumentals. “Of Legions” still gets jammed to this day and I’ll play that shit on guitar here n there. It’s just so damn good, constructed really well and heavy. “Devoid” begins with a sorrowful piano intro, it’s good but I’m still trying to get use to hearing a piano on a Whitechapel album. Especially when a chug groove comes in immediately, it doesn’t seem to fit naturally. However with that being said, I loved this track. That rhythm under that lead (which is the same thing as what was being played on the piano) goes really good together. Concluding the album is the final song “Possibilities of an Impossible Existence”, it’s a solid track but nothing too brilliant or award winning. It’s also nothing horrendous or bad. It’s just there and it’s not a bad way to end the album.
The album as a whole isn’t what I was expecting. It’s not terrible, it’s not the best they’ve done. I appreciate the experimentation and branching out but it just wasn’t doing it for me. Some of the tracks were definitely really good, but only some. The rest was just “meh”, the production seems off. The album doesn’t have the balls that previous albums had. Some of the riffs wrote on this album were incredibly catchy, they got stuck in my head quite often. Especially the main riff on “Hate Creation”. Also, drumming was amazing on this album. Vocals again were good, the lower registered growls were not as often but still heavy. The screams were more mid range than anything on this album. However, with the newly crafted riffs they go together like pancakes and syrup. It goes down well.
I had a hard time getting into this album. At first, I wasn’t into it….in fact I hated it. The more I listened to it I discovered a couple of tracks I really enjoyed and figured out which ones I truly gave a shit about. Whitechapel’s self titled album is 50/50 with me. The forgettable songs are decent filler, they aren’t that bad. The songs I liked are really really good and heavy. I’ve been a fan of Whitechapel since the beginning, so this change on here isn’t the worst thing they could have done. Yet I wished they would have worked out the kinks a little more instead of rushing to get an album out before a big summer festival.
Pros: Still some heavy parts/songs, drumming, riffs and vocals are good.
Cons: Overall production isn’t as good as previous albums, feels like a neutered version of Whitechapel, 50% of album is forgettable.