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CD REVIEW: WHITECHAPEL – Our Endless War

| 16 April 2014 | Reply

PromoImage

Label: Metal Blade Records

Release Date: April 29, 2014

Rating: 8.5/10

Reviewed by: Mike Hubbard

I’ve been a longtime fan of just about every subgenre of extreme metal.  Thrash metal, metalcore, mathcore, death metal, sledge metal, you name it, I probably have it in my music library.  For me, deathcore has been a subgenre that has typically been limited and gets old pretty fast.  Don’t get me wrong, I like me some Chelsea Grin, Suicide Silence, Emmure, Job For a Cowboy, Acacia Strain, or The Red Chord just as much as anyone, but I can only bang my head for so long before having to listen to something different.  The obligatory down-tuned guitars, blast beat double-bass drums, and low pitched growl vocals (with an occasional ‘pig squeal’ thrown in) gets monotonous after a while.  Here enters Whitechapel, and their latest offering ‘Our Endless War’.  Building off their breakout self-titled full length from 2012, ‘Our Endless War’ throws out the stereotypical deathcore formula, while still retaining the genre’s roots that have made Whitechapel one of the more successful deathcore bands.

Whitechapel have always been unique, featuring their three guitar line up and the extraordinary vocals of Phil Bozeman.  Bozeman has the standard deathcore deep-throated growl down to an art (see his YouTube videos for demonstrations of his technique), but he adds an element of his own with faster rap-like vocals that you just don’t hear in other bands.  This technique is evident in the third track ‘The Saw Is the Law’ and the eighth track ‘Psychopathy’.  Bozeman throws some other vocal stylistic change-ups our way in tunes like ‘Let Me Burn’ and ‘How Times Have Changed’.  Other songs such as the title track ‘Our Endless War’ and one of the bonus tracks ‘Fall of the Hypocrites’ deliver classic growls.   The disc as a whole is a master class in how to push the envelope in deathcore vocals.

But the vocals are not the only thing to stand out.  The aforementioned trio of guitars produce some guitar shredding beyond what you’d typically expect in a deathcore record.  The guitars are prominently featured in ‘The Saw Is the Law’, ‘Psychopathy’, and ‘Diggs Road’.  I’d also be remiss if I didn’t call out the drumming of Ben Harclerode and bass-playing of Zach Householder.  They form the foundation of the brutality that the vocal and guitars deliver.

As a package, Whitechapel delivers with ‘Our Endless War’.  The band’s fifth full length builds off the momentum of their previous releases and takes their musicianship to the next logical level.  Mark Lewis, who also produced their previous disc, was wisely brought back for this one.  Fans who are only looking for 40 minutes of mindless head-banging may be slightly disappointed with ‘Our Endless War’.  You will certainly give your neck a workout, but it delivers much, much more.  Look for ‘Our Endless War’ to drop on April 29.

http://www.whitechapelband.com

https://www.facebook.com/whitechapelmetal?ref=br_tf

Todd ‘ToddStar’ Jolicoeur

Category: CD Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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