A New Era Of Corruption
posted on 6/2010 By:
After a quick, devastating start to the year (Chelsea Grin, Carnifex, Annotations of an Autopsy), deathcore hit a bit of a dry spell for a few months. Things look to change in the summer months as three of the genre's heaviest hitters drop new albums: Impending Doom, I Declare War and darlings Whitechapel delivering their all-important third album.
Love ‘em or hate ‘em (Whitechapel and deathcore, I guess), Whitechapel is one of the genre’s poster children, and their three-pronged guitar attack has seen them rise to the top of the deathcore heap, but not without reason. First, they are undoubtedly heavy (even more so live), and second, their development from simple deathcore band to a fuller, more death-metal-influenced act from The Somatic Defilement to This Is Exile certainly warrants the attention.
So here is album number three, and the band has found their comfort level.
A few more melodic solos here and there jump at out you right away (opener “Devolver”, “Reprogrammed to Hate”, “End of Flesh”), but on the whole, the band’s heft and modernized brutality is intact, and of course, it's full of destructive breakdowns. The production change from Zeuss to Jason Suecof seems incidental, but the three guitars seem a bit more tangible and fluid especially in the actual riffs and solos. A few flirtations with programming are also fairly rudimentary and don't hint at any real stylistic shift anytime soon.
When the band does crank up more death-metal-styled structures (“Unnerving”, “Murder Sermon”), it’s convincing, unlike some of their peers (I’m looking at you, Job For a Cowboy), and the band just seems more focused now, three albums in. Tracks like “A Future Corrupt” and the lumbering “A Prayer of Mockery” seem like complete tracks rather than blast/breakdown/blast, but when the band does enter into one of their inevitable three-guitar grooves, it’s still simply crushing. (Just listen to “Breeding Violence” or “Necromechanical”. )That being said, there's no one breakdown like This Is Exile's title track, one that truly makes the album.
The new I Declare War may be the heavier album, but A New Era of Corruption is more complete and focused, as they seem not content to just rely on breakdowns anymore. Phil Bozeman still has a larger-than-life voice (literally, given his size), but dropping the concept from This is Exile seems to have loosened hiim and the rest of the band up. Still, while listening to this CD, I kept thinking that Whitechapel has become the Behemoth of deathcore -- take that as good or bad, because I couldn’t put my finger on why I thought that, specifically.
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