Whitechapel
Our Endless War

Deathcore poster children Whitechapel are back with  album number five, a nice shiny clean logo, a contrived album title and cover and the waning hopes of a fading genre resting on their shoulders. How will they fare?

To be honest you either like Whitechapel and deathcore or you don’t, and I’m not about to convince you of either, but I will tell you about Our Endless War. It is deathcore , albeit a streamlined and slightly less generic version as the style , continuing from 2012s self titled release, Whitechapel has continued with more The Acacia Strain like restrain and lurch but has also really developed and progressed on this album into a solid extreme metal band regardless of labels or genres.

Fear not breakdown lovers, there is still plenty of syncopated breakdown-y moments for you to punch and kick innocent bystanders in the face to at live shows, but dare I say it, Whitechapel is actually a pretty mature and complete band now. While still heavy and deathcore at its roots, the song writing is at times very simple, yet introspective, often melodic and personal and certainly progressed beyond simple chugs and telegraphed breakdowns or overdone noodling and tech metal. There are actual songs and riffs. This is deathcore for adults as Whitechapel appear to have done growed up. Pity their ninja kicking fan base hasn’t.

Tracks like “Mono”, sturdy “Let Me Burn”, “Worship the Digital Age”, pummeling “How Things Have Changed”, the incredibly developed “Psychopathy”, with its delicate acoustic intro then massive roar, and “Blacked Out”  are confident, varied and mature. But its 10th track the somber, 6 minute “Diggs Road” that will either divide fans or bring in new ones as its as close to a ballad as deathcore gets without Liv Kristin guesting on vocals, complete with soaring wind blown solo. Its a bold gamble, but one I like  and respect. The album ends (appropriately) there in the regular version, but the limited edition cd adds two bonus tracks in “A Process so Familiar” and “Fall of the Hypocrites” which are two more basic big, burly deathcore tracks.

But by the same token, along with the above mentioned maturity and restraint , comes  a few early moments where the band flirt with a too dumbed down commercial sound such as opener “Rise Up” which has a cringe  inducing opening shout of ‘Lets Gooooooo!” and almost commercial rock riff and chorus and “The Saw is Law”.  Its like the band cant decide if they want to sell out or get heavier.

Hate them or loathe them or the style, you can’t deny  one thing- the three pronged guitar assault is as massive as it has ever been. You can actually hear and feel the three guitars, as in the live environment, and it is at time ridiculously massive. Whether a sturdy breakdown/groove as heard to open “Let Me Burn” or an absolutely lethal blast as heard to open the fucking devastating start of “Worship the Digital Age”.

Still this is better than some recent deathcore snoozers from heavy weights like Oceano, Impending Doom or I Declare War  and shows why the band is a should be considered one of, if not the top band in the genre, showing maturity and staying power.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
April 29th, 2014

Comments

  1. Commented by: Andy Synn

    It’s a good album, although I thought the self-titled was an overall better affair. But I do agree it’s nice to see a band generally maturing (something I think started with “A New Era of Corruption”), and producing some stand out songs. The lyrics do tend to come across as a little basic still though, something that’s probably enhanced by the fact that they’re clearly trying to develop musically… but not necessarily lyrically.


  2. Commented by: E. Thomas

    Great observation Andy- the lyrics are stepping back but the music is getting better.


  3. Commented by: Jesse Wolf

    saw em live recently. was bummed they played like two songs off somatic but tbh the new songs hold up well. was a good show. i wont buy this cuz its pretty zzzz but live they sound good.


  4. Commented by: E. Thomas

    ive seen them live twice and each time they play this is exile, my chest almost collapses.


  5. Commented by: Jesse Wolf

    ya i hear ya lol. plus there pit are nuts. i suffered a fat eye from it but was so worth it lol.


  6. Commented by: Brad

    I don’t love or hate deathcore and consider myself a Whitechapel fan. I thought their self-titled release was the best of their career…the song writing improved considerably and was better organized. The album had groove, heaviness, and some catchy riffs.

    But they’ve really lost me with this latest album. The generic logo, the corny catchphrase (“the saw is the law!”), the hackneyed lyrics and album theme…. It’s like Whitechapel is less interested in music and more interested in developing a brand.

    And the music falls flat for me personally on this one.


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