For Fans Of
Assumptions can sometimes be a dangerous thing. Subscribing to popular opinion can lead to judgment formed out of preconception and fixed ideas rather than considered and objective thinking. Running on this train of thought it would be all too easy to declare Whitechapel’s new album as this year’s ‘must-have’ metal release. The group is seemingly one of 2010’s ‘buzz bands’. Not that this has been untoward, with the Knoxville sextet delivering a balanced dose of death metal and hardcore in the past to reasonable effect. But, this musical trait could easily be applied to a number of other bands equally.
There seemingly exists a healthy rivalry between bands in the heavy metal landscape today. A current and popular trend suggests the obvious route to distinguishing yourselves from the next similar group is to either become as technical as possible or in Whitechapel’s case become as heavy as can be.
‘A New Era of Corruption’ in terms of musical output, skill and structure is Whitechapel’s best offering yet. It is well rounded, unrelenting and purposeful. However, the album just does not seem to catch on enough upon initial listens. Bluntly, its potential does not match its endearment. The eleven-track offering is solid but not that epic, peerless effort many would hope for.
Beginning with ‘Devolver’ the album revels in a classic American death metal sound. There is nothing clean or tentative, the music is confronting, loud and intimidating. The repeated refrain ‘Welcome to Hell’ from front man Phil Bozeman is symptomatic of Whitechapel’s direction. Like the heavyweight boxer, this album appears intent on only letting up once you have hit the floor.
‘The Darkest Day of Man ’is consistently heavy and precise while‘ Reprogrammed to Hate, which features guest vocals from Deftones singer Chino Moreno, is a highlight. Moreno’s higher ranged screams offering a good contrast to Bozeman’s guttural growls. Fitting in with the tone of the music, the lyrics on ‘A New Era of Corruption’ focus on the extreme and often negative themes, to the point that the album essentially borders on being misanthropic.
A very good effort but personally Woe of Tyrants ‘Threnody’ and Through the Eyes of the Dead’s ‘Skepsis’ might just have this one pipped by a nose.
Structurally ‘A New Era of Corruption’ is a sound and confident release. Worth a listen, however there still feels like something, albeit subtle, is missing from making Whitechapel one of metal’s modern day elite acts.
2. Breeding Violence
3. The Darkest Day of Man
4. Reprogrammed to Hate
5. End of Flesh
7. A Future Corrupt
8. Prayer of Mockery
9. Murder Sermon
11. Single File to Dehumanization