Deathcore was never a genre meant for the mainstream but if one band can take this extreme music to the masses in 2014 it’s Knoxville, Tennessee sextet, Whitechapel.
Their fifth full length album, Our Endless War, sees the band taking their sound in more varied directions without losing any of the brutal energy of its predecessors. Indeed, this new record seems to draw from recent releases and then take everything up a notch, with blastbeats and heavy grooves sure to keep hardcore fans more than satisfied. That’s certainly not to say that Whitechapel are playing it safe. Oh no. Our Endless War sees the band twisting and turning their signature sound into something altogether more exciting and unpredictable.
Opening with Rise, a short, dramatic intro, we’re soon into the pile-driving title track where Whitechapel make it clear that they’re not about to mellow out but it’s on tracks like the immense Mono that the real surprises lie. The band kick off with a thrashing riff as vocalist Phil Bozeman barks out his lyrics but, just as you think you know what to expect, the band pull back and deliver crushing grooves and dramatic interludes which only manage to increase the heaviness of the song.
Another of the album’s true gems is the mighty precision of Let Me Burn where, once again, Whitechapel prove that you can slow things down without losing any of the band’s furiousness. Worship The Digital Age returns to a more classic deathcore sound before a sinister spoken vocal during How Times Have Changed adds to the mechanical might of the track.
As the album draws to a close, Blacked Out sees Whitechapel at their fiercest. It’s a pummelling tune that takes the pace to new levels before an epic finale of the 6 minute long Diggs Road. The album’s closer leaves the listener with no doubt that this is a band that refuses to play within the parameters of their chosen sound as they bring an almost progressive edge to proceedings and guitarists Ben Savage, Alex Wade and Zach Householder are given space to really shine.
Our Endless War is an album which not only takes Whitechapel to new levels of intensity, it also pushes the envelope for a genre of music where it’s all too easy to stick to the tried and tested. The brutality is still there in droves but this is also an album with surprises, bold ideas and considerable depth.
Our Endless War is available worldwide on Metal Blade Records on 29th April 2014.
Phil Bozeman – Vocals
Alex Wade – Guitar
Ben Savage – Guitar
Zach Householder – Guitar
Gabe Crisp – Bass
Review & live photo – Steve Gerrard