A New Era Of Corruption

Written by: BL on 25/12/2010 05:35:56

I must say that it is increasingly hard for me to look forward to new albums within the deathcore genre - yes that dreaded unholy amalgamation of death metal with metalcore that is looked on with disdain by so many, and I suppose in some cases for good reason (if that new release by Chelsea Grin is anything to go by). Whitechapel's new album "A New Era Of Corruption" was one release that I had some hope for this year considering I spun their previous record "This Is Exile" for a fair amount back a while ago and had some fun listening to it. Which by the way, wasn't because it was brilliant or anything (it wasn't), but because like other deathcore releases I enjoyed had more than just relentless barrages of breakdowns or mindless heaviness - relying on actual guitar riffs or atmosphere.

With "A New Era Of Corruption", Whitechapel have really honed that sound of theirs to truly be their own finally. While their early influences from The Acacia Strain and Through The Eyes Of The Dead still remain in doses here and there, the violent musical imagery the trio of guitarists have weaved together has finally evolved to be strong enough to stand clear amongst all their competitors. Those jarringly angular yet meticulously dissonant guitar riffs are still present in complete dominating abundance (and are still excellent) as are the thunderous breakdowns, but the way they flow into the occasional melodic or hook driven section really sets a new standard in deathcore showing some clever progression (immediately obvious from opener "Devolver"). Whitechapel have also realised that it takes more than the same repeated formula of the heaviest breakdowns matched with the most wicked blast beats added with the ugliest pig squeals to actually sound 'heavy' (not to say that the heavy breakdowns and blast beats don't appear here). Therefore instead the emphasis is consistently on making each phrase or passage of music as engaging and grippingly tense as the last.

Another pleasing aspect of the album above the previous Whitechapel efforts and those by other similar bands is that for once there are hardly any moments of filler (only very occasionally), you get a lot more action sequences in the just over forty minutes (forty five if you grabbed the bonus track "Animus") playtime than you would have done previously like on "This Is Exile" where there was still a frustrating amount of directionless moments. Here though some highlights include the death machine sounding "Breeding Violence", "Reprogrammed To Hate" which features a spine tingling guest spot by Chino Moreno from Deftones, the melodic guitars in "Prayer Of Mockery" and the harrowing and horrific nature of "Murder Sermon". Everything finally culminates on the utterly devasting yet carefully crafted "Single File To Dehumanization" which is perhaps one of the most impressive songs the band has made to date (that epic mid section is still lingering on my mind as I write this). But almost all the songs are worthy of mention which is a rare occasion for any band in the deathcore genre indeed, knowing how limited most bands end up becoming in their repertoires once they start running short of ideas (not a problem here). Finally with the production and mixing also handled by Jason Suecof, the album has a thoroughly strong foundation sonically and has some really wicked ambient and lead guitar tones as well as crushingly raw sounding rhythms that is crucial in the album's success.

"A New Era Of Corruption" without being entirely perfect, is undoubtedly the best album Whitechapel have engineered thus far, which certainly should raise the stakes for everybody gunning in the same scene, and it would be interesting to see where this album can take the band. It's important to note also that while Whitechapel still haven't invented anything new for those only looking for further ammunition to shoot the deathcore label down, it's actually the way they have become so 'inventive' with their song arrangements and how they utilise genre staple ingredients effectively without abusing them that makes them still one of the only deathcore band worth giving a damn about.


Download: Breeding Violence, Reprogrammed To Hate, Prayer Of Mockery, Single File To Dehumanization
For the fans of: The Acacia Strain, Through The Eyes Of The Dead, Job For A Cowboy
Listen: Myspace

Release date 06.08.2010
Metal Blade

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