Whitechapel - “Mark of the Blade”
Reviewed Before Release
Stream / Amazon Music
Whitechapel is undoubtedly one of the biggest names in deathcore next to the godly Despised Icon & the now-mediocre Suicide Silence. June 24th marks the release of the group's sixth studio album on Metal Blade Records, Mark of the Blade. My feelings are mixed on this album due to the addition of some nu-metal influences and the addition of clean vocals for the first time on two of the eleven tracks.
Whitechapel’s fifth full-length, Our Endless War, left a lot of their hardcore fans a little uneasy and confused over the lyrical direction it took. They’ve gone back to their lyrical roots and somehow pulled off an actual death metal sound in comparison to the deathcore sound they have had since the beginning. Songs such as “The Killing Industry” and “Tremors” give off that Slipknot-like nu-metal vibe, though, and you can feel it in the riffs and intro screams, right as both tracks begin.
Phil Bozeman is no doubt one of the best vocalists in deathcore, but hearing him sing is oddly awesome. Tracks such as “Bring Me Home” and “Decennium” provide the listener with a new side of Phil. When it was rumored that the new Whitechapel record would have soft vocals earlier this year, the metal community flipped out, but now that we know Phil has a beautiful voice, not many people are minding it. Maybe, just maybe, with Whitechapel headlining the Monster Energy stages, we’ll be able to hear him sing live on this year’s installment of the Vans Warped Tour.
This feels like an album for Whitechapel fans, and to say they would be happy with this record is an understatement. On the other hand, to say that it will stick with you in the long run would be a lie. I already know it’s not an album I will find myself jamming constantly and never take the disc out of my car, especially with so many other amazing releases coming this year from bands such as Silent Planet, Infant Annihilator, and possibly even Every Time I Die and The Dillinger Escape Plan.
Stream this record before you buy it as it doesn’t have much replayability. If you disagree, pick this up either online, at your local store, or from their merch tent this summer on Warped. Support your artists and buy their records - Whitechapel will probably need all they can get with the way Our Endless War left fans skeptical of the band.