This is Whitechapel
's first release, and along with releases such as "Count Your Blessings" by Bring Me the Horizon
, "The Cleansing
" by Suicide Silence
, and "Allegiance
" by As Blood Runs Black
; this album help defined Deathcore
as a style. Breakdowns are plentiful in this album, and are of little stylistic variation, although one has to understand that in 2007 they were "innovative". Apart from a couple standout tracks ("The Somatic Defilement
", "Articulo Mortis
"). This album has a generally bland blast beat, breakdown, double bass, and It never really changes throughout, which is a big detractor. However, this album's year of release and death metal evoking style left such prominent impacts on future releases this being its main contribution in the metal world.
Phil Bozeman's vocals are awesome here, and the lower production quality of this album muffles the guttural vocals and makes the high screams sound abrasive. This plus the overall incredibly bass-heavy mix is reminiscent of a Deathcore
take on early death metal. The lyrical content focusing on Jack
being the town where he achieved infamy) is very detailed and methodical, and the lyrical content is thematic throughout the whole album. The lyrics plus the dark feel of the music are a nice effect. The vocals on this album are overall very good.
The guitar work on this album is very strong in some places, weak in others. Most of the riffs played on the higher strings are very adequate are easily distinguishable in newer Deathcore
music, as this album was a pioneer. "Fairy Fay" has a particular sick guitar howl at the beginning, and overall "The Somatic Defilement
" boasts the best riffs and most creativity on the guitars. The rest of the album is detracted from by the audacious downtuning, and in many parts where the drums are blasting, the guitar is played on the lowest note, open-string. This gives the almost Chelsea Grin
sound where the guitar is so low it blends with the bass. Heavy for sure, but just generic and outdated. The bass is tuned so low that its main purpose is the breakdowns, and there is no creativity at all expressed by the bassist. Overall I'm torn by the guitars, because on one note the down tuning works well with the album's theme and some riffs are very good, but in other places as generic as generic gets.
The drums are tuned abrasively and sound heavy and raw. The clicky bass plus the thick snare sound and brash cymbal noise works very well with the album. Some tracks have a surprising amount of percussion creativity, namely "The Somatic Defilement
". In some other songs though, like "Devirgination Studies" the drumming is bland and repetitive, although comparing it to the other big stylistic determiners of Deathcore
does out do Chelsea Grin
, Bring Me the Horizon
, and is about tied with Suicide Silence
. The drums are a little above average, and at least adequate in all places.
Overall, a good album and pioneer release for Deathcore
- just don't expect much creativity or progression here, keep in mind that this is a pioneer album not a progressive one. Honestly, it appears 50% of the entire album's effort went into the title track, and this track pretty much displays all the positives of this album and not the negatives. Unless you really, really like Deathcore
,I would only recommend buying the title track and maybe "Fairy Fay" and "Articulo Mortis
". I would give this album a 13/20.