Ahh, This Is Exile
. With Whitechapel
being signed to Metal
Blade Records less than a year ago after previously being on the UK's "Siege
of Amida" Records (co-incidentally founded by Jamie of The Absence
fame), you know to be on the same label as Cannibal Corpse
, Cattle Decapitation
, The Absence
, and more, you pretty much know they've got something to offer.
What separates Whitechapel
from a lot of other of these faceless new bands out there, is probably the fact one of these band who utilise the fact they have 3 guitarists, properly.
If like myself, you've been a Whitechapel
fan since before 2008, then you've heard their debut, "The Somatic Defilement
". Their debut was a fairly strong debut, but for some reason, even though I do enjoy listening to it, you could tell something was missing. Something, you couldn't pin-point in particular, but you know wasn't quite there.
Now with "This Is Exile
" out (and yes, this is a rather late review I know, but there wasn't one!), these 6 men have found what was missing from their previous effort, and with this sophomore effort, has added it into their music, and then some. Plus
, some more.
Honestly, I haven't heard such a stunning improvement rate between albums in such a short amount of time, in god knows how long. Soon as you pop that bad boy into your CD player/PC and you hear the immense opening riff and the return of Phil Bozeman's thunderous low end vocals, you know something great has been unleashed.
The groove has turned up its volume a hell of a lot, especially the octaves in the second half of the title track, and the intro to the most recently video-shot track, "Possession
", with an intro so bouncy you're re-living the video to Meshuggah
's "New Millenium
Cyanide Christ" in all it's bounce-filled glory.
For the longer-lived fans of Whitechapel
the theme of their debut is carried on in the song "Somatically Incorrect" (no prizes for guessing!).
A stand-out track for myself is "Death Becomes Him". This is probably one of the main tracks which some fans may have taken their CD out and checked if they're still playing Whitechapel
, as this is a heightened form of melody from the band, executed fantastically and reminding their fans, melody (I use the term loosely, as I don't mean Howard-switch Engage
melody) in modern-day metal isn't dead yet.
The rest of the riffs on this album though, are fucking crushing, and devastating, a treat for those of you who have heard their earlier, heavier tracks, and proving that the band are kings of groovy, phat breakdowns. Particularly, "Eternal Refuge
" emphasises my point, pretty much one of the tracks which has every aspect of the band condensed into a single song.
This album has stepped up musically (especially with some of the great shreds of Zach Householder, and the intricacy of riffs going up to 11), the use of guitar FX, which on their debut, as well as alot of newer music, is an almost forgotten art. In this case though, they've hit it right on the head. Like the crushing final 2 tracks, "Of Legions
", has an early Fear Factory
feels with the haunting lead octaves on top, which falls into the Darth Vader
of finishing tracks this year, "Messiahbolical".
Highly recommended, a stunning sophomore and a judging from their progress? Very, very promising for listeners and fans.