Review: Whitechapel – A New Era of Corruption

Deathcore is lame, pure and simple. It’s scientific. By mixing the elements of the extreme styles of Death Metal with the gayness of Metalcore, you’re left with something that resembles a farting fish. A farting fish with a hell of a lot of stolen At The Gates riffs in the background.

However, much like the English Language in regards to grammatical rules, for every genre rule, there are at least a million exceptions, if you’re willing to look hard enough.

After hearing a song by Whitechapel earlier this year, and being rather impressed with it, it’s time to review the band’s latest album, A New Era of Corruption (released in 2010), and find out if the band can be one of these so called exceptions. Make the jump, fuckers.

Whitechapel – A New Era of Corruption (2010)

01. Devolver – 3:58
02. Breeding Violence – 3:19
03. The Darkest Day of Man – 3:00
04. Reprogrammed to Hate – 3:45
05. End of Flesh – 4:03
06. Unnerving – 3:39
07. A Future Corrupt – 2:57
08. Prayer of Mockery – 3:35
09. Murder Sermon – 3:59
10. Necromechanical -4:21
11. Single File to Dehumanization – 4:43

First, a quick bit of background information for those unfamiliar with the band. Whitechapel are named after the area in London, known for being where Jack the Ripper committed many of his horrific crimes. The group began as a Deathcore band, releasing two relatively generic and unoriginal albums. For this release, Whitechapel have tried to push themselves musically and artistically, touching on both political and religious themes lyrically. Forget about your preconceptions of Deathcore, because I can safely inform you that A New Era of Corruption is far more ‘death’ than it is ‘core’. Hell, I wouldn’t even call this album Deathcore at all. But are the band successful in their quest for musical maturity? Keep reading fuckers.

The album begins with a barrage of brutal riffs, backed by ruthless, pounding drums, and pure Death Metal vocals, with this style following for most of the album. Opening track ‘Devolver’ deals with the themes of the current state of the world, and how civilisation has devolved into selfish parasites soaked in violence and greed. At least that’s my interpretation… Overall, this theme is relatively consistent throughout the rest of the record.

A New Era of Corruption doesn’t just deliver straight Death Metal, however. The band keep the pace varied and musically dynamic. The album covers everything from Technical Death to Grindcore, to Black Metal, to Melodic Death, and they do it all with relative ease. Musically, the album is diverse with everything from acoustic guitars and strings adding depth to the album. I can imagine even the least pretentious or elitist of Metal snobs are already sneering at the thought of acoustic guitars and strings being supplemented to Death Metal, but believe me, it’s done in style and is mostly used sparingly to great effect.

Particular highlights of the album include the various alterations in tempo, and the impressive solos and harmonies used by the three guitarists. And yep, you read that right, Whitechapel employ three guitarists. The riffs present on the album are highly impressive for the most part. Fourth track ‘Reprogrammed to Hate’ proves to be one of the strongest songs on the album, displaying a true range of brutality and dynamic rage. Chino Moreno of Deftones fame appears on the song for an oddly compelling collaboration.

Despite sometimes losing its focus within the mix of styles, Whitechapel have achieved their greatest album to date. A New Era of Corruption is tight and relentless, showcasing the strengths of songwriting within the band. Whitechapel have grown as a band, and if this is a sign of things to come, then all I can say is bring on the next album. A New Era of Corruption, despite the occasional off moment where it doesn’t all work as well as it could, is heavy, angry, ambitious and it’s punishing. Highly recommended.

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