Tennessee based metal band Whitechapel released its fifth full length studio effort last Tuesday. That album, titled Our Endless War, has been met with mixed reviews from both fans and critics alike in the short time since its release. Those that are more experienced with will obviously be far more opinionated than those that might not be so familiar with the band’s body of work. One thing that both sides should be able to agree upon with this latest record is its heaviness both musically and lyrically. The album opens with the album’s absolutely searing title track that is an indictment of the country’s current state. Just as blistering is the Fear Factory style song ‘Worship The Digital Age.’ This song delves into the world’s overwhelmingly increasing obsession with things such as social media and all things digital. The band doesn’t let up an inch even as it reaches the last of the album’s dozen total tracks. The album’s closer, ‘Fall of the Hypocrites’ is brutal to say the absolute least. This applies both in terms of the song’s lyrics and its music. It will leave listeners breathless by the time it ends. Having experienced the album’s eleven other tracks, it will leave any naysayer agreeing that this is an album that any metal purist should hear at least once.
Whitechapel makes quite the statement on its latest release. The album’s opener and title track is a solid speed metal piece. There’s no denying that it is more listener friendly than some of the other material on this album. But in the band’s defense, there is nothing wrong with reaching out to a wider audience. The three-guitar attack of Ben Savage, Zach Householder, and Alex Wade makes for so much depth to the song. While one provides the song’s primary line, the other two work in tandem with bassist Ben Harclerode and drummer Gabe Crisp for an absolutely pounding opus. Vocalist Phil Bozeman’s heavy growling vocals are among the most powerful of any vocalist within the band’s sub-genre as he screams, “America our wasteland/Where death is entertainment/The place where moving forward/Means you turn the other direction/A place where reality existed/And we still continue to bleed.” This seething indictment of the current state of the nation continues throughout the course of the song, going after both the people and the politicians all at once. It’s a full-on unrelenting piece that is certain to impress any metal purist with its mix of adrenaline-fueled music and standard socio-politically charged lyrics. It’s just the start of what Whitechapel has to offer listeners on its new record, too.
Our Endless War’s socio-politically charged opener is a solid reintroduction for the band on its fifth full length studio effort. Just as blistering as that piece is ‘Worship The Digital Age.’ This song comes across as the band’s commentary concerning the world’s ever-growing obsession with the 24-hour news cycle, celebrity gossip and all things linked to the digital era. Given, it’s not the first song to ever tackle such topics. But it will most definitely keep listeners engaged thanks to its combination of music and lyrics. Again, each member of the band does his part to make this song one of the album’s most pummeling, musically. Bozeman backs up that heavy, grinding sound with his equally grinding vocals, screaming to listeners, “I can’t find it in me to resist and look away/This is where civilization falls/We have been convinced we need this to be entertained/This disease has consumed us all.” If this is indeed an indictment of people’s obsession with the noted topics, Bozeman couldn’t be more right. It really has become a disease of sorts. We are constantly living our lives online more and more. We are becoming more and more obsessed with our favorite celebrities and political figures. It makes one believe that this is truly where civilization finds its end. Bozeman notes himself in the song’s final verse, “Don’t waste your time/We’re already numb/Programmed for the now/And the future is none.” That one line, “programmed for the now” says it all. Our obsession with staying up with all the latest trends, etc. is going to be civilization’s end. Burton C. Bell and his band mates in Fear Factory would definitely be impressed by this piece.
Those that hoped for Whitechapel’s signature death metal sound on this record will be happy to know that the band hasn’t completely branched away from that sound this time out. The band closes its new album with the song ‘Fall of the Hypocrites.’ The band as a whole is razor shard throughout this final salvo. The song’s final verse puts the proverbial nail in the coffin, with Bozeman screaming, “You know who you are/Everyone sees right through those hateful scars/It’s a matter of time before we start to right these wrongs/We can start by using my chainsaw/The tongues come out first/to prevent venomous words/Then we’ll cauterize them and hang you by your necks/Behold the 8th wonder of the world.” Violent? Yes. A bit sarcastic in those final words? Yes. There’ no denying the fury and certainty in Bozeman’s words, either. Together with the song’s equally blistering musical side, it collectively leaves a lasting mark for the band.
‘Fall of the Hypocrites,’ Worship the Digital Age’ and ‘Our Endless War’ are each strong samples of what Whitechapel has to offer listeners on its new album. They aren’t the only positives to this new record. Listeners will each find their own favorite songs when they purchase or order Our Endless War for themselves. It is available now in stores and online and can be ordered direct from the Metal Blade Records online store at http://whitechapel.merchnow.com/products/173521. It can also be downloaded via iTunes at http://itunes.apple.com/album/id828056300.
Whitechapel is currently touring in support of its new album alongside Devildriver, Carnifex, Fit For An Autopsy, and label mates Revocation and Rivers of Nihil. It will perform today at Plaza Condesa in Mexico City, Mexico before taking a short break to recharge for the next leg of its tour, which begins next Wednesday, May 14th in St. Louis, MO. The band’s tour schedule also brings it to North Carolina this Summer. The band is scheduled to perform at the Tremont Music Hall in Charlotte, North Carolina on Sunday, June 15th. The band’s current tour schedule, news and more is available online at http://www.facebook.com/whitechapelmetal, http://www.whitechapelband.com, and http://twitter.com/whitechapelband. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.