While Whitechapel started out with a sound readily labelled as deathcore, is they’ve grown and matured over the last 15 years it’s become harder and harder to neatly classify their sound.
With a broad set of influences via the each member, Whitechapel have steadily incorporated more elements from outside the deathcore sphere – such slower rhythms and riffs, and clean vocals.
Phil Bozeman is capable of some of the most harrowing deathcore growls of the past twenty years, yet he increasingly demonstrates the capacity for utterly beautiful cleans as well. And that was what first caught my attention with Whitechapel. What I might have unfairly dismissed as stock standard (albeit very well performed) deathcore suddenly became something far more spectacular.
It was their 2019 album, ‘The Valley’, that really made me pay attention. The album is an incredibly personal, and troubled tale of Bozeman’s childhood and his relationship with his mother. You’ll find none of the bravado or posturing of the late noughties deathcore scene Whitechapel were born from, but rather complex themes, non-formulaic writing, and by far the best performances of the band up to that point.
As Whitechapel prepare to release their next album, ‘Kin’, later next month, I am already anticipating something remarkable.
Whitechapel are a band so relentless in their own evolution, that they’re forging their own niche in the aether between genres.