Whitechapel – This is Exile

Whitechapel aren’t too bad for what is passing for death metal these days, they where described by a music-student friend of mine as a “breakdown barry” band, (I own there previous release) which is to be fair, what they are, but they do it with more style than most (JFAC included) these are everything that JFAC and most “core” style bands aspire to be, merging with decent metal seamlessly. Keeping a very decent amount of catchy-ness obviously picked up from older influences such as Cannibal corpse or Deicide combined with stupid amounts of heaviness this is set to be a stunner of an album. Opening with Father of Lies. A good tune, feeling much shorter than its 4 minute running time, and ending on a long breakdown with a sort of solo over the top. Track 2, second single and namesake “this is exile” does the same solo-over breakdown thing that spoils what would be an otherwise good track., the theme seems (so far) to have stepped away from the gore and horror theme of previous album “The Somatic Defilement” for a more semi-political “aren’t we aware we’re killing the world and ourselves” sort of theme that is popular in this kind of thing these days.  First single and third track “Possession” sounds almost Nu-Metal on intro and has a pretty damn good repeated-fists in the air chant piece in it (“Again and again and again!” over (guess what?) a breakdown…) with so-far fairly understandable words this is one band that has this whole “Deathcore” thing right. The main problem with this track is the breakdown-fade-out. I fucking hate tracks that fade out, serious pet hate!

“To All That Are Dead” comes in with an overlaid death grunt that sets the tone nicely, but it isn’t quite as catchy as before, whereas “Father of Lies” seemed quick “To All That Are Dead” seems an eternity, the problem with an album like this is that It all becomes a bit samey quite quickly, though you can tell the singles. Track 5 “Exalt” comes in nice and quick, with a breakdown at barely over a minute in, it’s a bit too much of the same old, and this is a bit of a filler track, its my belief that on a 11 track album you shouldn’t really have filler, and repeating the old breakdown-exit thing I’m not overly impressed. Basically the more the album goes on the more you begin to expect the same thing, with not enough tricks being pulled out of the bag by a more than capable band that seem determined to rely on breakdowns and blastbeats instead of concentrating on doing something brilliant with there dual guitarist set up. Track 7 “Death Becomes Him” is an instrumental and serves the album well, it shows what talent lies behind the breakdowns and guttural vocals, and if they made a few more tracks like this they might impress me a little more, though all too quickly its over, by fading out, grr, bands should be banned from doing it.  Track 8 “Daemon (The Procreated)” fades in and has whispered vocals and sounds nice and different as opposed to the previous tracks, with the singer using double layered vocals of both high and low its not too bad. Overall the album starts good and goes downhill when you realise its nearly all the same….

UPDATE: Believe it or not, my feelings on this album since this review was wrote have completely changed, and A review wrote now would look completely different, true dat.

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