Label: Metal Blade
Location: Knoxville, TN
FFO: Suicide Silence, Oceano, Chelsea Grin
Deathcore legends Whitechapel have returned with their 8th studio album, Kin. I say “Deathcore” because that’s what they are most known for. However, for a few years now, they have been much more than that in my eyes, and I’m sure to many others. If you’re like me, you have been very excited for new music from these guys, or maybe you’re more-so just curious for what could be next after their previous effort. Let’s just jump right into a few of these opening tracks.
'I Will Find You' begins with one of my favorite sounds in music, acoustic strumming with some electric picking over it. This of course soon explodes into an all out song with a very interesting snare pattern. The entire first half feels like an intro piece, musically and lyrically before entering different sections. Overall this song is really well done and is one of my favorites on here.
'Lost Boy' and 'Bloodsoaked Symphony’ are the next 2 tracks which were both singles. Singles that I really liked, but this is one of those cases that I really loved them in the context of the album. Which is another thing on target with their last record; I prefer all of the tracks together, rather than listening to them in a shuffled playlist setting.
'Anticure' was further confirmation that there was going to be much more singing on this record compared to any other release. Which I don't mind at all. I think it adds a lot more diversity and enjoyment.
Skipping ahead a bit, ‘Orphan’ is one of Phil’s best vocal performances, and the slower one on the album. It is then followed by one of the heaviest ones though, ‘Without Us’.
That's about as far as I'll go with the track by track. I think the most important thing to note is that the singles were solid, however the best songs are waiting on the album. If you were a big fan of The Valley, you'll understand what I mean when I say there's heavier tracks, softer tracks, but most are a really clean mixture of everything we loved previously - more polished even. You can tell in Phil’s cadence alone that this is another very emotional and serious album. Another story being told that I'm not in a place to tell so you'll have to give it a listen yourself.
To better sum up this group of songs; it's probably their best compositionally in my opinion. I have dozens of more listens with The Valley so I can't really pit them against each other fairly right now. But I can’t deny that the solos, the rhythms, and how each song comes together is masterfully done. I love the incorporation of the acoustic that pops up here and there to really fill space during the more down times. There’s moments of just straight open notes droning out in disgusting lowness, wailing leads, really fun and captivating drumming. The bass has a lot of time to shine and carry the groove. The best part is a handful of these songs have all of that in one massive sound.
The Valley was a huge step for the band. Kin is a continuation of that sound, and to an extent, that narrative. Which is great for me because I thought that LP was their best work to date. So I'll say again that I believe Whitechapel is in their prime with this sound they have been chasing. It's a great balance that shows off the talents of every musician here. It has pushed Phil's vocal range. And it has challenged the band to write something that isn't constantly blasting or riffing. It’s well worth many listens and dissections into everything that builds up this album.
Kin is another one for the books and deserves a top spot in their discography. I can understand why original fans of the band may be turned away by what they’ve been doing, but I’ve been a fan for almost a good decade myself and I absolutely love this newer stuff. Regardless of future narratives or the direction of Whitechapel, I’m confident that it’ll be at the least creative and boundary pushing.
Strongest Song: I Will Find You, The Ones That Made Us, To The Wolves, Without Us
Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/us/artist/whitechapel/127084107