Music / Whitechapel
Whitechapel is a six-piece Deathcore
group from Tennessee. One of the most popular and respected bands in the modern metal scene, they take their name from the infamous Whitechapel murders committed by Jack the Ripper. Along with bands like Suicide Silence, Job for a Cowboy, Chelsea Grin, and (early) Bring Me the Horizon, they are one of the acts responsible for popularizing the deathcore genre as a whole.
Emerging in 2007 with their debut album The Somatic Defilement
, which was a concept album about Jack the Ripper himself, they didn't experience a lot of success at first. The album was generally considered good, but aside from feeling more "death" than "core", there was hardly anything about the album that made it stand out. It was a fairly standard deathcore album that featured a lot of breakdowns and death metal riffs. They gained a fanbase, but most critics felt like if the band were to remain on the scene, they would need to amp their sound up a bit. But the album had its merits. For one, Phil Bozeman's distinct growl style was noted by many listeners as a highlight of the album. Everyone knew that they had potential, but it was a mystery at the time as to whether they would end up reaching it.
This all changed with their sophomore album This Is Exile
, which shut most of their doubters up to an extent. Everything that was wrong with their debut was improved; the breakdowns were better placed, the riffs were more technical, the production was cleaner, the songwriting was better and less cluttered, and it overall just felt a lot
fresher. The strong points were kept as well; they still had more emphasis on the "death" part of their sound, and Phil's signature vocal style was established as a trademark when the album came out. By then, Whitechapel had become a big name, and it was clear they would remain for some time. That being said, some people were still not sold on them, thinking that they still had a little bit of growing up to do.
- The Somatic Defilement (2007)
- This Is Exile (2008)
- A New Era of Corruption (2010)
- Whitechapel (2012)
- Our Endless War (2014)
- Mark of the Blade (2016)
This Band displays the examples of the following:
- Badass Biker: Ben Harclerode
- Badass Boast: "The Saw Is The Law" is half this half Villain Song.
- Brutal Death Metal: Flirted with this genre on their older material
- Call-Back: A couple of their album openers reference their previous work. "Make It Bleed" namedrops their previous 3 albums with the first line, and the title track of Our Endless War has the line "I've said it before and I'll say it again/This world is ours", a reference to the title track of This Is Exile.
- Concept Album: The first two albums.
- Cover Version: "Strength beyond Strength" by Pantera
- Deathcore: Started out leaning more towards the "death" part of the equation, briefly took a djentier direction on A New Era of Corruption, and then began moving towards nu metal on the self-titled. They're still unquestionably deathcore, but they currently also have a very significant nu component.
- Dysfunctional Family: Based on the stories he has told about his background in interviews, Phil has a very fucked-up family. Severe anxiety as a hereditary condition is the least of it.
- Horrible History Metal: The Somatic Defilement was based on the killer Jack the Ripper.
- Iconic Logo: The star-studded circular saw that appears on the cover art for their self-titled and Our Endless War. The three stars on the saw reference the flag of their home state, Tennessee.
- In the Style of...: "Mono" has been noted as bearing an uncanny resemblance to Iowa-era Slipknot. The band apparently didn't actually deliberately intend to write something in that style, but after hearing enough comparisons to the aforementioned band, they came to realize that it actually did sound a hell of a lot like Slipknot. Mark of the Blade wound up being an entire album in this style.
- Metal Scream: Phil frequently does a Type 2 scream, but he's not above doing Type 3s. As of Mark of the Blade, he mostly uses Type 1s due to a mix of stylistic changes and vocal deterioration.
- Misanthrope Supreme: Their favorite lyrical topic from This Is Exile onward.
- Misogyny Song: The Somatic Defilement is a straight-up Misogyny Album. Justified, as it is about Jack the Ripper.
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Hard 10 for their first two albums, standard 10 from A New Era of Corruption to Our Endless War. Mark of the Blade goes down to a 9 for the most part, with a few hard 8's and soft 10's here and there.
- New Sound Album: Everything since The Somatic Defilement.
- This Is Exile dialed down the melodic death elements present on their earlier material in favor of a chuggier, more breakdown-oriented sound.
- A New Era of Corruption took the djent elements that had been hinted at on This Is Exile and majorly bumped them up while reducing the amount of breakdowns in favor of djent passages.
- The self-titled had significant Nu Metal elements and placed more emphasis on atmosphere, and Ben Harclerode's groovier, more straightforward drumming style helped shape this even further.
- Our Endless War was essentially a mishmash of every album by the band prior, but leaning mostly towards the sound of A New Era of Corruption.
- Mark of the Blade introduced clean vocals and amped up the nu metal elements even further to the point where they sound like Slipknot with seven-strings.
- Nu Metal: The self-titled album has some elements, which were mostly dropped on Our Endless War aside from a few tracks, most notably "Mono". Mark of the Blade wound up emphasizing this even more to the point where people have started calling them Slipknot ripoffs.
- Religion Rant Song : 'Prayer of Mockery''
- This Is Exile is basically a Religion Rant Album.
- Soprano and Gravel: Phil has started using cleans as of Mark of the Blade.
- Special Guest: They have, over the years, had appearances from Guy Kozowyk on "Exalt", Chino Moreno on "Reprogrammed to Hate", Vincent Bennett (The Acacia Strain) on "Murder Sermon", and Jason Suecof (Crotchduster, also a big-name producer) on "A Future Corrupt" and "Necromechanical".
- Take That, Critics!: "Elitist Ones" was basically a middle finger towards those with a superiority complex.
- Vocal Dissonance: Phil really doesn't look like he should growl like he does.
- Vocal Evolution: As of Mark of the Blade, Phil has started using cleans and has also mostly given up lows, and older tracks that made heavy use of lows have had most of the lines shifted up to mids live except for key passages. This is likely due to poor technique taking its toll, as frys (which Phil uses) are an easy way to get a lot of power but also have a very short shelf-life due to physical limitations. 27-30 tends to be the age range where vocal damage starts to manifest, and Phil is currently 31.