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)
- The Valley (2019)
- Kin (2021)
How could the world take you from me!? They all deserve to TROPE! WITH! ME!:
- Ascended Extra: Alex Rudinger started out as a live session member before they brought him on board right around the Kin recording sessions.
- Audience Participation Song: Several:
- "Vicer Exciser": "YOU WILL NEVER FUCK AGAIN!"
- "This Is Exile": "THIS WORLD! IS! OURS!"
- 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.
- Calling the Old Man Out: The Valley is basically an album-length "The Reason You Suck" Speech directed to Bozeman's abusive stepdad, and goes into macabre detail on how Phil's terrible upbringing shaped him and how he even dreamed about viciously killing his stepdad when he was a teenager.
- Concept Album: The first two albums and The Valley.
- 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: Phil has a very fucked-up family. Severe anxiety and panic disorders run in his genes, and that's the least of it, as his mother (who is the main focus of The Valley) was a treatment-noncompliant and frequently violent schizophrenic who had numerous "alter" personalities, and his stepdad wound up getting her addicted to crack (which eventually led to her death). While she apparently always had her issues, she mostly had it under control when Phil's biological dad was alive; after he died of a heart attack, her alcoholism and eating disorders spun out of control, her treatment of her schizophrenia lapsed, and that was before the stepdad entered her life and made her even worse.
- Evil Cripple: Phil's stepdad, apparently; when his mom met him, he was already paralyzed below the waist and in a wheelchair from when he fell multiple stories off a building. The "evil" part was also very much true, as he was an abusive druggie who introduced Phil's mom to crack and allowed her many serious mental illnesses to spiral out of control.
- Hates Their Parent: Phil absolutely loathed his stepfather for what he did to his family, and there's at least one song on each of the band's albums that tears him a new one.
- 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.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: "Forgiveness Is Weakness" on The Valley, which is three minutes of Phil celebrating the death of his stepfather. The first lines of the song are a triumphant "He is finally dead/Come celebrate this day" and the rest of the song does not let up, reaching its apex with the bridge.We all know you're going to hell
Come back to life—I'll send you myself
Dig the casket from the dirt
You don't deserve to be one with the earth!
- Lyrical Cold Open: Several:
- "This Is Exile": "THIS WORLD IS OURS AND WE WON'T STAND STILL!"
- "Section 8": "WE ARE NOTHING!"
- 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.
- My Friends... and Zoidberg: They have not had a full-time drummer since 2017. Anthony Barone, Chason Westmoreland, Ernie Iniguez, and Brandon Zackey have all been fill-ins (though Chason was apparently offered a full position and turned it down), while Alex Rudinger was billed like a full member and recorded the drums on Kin, but was apparently treated as a session member despite his presence in promos.
- 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.
- The Valley massively increased the clean vocal presence ("Hickory Creek", in particular, has no harsh vocals whatsoever, and "Third Depth" only uses them in the chorus) and largely toned down the nu metal elements for more of an alternative rock feel.
- Not Christian Rock: While Phil is Christian and he has clarified that many of his lyrics actually have veiled religious overtones, they do not openly identify as a Christian band.
- 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.
- Perishing Alt-Rock Voice: Phil's cleans, which are highly reminiscent of Maynard James Keenan and Corey Taylor.
- Rock Star Song: "The Saw Is the Law", a general "attitude song".
- Soprano and Gravel: Phil has started using cleans as of Mark of the Blade, and used them far more extensively on The Valley.
- Special Guest: They have, over the years, had appearances from Guy Kozowyk on "Exalt", Chino Moreno on "Reprogrammed to Hate", Vincent Bennett on "Murder Sermon", and Jason Suecof (Crotchduster, also a big-name producer) on "A Future Corrupt" and "Necromechanical", while Navene Koperweis tracked drums on their seventh studio album.
- Surprisingly Gentle Song: "Hickory Creek" and "Orphan", which are straightforward alternative rock/post-grunge songs with no harsh vocals whatsoever, and "Third Depth", which is much the same aside from the harsh vocals in the chorus.
- Take That, Critics!: "Elitist Ones" was basically a middle finger towards those with a superiority complex.
- Take That!: "Murder Sermon" is half this and half a revenge fantasy towards Phil's stepdad, who was an abusive drug addict who also got Phil's severely mentally ill mother addicted (which eventually led to her death), all the while painting himself as a religious man even though his lifestyle was very much not in line with that.
- 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 36.