Sound — 5
I've never been an avid listener on many deathcore bands, but Whitechapel has always seemed to have been that one band that leads on all of the other bands within the genre. How many deathcore bands nowadays have stated that Whitechapel is one of their key influences? I'm sure many have said so, and that's not a bad thing, but of course, with that being said, many deathcore bands will try to copy and imitate these guys. Especially with a lead vocalist, like Phil Bozeman, who crushes out energy on the microphone like he was born with such power and angst to be fulfilling his dream in a deathcore band. That being said, the dude still enjoys his life, and free time behind the microphone. He has his own YouTube channel, which features a lot of videos of him just playing "Call of Duty"... and well, other funny things, which I honestly respect. He is just like any of us. He isn't some stuck up asshole in the music scene. He is himself. Anyhow, the vocals on this album seem much different than any other Wc record, which actually is a shame in my opinion. I enjoyed a fair portion of self-titled. This record really doesn't feature too many strong points for Phil. As for guitar duties, there really isn't much to be said here either. The only track that really has much to offer in this field is "Blacked Out." The song is catchy, and features a cool guitar solo. The only really remarkable thing about the sound on this album is the drumming.
Lyrics — 6
The very first track off the record, Rise, transitions well into the title track. I found the lyrics very interesting to say the least:
"Red, White, Blue for ourselves and who?
And they still hold the truth so we say
My country tis of greed, sweet land of idiocracy."
"50 states united as one
But we still cant find a solution
Where have we gone
It seems that our motto to live by
When your chin deep in sh-t
duck, breathe and die!"
Unfortunately, this is really the only political song off of the album. I was expecting more, since I love it when this band writes songs like that, but oh well. The only other track that really stands out to me, lyrically, is "The Saw Is the Law," which happens to be the lead single. Alex Wade, their rhythm guitarist put a song up on Soundcloud a little less than a year ago, and was jamming out, and needless to say, the song is now used for "The Saw Is the Law." The song is groovy, but repetitive. I really don't think it works very well for Phil's vocal style, but nevertheless, the lyrics are pretty good:
"Our bodies full of scars
Infinite blood to bleed
Our presence stops your heart
And leaves you six feet deep
Fall to your knees and recognize your new found king."
Overall Impression — 6
There was a time where I once despised this band, but I soon found out what Phil was capable, vocally. With that said, I was very disappointed with this album overall. The vocals seemed a bit off. Phil's power and range is still there, but it just doesn't like him. It doesn't sound natural. Guitar work definitely could have been better too. The lyrics in some cases seemed better. Although, I don't really get the meaning behind the track, "Worship the Digital Age." That song happens to be my least favorite off the album, but I also did not like the two bonus tracks at all. Other than the title track, and "Blacked Out," "Diggs Road" seemed to have at least try to go somewhere. The song clocks in at six minutes, which is of course the longest track off the album, and I think the longest Whitechapel song ever. I just expected this album to feature so much more after watching the four studio updates they had for this album. Guess they're mainly a live show band.