Sound — 9
Evolve - a word that can be used correctly or incorrectly in reference to music. Metallica tried to evolve, but just moved on to a different sound. John Mayer evolved for one album, but has otherwise remained in blues-tinged pop rock neutral. As I Lay Dying evolves by the album. Here we have Whitechapel's self-titled fourth album, and the evolution shown with "A New Era Of Corruption" comes full circle to bring us what is easily Whitechapel's best album. It contains an onslaught of heavy moments intertwined with startling melody and even an anthemic chorus ("Faces"). The speed of "Father Of Lies" is a consistent presence in songs like "Hate Creation" and "(Cult)uralist". In the three guitar assault, I hear wonderful similarities to the epic title track from "The Somatic Defilement". Melodic leads akin to "Reprogrammed To Hate" and "A Future Corrupt" are all over this album. Gone are the incessantly boring and slow riffs of "The Darkest Day Of Man" and "Murder Sermon". Truth be told, this album doesn't even resemble the deathcore that so many love to hate. Simply put, Whitechapel get better by the album, and this new release leaves the rest of their discography in the dust. Last but not least, if none of this has surprised you, the album begins and ends with a wonderful piano line. Even if you don't like standard deathcore, you need to give this album a try. Just don't expect the Whitechapel of past albums.
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics are straightforward but thought provoking at the same time. They range from topics of rebellion to distaste with society's current state. Phil Bozeman continues to alter his style, leaving his high pitched shrieks in the past in favor of the growl we've all come to love. Spoken word is even used on "Hate Creation" to great affect. Lyrically, Phil has almost always been hit or miss, but the miss moments on this album are few and far between. Vocally, he's been the standard by which deathcore vocalists must be measured, and that surely won't change after this record. Did anybody really expect anything different from deathcore's best front man?
Overall Impression — 8
Overall, this album has set an entirely new standard for Whitechapel's career, and considering just how boring their first three albums were at times, the lack of snooze moments on this record is refreshing. This is the first Whitechapel album that I can listen to from front to back with no issue and no lulls. New drummer Ben Harclerode has brought extreme technicality to the band, and that's obvious in the drum arrangements on every song. Ben Savage's leads and solos, and even the few guest solos are exceptional and finally add credence to their three guitar lineup. Overall, the exceptional nature of the arrangements on this album have given it the extra boost that Whitechapel has always needed. Quite frankly, I'm more than happy with the purchase of this album and feel as though this band is finally meeting the potential I've always seen in them.