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And now to album number 3. Whitechapel seem to have finally found the sound they're comfortable with. While the brutal deathcore traces are still there, the band also seem to be taking on a lot of influence from bands like Meshuggah, including bringing in 8 string guitars. They seem to be trying to escape the deathcore label they've had since the start of their career, and they're doing a damn good job of it. This is their furthest album from deathcore. The record isn't stuffed with as many breakdowns, and Phil Bozeman has even stopped dropping "fuck", "shit" and "piss" whenever the band start to play one.
The riffs aren't those melodic(ish) mid-paced deathcore riffs from before. They're much more groovy and technical. The riffs are a lot slower, without going into non-stop breakdown territory. Imagine a mix between Meshuggah and newer Acacia Strain. There are less solos than on This Is Exile, with the only outstanding one coming on Reprogrammed To Hate.
Once again, there is little to no bass presence in the music. I really want to hear Gabe Crisp playing some time soon.
Phil Bozeman has almost completely abandoned his incomprehensible gurgles in favor of his mid-ranged grunting. This means you'll hear his lyrics much more often than before. However, this isn't much of a good thing, as his lyrics have hit an all-time low. Some of them are just plain cringe. Guest spots from Deftones's Chino Moreno and Acacia Strain's Vincent Bennett appear on the tracks Reprogrammed To Hate and Murder Sermon, respectively. While Bennett contributes very little, Moreno provides an entire verse of his signature high pitched shriek, before performing a duet of sorts with Phil, where Phil performs a low growl that wouldn't have sounded out of place on "Somatic Defilement" to go along with Chino's screeching.
The drums are impressive, as usual. Blast beats aren't as common, with a lot more polyrhythms to go with the newfound Meshuggah influence. He still knows how to throw in a good old double bass frenzy when he needs to, and the drums are perhaps the best element of this album.
The biggest problem? The first 5 tracks are the best ones. The band blow their load way too early, and the album takes a huge dip in quality after End of Flesh. You do NOT want to start your album off with the best songs all clumped together. You want the LAST 5 to be the best, or, even more preferable, you want an even mix of the brilliant tracks and the not-so-brilliant tracks.
Overall, it's a good album, but it's far from their best. I'd avoid this until you've listened to at least This Is Exile, which serves as a much better introduction to the band.
Highlights: Devolver, Breeding Violence, The Darkest Day of Man, Reprogrammed To Hate, End of Flesh