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At first glance, Whitechapel appears to be just another typical Deathcore band. However, there is much to behold underneath the surface. These guys know exactly how to make technical, unique and heavy music, while also maintaining a very unique style of writing lyrics. This opinion didn't come to me right away, though. When I first heard their breakthrough album, The Somatic Defilement, I wasn't impressed. I just saw them as, like I said before, just another Deathcore band with nothing to offer. However, when I picked up their sophomore album, This Is Exile, my opinion completely changed. This album kicked my ass. I decided to give their first album another chance, and I came to the conclusion that it is just alright. Then I heard that they were releasing a new album and I figured that they have only gotten better with age, so this album should completely blow me away.
Needless to say, I wasn't "blown away"....
A New Era Of Corruption is just a step in the wrong direction for this band. From the first song, you can tell that they are breaking away from their "core" roots with the almost complete absence of noticeable breakdowns, which may be an improvement in the eyes (or ears) of some... but, it's just not Whitechapel. There is a much higher amount of groove and melody in this album. There's nothing wrong with that, but it's overkill in this one. To me, it sounds like it comes from an inspiration from Cannibal Corpse. That's not what Whitechapel fans want.
Among other things, Phil Bozeman's vocal style has almost completely done away with his high pitch screams in order to focus on a more gutteral sound. Don't get me wrong, this kid is still fantastic, but it doesn't give you much to look forward to. Also, his writing style is just more of the same as it was in This Is Exile. Misanthropy and anti-religion galore. The only real exception is the song "Animus", the iTunes bonus track which is about the death of Phil's mother.
The guitars in this album are not impressive at all. They consist primarily of power chords, triplets, basic metalcore riffing with a down-tuned feel, and the occasional, unappealing solo. Like always, the bass in this album is almost inaudible, with the minor exception of a little bass solo in "Reprogrammed To Hate". It's not all bad, though. In the first song, "Devolver", there is a catchy little guitar lick in the chorus that is pleasant. Also, in "Murder Sermon", there is a little tremolo riff that you have to really listen for in the first verse that is, although not too impressive, noticeable.
The lack of impressive drumming in this album is a huge disappointment. Kevin Lane is an amazing drummer, but he sounds a bit drowned out in this album. In This Is Exile, he is so audible that he is almost the only thing that you listen to. In ANEOC, you really have to focus to be able to hear anything worth remembering. Sure, there are plenty of impressive blast beats and triggered bass drums, but after the first five songs, you tend to look in the mirror and say "I really don't care anymore."
All in all, A New Era Of Corruption is a good album, but it's a huge disappointment considering their previous releases. If you're looking for a good Deathcore album that will force orgasm after orgasm, pass on this one. Either pick up their sophomore album, or pick up the Upon A Burning Body album. I'd reccomend this for new fans, but not for long time fans. If this really is a new era of corruption, count me out. I'll stick with the past.
Standout Tracks: Reprogrammed To Hate, Unnerving, Murder Sermon