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Whitechapel, so far, has been very successful in the deathcore scene to thousands of metal heads & scene kids, but in my eyes this is not the best Whitechapel has done. The way this album was planned out was piss-poor in the song tracks & the overall ep. On the album, the band has only fully made one entire song entitled "Section 8" & the rest are cover songs, instrumentals, & remixes, which is not what the people want. The people want original songs by the artist.
Since the album "This Is Exile", Phil Bozeman's grunts have kind of let up on this ep whereas on "The Somatic Defilement" his grunts were at an all time low to where, if he privatly sang for you & you were to sit in front of the amplifier, you would shit yourself. But with this ep and the new one coming out, the quality and brutality of their music is completely gone, and they just can't seem to get that low depth in tone.
So all in all, "Recorrupted" and the new album coming out are 4 and 11 songs of pure dissapointment. It's not the Whitechapel you're used to. My opinion or rate, if you will, is 34%.
There is certainly no love lost between myself and anything this Tennessee deathcore act has released to date, and with their new stopover EP, Recorrupted, I'm afraid the abject loathing must continue. This is not something meant to be so seriously, as it largely features remixes and a cover song, but regardless I found it to be weaksauce to the nth degree. A disheveled and disjointed teaser for whatever the band is planning next in the full-length realm, straight from the vaults of Metal Blade, who always seem to ply their fingers along the genuine, trendy pulse of extreme music.
In fairness, there are some elements to the sole new original track that, "Section 8" that I was not completely turned off by. After the obligatory ambient/electro lead-in we get a huge, guttural growl that heralds a multi-layered mesh of pumping djent grooves, dissonant industrial metal dressing and droning air raid picking melody. But within the span of a minute, we've already relapsed into some boring drudge of muted groove chugs which bounce along like faux dreadlocks at a Korn gig, pants so baggy that even when they jump da fuc up they're still dragging on the discarded butts, rolling papers and abandoned gig flyers. There is a particular, mechanical resonance that Whitechapel graft to this song that I thought showed some promise, and a nice dual lead melody that slices through its midsection like a plastic surgeon curbing a midriff, but in general I found that there were no memorable riffs throughout, it just sort of bludgeons along into its own grooving oblivion.
Hey, at least it's better than everything else on this EP... The cover of Pantera's "Strength Beyond Strength" manages to make the tracks inherent, ball-fisted mosh break into something dull and methodical. The 'Big Chocolate remix' of "Breeding Violence" seems as hackneyed as a lot of those old Fear Factory techno mixes. Lots of distorted, yawning Skrillex-like aesthetics and some noodling guitar melodies applied for texture. The Ben Weiman remix of "This is Exile" is mildly less annoying, as it takes a more mathematical application, but it feels like something Justin Broadrick would have left on the cutting room floor rather than add to some Godflesh compilation. And lastly, the Tennessee boys show their sensitive side, with an acoustic rendition of "End of Flesh" (these are all from their most recent album A New Era of Corruption). This is instrumental, and not bad as background noise, but neither is it remotely compelling.
Recorrupted is really just a bunch of odds and ends being used to tide over the deathcore fan, and many such releases (in all genres) aren't fit to scrape your boots with. I admit that I would not mind hearing Whitechapel drift further into the mechanistic industrial grooving space with their own writing on the next album, but I think it's time they ditched some of their more dull chugging breakdown sequences and attempted to vary up the vocals a bit, since they too seem like a pastiche of the trite and generic that no one will care about in a decade. Maybe a year. At any rate, I've no inbred opposition to deathcore and its variants if done well. Job for a Cowboy and even Carnifex have surprised me in the past, but I've yet to be impressed by this crew, though I can hear some latent potential slumbering inside them like a kraken on its murky leash.
I never thought I'd see a metal album composed of a bunch of alternative versions of songs, but being a rather mainstream deathcore band, I suppose it's only natural that Whitechapel step up to the plate. Well, it wasn't as terrible as I expected - the remixes feel like a bit of a waste, but the rest of the material seems to make up for it.
I'll spend a bit more time on "Section 8", since considering it's the only new material the band has written since their last full-length, it's likely a hint at their future in terms of song structure and whatnot. Well, honestly, I think this is probably the least progression Whitechapel have ever made between releases - This Is Exile was much more melodic and more typically deathcore-ish than The Somatic Defilement, and A New Era of Corruption saw the band abandoning this more wimpy edge in favor of a more mechanical, djenty guitar tone and a chugging style of rhythm not too far off from Emmure's later works. Here, however, not much has changed from the last release: the guitars are still weird chugging, the guitar tone is practically identical. I mean, Phil's vocals continue to improve, becoming increasingly more fleshed out and pissed than before; the production job's thicker and bassier; and I suppose one could make the argument that the band's sound is becoming a bit more synthetic and, well, djenty; but overall this is the exact same Whitechapel I listened to 18 months ago. Despite being an inconsistent album, I enjoyed the basic premise of A New Era of Corruption; and while I would admittedly let the band get away with making two identical records if one perfected the sound laid out by the previous album, the band appears to be making more problems for themselves than solving any. "Section 8" doesn't carry its rhythm very well, occasionally stopping perfectly decent chugs and blast sections to devolve into the deathcore equivalent of a war march riff for no apparent reason. I mean, the intro riff is catchy as hell, and could have easily carried the band through four minutes of material, but instead they break it up and each time they make the song start all over in terms of building up a sense of progression. I know it's a bit cynical to make predictions on the band's future career based on one song, but fuck, the band had a whole year to write one goddamn song and quite a few bands can write a solid album in that amount of time. No excuses.
The Pantera cover is the highlight of the EP, by far. "Strength Beyond Strength" isn't really a song I enjoy that much, but being a deathcore band halfway to being Emmure anyways, Whitechapel predictably turns it into an absolute monster. The main riff is downtuned as hell (the resulting mix of hardcore/groove song structure and deathcore guitar techniques unmistakably sounds like The Acacia Strain) and turns the original song from "slightly angsty" to "something people high on PCP play while punching in walls". Phil Bozeman's vocals help this particular song much more than Phil Anselmo ever could have - a clear, intelligible, yet ridiculously low mix between a growl and a yell seems to do this song more justice than the original. The breakdown is - duh - heavy as shit, the song carries itself perfectly, and overall it's absolutely amazing. Despite the general taboo associated with the following statement, I'd say this blows the original out of the water.
The remixes are...well, they're remixes. I'm not going to try to tell you what genre they are, because I have fuck's worth of a clue, but I knowing his musical background I probably wouldn't be wrong if I took a guess at Big Chocolate's remix being a dubstep song. It's quite middle-of-the-road - I believe it's trying to be catchy, but that's the thing - you're remixing a deathcore song. It would be like hearing a Candlemass song and thinking "Gee, what if I made this SAD?" It's redundant and never goes well. Like many of Big Chocolate's remixes, it's basically the same song with some weird reverb floating throughout. The synths in the back half of the remix do make the song very different, and almost give it a Lykathea Aflame-esque vibe, but overall this is a pretty useless remix. Why couldn't he remix one of the less inherently chuggy songs, like "The Darkest Day of Man"? Ben Weinman's remix of "This Is Exile" isn't any better - it spends almost a third of its length on an intro that has no context within the song whatsoever. In addition, the beats are much more repetitive, and while they feature a more creative use of samples from the song it doesn't really redeem it from the fact that there are only three different riffs from the song used in this remix. Add that to the fact that the bass - the testicles of pretty much every deathcore song ever - is quite glaringly cut from this song, and the remix isn't of much worth at all.
Finally, an instrumental acoustic of a song off of the last album. I personally thought "End of Flesh" was one of the more overlooked songs on that album - it was probably the best choice for an acoustic, considering it's one of the only ones that had some melody besides distorted semitone chugs. This version almost begins to sound like a completely different song, though the basic melody is noticeable in quite a few places. It's an interesting take on the song for sure, and it's somehow pleasing to know that every now and then the guitarists are capable of something besides simple breakdowns. Quite worth it.
So... two great songs and three okay songs. I feel like I enjoy this a lot more on a personal level compared to a statistical one. Worth a purchase, I suppose, if you want a strange grab bag of deathcore songs.