whitechapel was always my favourite band that emerged from that deathcore hype of the the mid 00's. i practically inhaled their debut full length "the somatic defilement" and since then, even though they changed their sound in favour of pure technical death metal and never reached that raw, energetic heights of the first album again, i await every new release with a bit of that excitement, which takes hold of me when i put on "the somatic defilement".
when "mark of the blade" landed at my door last weekend and i put the needle to it for the first time, i was a bit underwhelmed. i thought it was a bit one-dimensional. many songs that formed one, shadowy mass. with repeated listens that first impression vanished completely. i needed a few spins for the record to grow on me but now it sunk its claws way into me and won't let go. "mark of the blade" is played with high technicalty and is, compared to "our endless war" which was pretty straight forward, rich in dark melodics.
whitechapel creates vast, doomy soundscapes with some real killer solos. the only tiny let down is the first whitechapel ballade called "bring me home". man, i cannot stand that whiney clean voice of phil bozeman. his voice is made to puke guttural acid onto me but please spare me this heart-melting sighing. at least that solo at the end is real tight, so the song isn't a complete catastrophe. to get a better idea of what this record really sounds like, check out the title song here.
unlike the last record 'our endless war', this time i pre-ordered the most limited colour-way that was on display at emp. i took the clear with black smoke because i thought milkey clear, the other, less limited colour, would look pretty boring. i saw some pics on the net by now and it's actually a white marble which looks damn good. ah well, clear with black smoke is a great match as well. #169 out of 200 copies made. metal blade records. 2016.