Deathcore’s Whitechapel are quite a mainstay of the metal world these days. Known for their hard-hitting consistency, they’ve seem to be getting better and better with each release. 2016’s Mark of the Blade was a well received release (read our review here) as well as showing development in the band’s sound. That’s something that is much more prominent with their new album, The Valley.
The band themselves have said this is a much darker record and that’s evident on When A Demon Defiles A Witch. Introducing clean vocals alongside their trademark fury, the pairing goes really well together. It’s slightly melodic, slightly mournful but still very heavy.
It’s the latter that is the focus of Forgiveness is Weakness and Brimstone (we reviewed it by itself here). Two traditional Whitechapel tracks, savage heaviness with the latter in particular likely to make a few eyes water. Not just one of the heaviest songs Whitechapel have released but one of the best.
After such excitement, it’s time to take a rest with the surprising melodic and somber tone of Hickory Creek. Sung in clean vocals, some may balk at the thought of a track like this but it’s really good. Not only that, it fits perfectly considering the darker vibe of the record and helps break up the deathcore heaviness stopping it getting too familiar.
If it’s not your jam, don’t worry as Whitechapel aren’t mellowing. Not when they are throwing out tracks like Black Bear, We Are One (that breakdown is intense) and Lovelace.
Doom Woods then wraps the album up with one more surprise. The moodiest of guitar riffs, almost pained vocals and an acoustic style close. It’s a very layered track on a very layered album.
There’s no denying that on The Valley, Whitechapel are moving away from out and out deathcore. This is an album that has plenty to please old-school fans but also shows development and progression. It’s arguably their best work to date.
Whitechapel – The Valley Full Track Listing:
1. When A Demon Defiles A Witch
2. Forgiveness is Weakness
4. Hickory Creek
5. Black Bear
6. We Are One
7. The Other Side
8. Third Depth
10. Doom Woods
Whitechapel - The Valley (Metal Blade Records)
The Final Score - 9/10