Monday, 22 April 2013

Whitechapel - The Somatic Defilement (Album Review)

 
Album Type:  Full Length
Date Released:  16/4/2013
Label:  Metal Blade
 
The Somatic Defilement, album tracklisting:
01 – Necrotizing
02 – The Somatic Defilement
03 – Devirgination Studies
04 – Prostatic Fluid Asphyxiation
05 – Fairy Fay
06 – Ear To Ear
07 – Alone in The Morgue
08 – Festering Fiesta
09 – Vicer Exciser
10 – Articulo Mortis
 
Bio:
Whitechapel's debut full-length album, The Somatic Defilement, is the album that firmly planted the band on an upward trajectory that has carried the band to the upper echelons of modern death metal. The band has taken The Somatic Defilement and placed it in the capable hands of Audiohammer Studios producer Mark Lewis for a complete re-mix and re-master. The results are staggering and give The Somatic Defilementa modern luster up to the standards of the band's most recent recordings. Fans can listen and pre-order now at metalblade.com/whitechapel.

The Somatic Defilement, originally released in 2007, is a concept album about Jack the Ripper's infamous murders of prostitutes in East London's Whitechapel district. This 2013 re-release sees the band tasking producer Mark Lewis to painstakingly bring the six year old recording to today's standard.

The band's latest effort, the self-titled album that dropped on June 19, 2012 in North America, debuted at #47 on the Top 200 Chart, #10 on the Top Independent Albums Chart, #3 on the Hard Music Albums Chart (Current), #2 on the Hard Music Albums Chart (Core Stores) and #64 on the Top Digital Album Chart.

Whitechapel was one of the most well received albums of 2012, with critical acclaim from some of the most respected music outlets including The New York Times,Alternative Press, Metal Hammer. The album also claimed bragging rights as the iTunes UK Metal Album of the Year for 2012!
 
Line up:
Phill Bozeman — Vocals
Ben Savage — Guitar
Zach Householder — Guitar
Alex Wade — Guitar
Ben Harclerode — Drums
Gabe Crisp — Bass
 
Review:
‘Yea, though I walk in the valley of the shadow of death metal, I will fear no evil riff…’
 
Ahhh, Whitechapel.  Your 2012 self-titled album was hailed almost universally as a magnificent title, and when you listen to it and its brutal tracks it’s easy to understand why.  Hell, every album you’ve released on Metal Blade has been a success, and deservedly so. 
 
But this is 2013.  And it has been decreed that Whitchapel’s 2007 debut album, ‘The Somatic Defilement’, be remastered and re-released on Metal Blade.  So, a much wider audience can be exposed to one of the most explosive deathcore debuts ever, eh?  Hey, George Lucas!  This is how you do a proper remastering! 
 
Now, let’s get to it: ‘The Somatic Defilement’ is a concept album, based around Jack the Ripper’s notorious murders.  The intro song ‘Necrotizing’ is a sawing, claustrophobic piece with the sounds of a woman breathing shallow adding to the coming nightmare.  Then, a speech taken from a Jeffrey Dahmer interview bleeds over the cacophony and that is the point when the terror commences. 
 
The title track kicks in straight after this with a pounding drum fill and chugging, downtuned riffage; then there’s a guttural growl, so menacing birds on the telephone wire outside my house flew away in fear.  Then the darkness descended.  This is a dark, sadistic track, and as vocalist Phil Bozeman tells us here: ‘With the saw I maim. By the saw I live’.  That seems to be the motto by which Whitechapel create all their songs: and that is damn fine with me.  As the song reaches its end, there’s a totally unexpected flood of classical strings, which reminded me of the scene in ‘The Silence of the Lambs’ where Lecter has killed the two guards and is standing, face smothered in blood, eyes to the sky and beautiful music filling his ears.  An eerily powerful way to end such a vicious song. 
 
Throughout this album is a monumental sense of threat: from ‘Devirgination Studies’ slicing, splitting guitars to ‘Vicer Exciser’’s roaring ‘I will spit right in your fucking face!’, each song is a testament to murder and depravity.  It’s like what would happen if Cannibal Corpse were put in charge of the Saw franchise: if that’s not got you interested, I don’t know what will!  In all honesty, these songs are heavier than a tombstone, and darker than the view inside a coffin that’s six feet under. 
 
This entire album is the aural equivalent of running through unknown alleyways, desperately trying to find escape and salvation, all the while knowing your fate has been sealed since you made the choice to enter.  This is a killer record, inspired by killers; and, when you listen to it, you will be left chilled, exhilarated, and enlightened.  This is a beautifully remastered rendering of Whitechapel’s debut: Mark Lewis should be proud of his work here.  If you haven’t yet heard this album, I urge you to change this state of affairs: your deathcore life may depend on it…
 
Words by : Chris Markwell
 
As always show your support to the band. You can buy the record here and download at the usual places. Thanks to Andy @ Metal Blade for the hook up as ever.
 
 
 

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