Whitechapel – Mark of the Blade Review

Released by: Metal Blade Records

Release Date: June 24th, 2016

Genre: Metal

Links: https://www.facebook.com/whitechapelmetal

 

Line Up:

Phil Bozeman – Vocals
Ben Savage – Guitar
Zach Householder – Guitar
Alex Wade – Guitar
Ben Harclerode – Drums
Gabe Crisp – Bass

 

Tracklist:

01. The Void
02. Mark of the Blade
03. Elitist Ones
04. Bring Me Home
05. Tremors
06. A Killing Industry
07. Tormented
08. Brotherhood
09. Dwell in the Shadows
10. Venomous
11. Decennium

 

With a little over a decade putting out albums in the metal world, Whitechapel has never really been a band that I’ve ever found much appeal in. Perhaps it’s the “core” aspect of their music that usually turned me away. Frankly, most of their albums, if I even got beyond a song or two, just never truly blew me away. Between the vocals and the same sounding tracks, I just never got the appeal. I have given several albums a chance in hopes of writing some words about them, but I just couldn’t find anything to say that would sound more than a typical reviewer bashing a genre they’re not overly fond of.

With their sixth regular release, Mark of the Blade, I’m stil not waving the flag for them super high, but I managed to make it through this whole album and was relatively impressed with it. Deathcore is still not my genre of choice, but there’s a maturation that has organically happened with the passage of time that Whitechapel are demonstrating now. Maybe I just missed it on some of their past releases but I’m hearing more dynamics in their songs instead of just straight forward skull bashing aggression. I still don’t love most of the vocals, but Phil Bozeman gives moments of proving he’s more than just a growler. Not enough to appease me, but a few fleeting moments where he actually sings a little. Despite these instances of growth there is still a wealth of typical Whitechapel.

So here’s how it stands, from my perspective: if you’re already a fan of Whitechapel, then Mark of the Blade is going to be an album you will find great joy in. If you hate them, chances are good you still will. I’m just happy to have made it through the whole album and not be totally miserable. Unlike other bands in this particular style, Whitechapel are getting better, and trying some different things. And I’ll keep giving them a chance with each album.

 

Written by: Chris Martin

 Ratings:  Chris   7/10

 

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