At this point in their exemplary run, Whitechapel really shouldn’t need any introduction. Since the beginning, they’ve been priming themselves as one of the quintessential bands of deathcore in many people’s eyes with every album having something new and interesting to fall into to constantly keep us coming back, but they’ve never once lied about who they are. When they released “The Valley” just two years ago, I think it’s safe to say that not many of us saw that coming. What Whitechapel accomplished with that album was a spectacle by all accounts, but if that was just the start of a new chapter for the band it is their newest opus, “Kin”, that greatly evolves the band’s sound down that same path.
I’ve always appreciated Whitechapel as a band that’s never really been afraid to try something different for themselves whether it be something small or massive just so that they’re not making the same exact material over and over again to only quickly become stale. Sitting down to listen to these eleven tracks, I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into other than I was more than likely to experience some quality deathcore the likes of which is hard to find anywhere else throughout the entire scene, but if it was “The Valley” that really caught people off-guard it is everything that “Kin” brings forth that should stun, shock, and surprise every listener. In no small way, Whitechapel still makes it their mission to deliver a crushing listen that doesn’t compromise one bit as it’s at first we get the classic Whitechapel aural assault that holds nothing back, but it’s as the record progresses that the tone shifts to something somber to the point that one can physically feel the music plucking at the heartstrings with every passing minute. “Kin” is very much the kind of record to lure you in, thinking you’re in for a solid Whitechapel work at the craziest, but it’s real quick that you become sucker-punched by the dramatic shift in tone that’s made just as expertly as it is quickly. The album as a whole breaks your very spirit down to an empty husk such that it’s by the end the only thing keeping you attached to this physical plane is Whitechapel itself with their enormous power so you start the gripping experience that is “Kin” all over again so that you don’t drift into oblivion.
Such a record of this caliber is something that we’re lucky to see come even once in a band’s career, but to see it done back-to-back with truly standout efforts is something else entirely but that clearly hasn’t stopped Whitechapel from astounding just two years after having our jaws drop. Deathcore doesn’t get nearly as much attention or credit as it should a lot of the times, especially when it’s done really well, and I will be outraged should I see all that “Kin” brings to the table go largely unnoticed outside the band’s usual reach for this is a record that demands to be considered as one of the year’s best for all that it accomplishes with every corner holding something to be revered and every detail containing more than enough to fawn over.
“Kin” releases on October 29th via Metal Blade!
PRE-ORDER “Kin” via multiple sources here.
LISTEN to singles from “Kin” on Bandcamp here.
LIKE Whitechapel on Facebook here.