Whitechapel - _This Is Exile_
(Metal Blade Records, 2008)
by: Jackie Smit (7 out of 10)
If at first listen you find yourself straddling the fence over Whitechapel's sophomore effort, you'd certainly not be alone. Barring a dangerously infectious melodic break that rears its head toward the end of the record's title track, the Cleveland six-piece initially sound painfully like every other deathcore band with taste for the melodic. Persevere to the disc's midway point however, and an eerie instrumental in the shape of "Death Becomes Him" signals what could only be described as a major creative turning point. While for the most part Whitechapel still remain loyal to their chosen style's blueprint, the final six songs on _This Is Exile_ seem to be where they find their range and the results are stunning. "Eternal Refuge" and "Of Legions" jab quick and fast -- contrasting impossibly heavy breakdowns against a knockout flurry of mid-tempo grooves as lethal as a bath full of surgical razorblades. The real surprise however is saved for last, when "Messiahbolical" breaks the mould and gets not only heavy, but damn near progressive on our behinds. Ending the record on such a promising note, you can only keep your fingers crossed that they are able to retain this stunning form for the entirety of their next effort.

Contact: http://www.myspace.com/whitechapel

(article published 17/9/2008)

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