Whitechapel have progressed over the years from their more Death Metal/Deathcore roots to something these days that is half Deathcore and half modern Metal, taking influence from the NWOAHM and djent styles and infusing them with a Deathcore aggression and heaviness.
They’ve generally slowed things down a bit too, emphasising catchiness and rhythm rather than speed and brutality, as was once the case, (although even back then they had a certain level of catchiness that was lacking in their peers). Due to their background though they’re more than capable of speeding up when they need to, adding that extra edge to the delivery, and I’m pleased that the blast beats haven’t been totally dropped from their repertoire.
As mentioned above, there’s more of a djent influence on their albums of late, and this is still true on Our Endless War. I’ve stated in the past that djent is a very easy style to be mediocre at, and I’ve said the same about Deathcore too; it’s a testament to Whitechapel’s ability that they take the strengths from one and use it to offset the weaknesses of the other. The result is music that blurs the line between both, taking the best aspects and combining them with the aforementioned NWOAHM parts to create memorable songs that pound and smash their way through the playing time.
Although Whitechapel are mainly about the chunky grooves and heavy riffs, the included melodies and leads should not be discounted or dismissed. These frequently provide a more emotive hook for the listener and add a lot to the songs in comparison to the more obvious rhythm guitars. This side of the band also serves to remind that when they’re not unleashing huge breakdowns and the like, Whitechapel can really play.
The singer’s clipped growls are still deep and roaring, and he shows a nice rhythmic awareness a lot of the time that fits in well with what the music is doing. Occasionally he slips into the even deeper deathgrowls of old, and it’s a joy to hear.
For me, this album is definitely a grower. For all of the immediacy of a band like this, it takes time for the rhythms and melodies to properly infiltrate your brain. When they do you’ll find that the band have produced a surprisingly memorable and enjoyable album.