I do enjoy a bit of Whitechapel now and again, (Our Endless War, Mark of the Blade, The Valley), so Kin has come along at the right time. After the advances in style and songwriting of The Valley, Kin continues where that album left off, treading similar ground, while also broadening the band’s stylistic reach further.
The band’s deathcore roots can be heard in places, but like The Valley, Kin has evolved beyond the restrictions of that genre. Whitechapel are now a contemporary metal band of their own making, and have more in common with heavy hitters like Slipknot than they do with their original style. Elements of progressive metal and even modern rock can be heard too, further enriching the album’s offering.
Kin‘s dark songs are well-written and professional. With many hooks and catchy elements, it’s easy to get on board with the 47 minutes of material Whitechapel have crafted here. There’s good diversity of delivery, and the running time never seems too long or loses the attention. Overall the album is heavy and aggressive, but certainly not exclusively so; Kin is a more introspective album than The Valley, and also more diverse, with a wider range of ground covered. The same can be said of the vocals, which are primarily thunderous roars, but not always, as there’s much more clean singing this time. Of the former, the singer’s voice is in particularly fine form, and I really enjoy some of his vocal patterns and the way his voice syncs up with the rest of the music.
It’s clear that Whitechapel have put a lot of work into Kin. The end result is a collection of songs that combine burly metallic groove with bursts of violent extremity and moments of emotive introspection. Whitechapel can now do calm and nuanced just as well as they can do harsh and heavy, much to their credit.
Kin is a grower, one that’s definitely worth spending some time with. If you liked The Valley then Kin is The Valley taken to its logical conclusion. Whitechapel have crafted a very enjoyable and engaging album.
Very highly recommended.