Whitechapel - A New Era Of Corruption (Metal Blade/Riot)

Whitechapel returns with the eagerly awaited follow up to 2008's This Is Exile. But as the 'deathcore' scene continues to grow, can their train keep rolling?

Ever since The Somatic Defilement brought a thunderous mix of blastbeats, breakdowns, death grunts and lyrical brutality to the metal scene in 2007, Whitechapel have never failed to split opinions. This hack has even heard the words 'death metal for emo kids' uttered by some retarded buffoon. However, This Is Exile was a savage album in every sense of the word and has led to the Knoxville, Tenessee sextet becoming figureheads of the much maligned and misunderstood deathcore genre. With such an opus behind them, A New Era Of Corruption was always going to be a challenging release.

If Satan's dad was giving the Fallen One a bollocking, he'd still sound like Mary Poppins compared to Whitechapel vocalist Phil Bozeman. Underpinned by a continually apocalyptic trio of seven-string guitars (Alex Wade, Ben Savage and Zach Householde) and a five-string bass (Gabe Crisp), with Kevin Lane's drums delivering a sound comparable to a pair of pneumatic drills at a coke and champagne orgy, A New Era Of Corruption is devastatingly heavy. Opening number Devolver makes no attempt at seductive intros and alluring atmospherics, preferring to punch the living fuck out of your ears before the tempo is wound down to a sludgey thump for Breeding Violence, a song that shows both continuity and development following This Is Exile.

Reprogrammed To Hate features guest vocals from the Deftones' Chino Moreno and as a song is much more radio-friendly...well, as much as Whitechapel can ever be radio friendly. Moreno's signature soaring vocals are a quite frankly exquisite addition to this song, which, despite its more blatant commercial appeal, is a stand-out track on the album.

The End Of Flesh and A Future Corrupt are uncomprimisingly heavy and despite the brief accoustic break in The End Of Flesh, are virtual deathcore perfection. The unnerving, um, Unnerving starts with a bizarre ambient tune which then disolves into some absolutely blistering blasts that suggests Whitechapel were flexing their experimental muscles when putting this album together.

It's bafflingly hilarious that we live in a world in which some metal fans still deny Whitechapel as a credible metal outfit. I challenge any metaller to find an emo band that could deliver both the vocal work and musicianship of Necromechanical.

A New Era Of Corruption is a phenomenal metal album that exemplifies the evolution of the genre; it will quite simply crush you.

A New Era Of Corruption is out now on Metal Blade/Riot