A New Era of Corruption

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Europe (especially the Scandinavian countries) has been dominating death metal for so long that if an American death metal band didn't emerge until the 2000s, one cannot help but wonder if there is going to be some type of European influence. Knoxville, TN's Whitechapel have been around since 2006, and the sound they bring to A New Era of Corruption does, in fact, have some European metal influences -- and yet, Whitechapel never sound like they are going out of their way to emulate European bands. No, this is a death metal album with a bi-continental perspective; in other words, Whitechapel have both North American and European influences and cannot be pigeonholed as strictly American-sounding or strictly European-sounding. This 2010 recording is death metal with elements of technical metalcore; grindcore is an influence, and there are occasional hints of black metal. Indeed, a band that has all of those influences is clearly looking to more than one continent for artistic inspiration, which is a good thing because A New Era of Corruption is fairly unpredictable. There are plenty of twists and turns on this 41-minute CD; tempo changes are frequent, and vocal styles vary. Lead singer Phil Bozeman embraces a death metal Cookie Monster growl more often than not, but that doesn't prevent him from making some detours into metalcore screaming or a black metal-ish rasp. Occasionally, A New Era of Corruption ends up sounding unfocused and confused, although that isn't a huge problem -- and when all is said and done, Whitechapel end up with a mildly uneven album that isn't perfect but has more pluses than minuses.

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