Whitechapel

This Is Exile

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The burgeoning southwestern United States "deathcore" scene gets another kick in the teeth from Knoxville, TN's Whitechapel with This Is Exile, their first full-length for Metal Blade. A quick glance at the cover art (razor wire, emaciated dude with a bag on his head) and the song titles ("Daemon [The Procreated]," "Messiahbolical") pretty much sums up what's inside, but Whitechapel (named for Jack the Ripper's preferred London hunting grounds) are capable of more than just eating the microphone and playing relentlessly fast -- standout cuts like "Possession," the instrumental "Death Becomes Him," and the blistering title cut, the latter of which yields the album's best lyric ("The world is ours and you're totally fucking dead"), are rarely predictable. To be sure, the "heavy, choppy chromatic riffs wrapped around an indecipherable monster voice" style that fuels the genre is well utilized, but around every corner is a sneaky melodic lead, time-signature change, or smart production trick that elevates This Is Exile above the usual death/metalcore sonic assault.

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