“This Is Exile” by Whitechapel

Artist: Whitechapel
Title: “This Is Exile”
Label: Metal Blade Records
Release Date: 7/8/2008
Genre: Death Metal
Rating: 4/5

It’s great when a band comes around that seems to defy the rules of the day and instead chooses to mark their own territory by blending a number of the different genre aspects that Metal comprises and deliver an unforgettable listening experience as result. This is what the hard core Metal fan that picks up “This Is Exile” by Knoxville, Tennessee’s Whitechapel will experience tenfold with the bands powerful debut on Metal Blade Records. The powerful album starts off without compromise with “Father Of Lies” and we hear not only slicing guitar riffs from the groups three axe wielders but also blistering double bass drums and blast beats that come and go across the album and the bands numerous time signature changes. As Heavy Metal fan whose own interests cross a number of different genres, I was really juiced to hear a band that was taking a little bit of this side and blending it with a little bit of that side and in the end really delivering something super heavy for the listener. It’s not all a blazing Death Metal feast here because Whitechapel slows the pace down for the dramatic instrumental “Death Becomes Him” and this leads into the almost Industrial Tech groove of “Daemon (The Procreated). The changes are many on the album that was a factor that impressed me quite a bit because it came off as the band choosing to not stick to the same old style for every song and rather than come off as an identity crisis of sound it instead came off as a very exciting listen since there were twists and turns to be found everywhere. I really liked “Possession” based on the groove and interesting play of the lead guitar in the background while they seemed to bend the melody into unique shapes.

The band is fronted by Phil Bozeman (vocals) and finds Ben Savage, Alex Wade and Zach Householder on guitars along with Gabe Crisp (bass) and Kevin Lane (drums) and the fans of this level of Metal play will definitely find the placement of three lead guitar players rather different. We don’t often see three axes in a Metal band and outside of Iron Maiden there are few who can pull it off if they even wanted to. I can safely recommend this to the fans of Extreme Metal such as the likes of Behemoth or Cannibal Corpse since there are some elements from these greats present in the Whitechapel riffage and one can only assume that they had proven as the bands many inspirations. The guys who make up the band are be to commended for the overall chops that they demonstrate on the tracks from beginning to end. Lyrics are provided in the booklet and the CD is marked as explicit, but I don’t think you need to worry about offending anyone since this kind of growling vocals often make it hard to know exactly where such language is even present. Having seen the band perform on the Summer Slaughter tour of 2008 before I snared a copy of their album I can honestly say that the band delivers on the stage and were able to get the bodies moving on the mosh pit floor very early in the event’s scheduling. Check them out if the brutally heavy stuff is up your alley, you shall not regret it.

Track Listing:
1. Father Of Lies
2. This Is Exile
3. Possession
4. To All That Are Dead
5. Exalt
6. Somatically Incorrect
7. Death Becomes Him
8. Daemon (The Procreated)
9. Eternal Refuge
10. Of Legions
11. Messiahbolical

Official Website: http://www.whitechapelmetal.com

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