I am not a fan of the first hour as far as Whitechapel is concerned. It was a show at TivoliVredenburg in Utrecht that brought the American sextet to my attention. Whitechapel was one of the support act for Heaven Shall Burn and what the guys delivered that night was impressive.
Having had the band on the radar means also following the bands next steps and with ‘The Valley’ album, Whitechapel released an album that was remarkable. ‘Kin’ is the successor’ of ‘The Valley’ and I have to admit, this release is challenging. In a way, Whitechapel build on their musical history and at the same time I have the feeling, that ‘Kin’ is an album that might indicate a transformation. There are the brutal deathcore outbursts, represented by songs like Lost Boy’ and ‘To the Wolves’. Both songs certainly belong to the most savage ones Whitechapel ever released.
At the same time, the band builds more songs on an atmospheric foundation. This was already a style element the guys used on ‘The Valley’ and they use it more often on ‘Kin’. The opener ‘I Will Find You’ is therefore a well-chosen start into the album. There are the thundering rifts and the deep growls that interact with clean vocals and calmer parts. Both goes together very well which also a conclusion after having listened to the heavy pounding ‘A Bloodsoaked Symphony’.
The real atmospheric focus is reflected by songs like ‘Anticure’. It’s a song that relies entirely on a moderate tempo. Sentiment and melodies are in the foreground, which transports a lot of emotion. With mostly clean vocals, the song is an intense masterpiece that represents the bandwidth of Whitechapel very well. ‘Orphan’ makes use of the same approach and is even clearer in its expression. I don’t want to use the term ‘ballad’ in the context of a Whitechapel album, but the tune is certainly a touching highlight on ‘Kin’.
‘Without Us’, which follows the acoustic interlude ‘Without You’, is combining heaviness and soul before it is up to the title track to end the album in a good fashion. An acoustic intro characterizes the first half of the song. It’s a clam and very soulful beginning that transforms into a louder and still melodic middle part, before the ending is a calm one.
I like the alternation of loud and soulful. It reflects the emotional rollercoaster of life, with its dark sides and some more optimistic sunrays. ‘Kin’ has a strong connection the ‘The Valley’ and it also shows a development of a band that doesn’t stand still. Let’s keep in eye on where the musical journey will go for Whitechapel.
- I Will Find You
- Lost Boy
- A Bloodsoaked Symphony
- Thee Ones That Made Us
- History Is Silent
- To the Wolves
- Without You
- Without Us
Label: Metal Blade Records
Release Date EU: October 29th, 2021