When Knoxville, Tennessee sextet Whitechapel dropped their concept album, The Valley, in 2017, the band shed themselves of that deathcore tag once and for all. A chilling, emotional album, the record saw the group steer their sound into more melodic waters and it was a shift greeted with critical acclaim from both fans and the media. Speaking to V13 recently, guitarist Ben Savage explained how its follow-up, Kin picked up directly from where The Valley left off. (Interview coming soon, so keep your eyes peeled to the site!)
Opening with the gentle strum of an acoustic guitar, “I Will Find You” picks up where “Doom Woods” left off lyrically with the band hitting their pummelling groove almost instantaneously. Unmistakeably Whitechapel, the recording picks up pace through the recent single “Lost Boy” while those who are wanting that sledgehammer-heavy style the new single “A Bloodsoaked Symphony” will certainly scratch that itch. Three tracks in and already, Kin is proving that age-old saying “if it’s ain’t broke, don’t fix it” herein applies. Taking the dramatic, dark, emotional themes explored by frontman Phil Bozeman on The Valley, the early moments of the album indicate that this is going to be an excellent accompaniment to its predecessor.
Now seems to be a good point to discuss Bozeman’s vocals again. Praised for his extensive range on The Valley, the frontman again proves himself to be a league above the rest of the heavy music scene. From his use of clean vocals on tracks like “I Will Find You” to his face-melting howls on “A Bloodsoaked Symphony” and the crushing “To The Wolves,” Bozeman’s delivery is simply sublime.
However, it’s the gloomy, bleak “Orphan” where Whitechapel makes that step into almost arena rock territory with the kind of huge-sounding song which affords the frontman the full opportunity to show off his stunning range. Elsewhere, the powerfully emotional “Without Us” combines both clean vocals/sections with bludgeoning, grooving heaviness for another of the album highlights while the incredible title track builds up to a soaring finale bringing this chapter in the story to an epic conclusion.
On The Valley, the Tennessee band went all-out to create an album that would have them knocking at the doors of the big league. Picking up where that release left off, the band has returned to smash down those doors with Kin, a recording that will surely push the metal heavyweights into the kind of market in which they truly deserve to be mixing.
Kin Track Listing:
1. I Will Find You
2. Lost Boy
3. A Bloodsoaked Symphony
5. The Ones That Made Us
6. History Is Silent
7. To the Wolves
9. Without You
10. Without Us
Run Time: 47:51
Release Date: October 29, 2021
Record Label: Metal Blade Records