Heavy metal stalwarts Whitechapel have created their eighth full-length album, Kin.
It is no accident that Whitechapel rose to prominence in the heavy music world so quickly. At the jump their music carried a uniqueness in theme and an energetic earnestness in expression. The lyrical themes have changed over the years and the music has expanded to cover new and invigorating ground. The band has released seven previous full-length albums, the most recent being The Valley in 2019. The lineup for Kin is Gabe Crisp (bass), Alex Wade (guitars), Ben Savage(guitar), Phil Bozeman (vocals), Zach Householder (guitar), and Alex Rüdinger (drums).
The first song on the album is “I Will Find You” and it starts off like a theme to a western film before taking a sharp turn less than a minute in toward a punishing landscape. Other tracks have a loud voice right at the first note, like “Lost Boy” and “To The Wolves.” Whether it is a race at the sound of the gun or a slow build, every song takes a journey with unexpected encounters and obstacles to overcome.
Stand-out tracks for me include “The Ones That Made Us” for its dooming nature and mysterious intrigue that soaks the sound throughout, and the title track which closes the set. The clean vocals at the beginning of “Kin” deepen the emotional impact of the song overall and also open the gates for the second movement with its soaring guitar work. It is a bold choice to end the album on this song, one that pays off in welcome closure.
In some ways this new album is reminiscent of the previous one, The Valley. Kin, though, is more than a reflection of the earlier work, and it is more even than a continuation of it – it is an expansion into broader realms, the nature of which can only be understood through time and experience. Recommended.
Kin officially drops on Friday, October 29th through Metal Blade Records. Enjoy a promenade through the many aspects of format versioning and merch at the links below.
Whitechapel website, https://www.whitechapelband.com/
Metal Blade Records, https://www.metalblade.com/whitechapel/