Written by Alex Stojanovic
Mark Of The Blade
Bring Me Home
A Killing Industry
Dwell In The Shadows
Release Date: June 24, 2016
Label: Metal Blade Records
Phil Bozeman - Vocals Ben Savage - Lead guitars Alex Wade - Rhythm guitars Gabe Crisp - Bass Zack Householder - Lead & rhythm guitars Ben Harclerode - Drums
Leadoff track "The Void" comes smashing you in the face by slamming the rhythmic sensibilities of Cannibal Corpse and Meshuggah together, followed by the more traditional sounding title track. If you're annoyed by elitism in metal as much as I am, then there's no doubt that you'll enjoy the lyrics on "Elitist Ones", where Phil Bozeman takes a stab at all the elitists who continue to get on all of our nerves. I'm pretty sure many people will relate to the lyrics. While sticking to their traditional sound, they manage to sneak in other influences on the record. For example, "A Killing Industy" contains a more industrial metal influence, giving it a Fear Factory flavour and there's also a few acoustic moments to be found in a few areas. Over the years, Whitechapel have provided us with a few instrumentals and they provide us with yet another on this album with "Brotherhoood", which contains a few melodic moments giving it an epic vibe and there's solos galore on the track.
When the band confirmed that this would be the first album to feature clean vocals, it was so funny to watch so many people lose their minds, but it got me excited. Bozeman showcases his clean vocal prowess on "Bring Me Home" and the album's closer "Decennium". If this makes you upset, at least you'll be happy to know that the tracks aren't all cleans as they both still contain the Bozeman growls we've all come to love, but it's amazing to hear him experimenting with cleans on this record. This is only another step in the band's progression. "Tremors" and "Tormented" carry a bit of a djent flavour, which I'm not exactly a fan of, but if you enjoy djent, then you should enjoy these two tracks. If you're a Whitechapel fan, I don't see why Mark Of The Blade should disappoint you, but as I said above, if you're not a fan of clean vocals in your Whitechapel, there's nine other tracks of complete vocal and musical brutality, so listen to those.
Highs: Phil sounds great at cleans. Looking forward to hearing more cleans on future albums.
Lows: "Tremors" and "Tormented"
Final Rating: 7.5/10