Label: Metal Blade Records
The words Tennessee and heavy metal are not usually found in the same sentence together. Being a Southern state that houses the capitol of country music one can only guess how well received the genre is there. Being from Tennessee and having lived there for 35 years I have seen both the interpretation of metal by those who have claimed to be fans and started ‘metal’ bands and the interpretation of what people THINK heavy metal is by people who are VERY much anti-heavy metal music listeners. Needless to say, Tennessee has never painted a pretty picture for heavy metal in a very long time. In fact, for the first time in 20+ years Iron Maiden finally came back to Nashville just last year…so yeah…there has been a drought.
This brings us to Whitechapel, a death metal band hailing from Knoxville, Tennessee. A city which is more known for the 1984 World’s Fair and rich rednecks that dress in orange and who think that talking bad about the UT Vols is like talking back to Jesus Christ. After doing a little digging I see Whitechapel are a very popular band with over 1 million fans on Facebook and signed to Metal Blade Records which is no small feat. Before Whitechapel the only other big metal band from my home state I really knew about were the over the top Destroy, Destroy, Destroy who have seemed to drop off the map as of late. So, always eager to promote my home state especially when it comes to metal, I eagerly delved into ‘Our Endless War’. What I got was a lot of Southern deep fried anger…
Well what can I say here about Whitechapel’s ‘The Endless War’? Well on a personal level it is an offering that I feel is typical of bands that come from Tennessee that claim to be metal. Lots of super rough vocals, yelling and crunching rhythm guitars, bombastic drums and minimalistic in guitar leads. Typically what a lot of death metal bands do. For me, this is not my thing. I have never been a death metal guy for the very reasons I just explained. However there is a but…
While Whitechapel is not for me I can see why they do have the following they do and the success. I can tell that with vocalist Phil Bozeman that the man has a set of lungs that must reach down into the bowels of hell for him to be able to cough out the stuff he does. While I do not like the style I can appreciate the ability he has to be able to belt that shit out without puking up a kidney and I think his being in the band are what has helped Whitechapel be where they are today.
Musically, ‘Our Endless War’ is aggressive, filled with hate and anger that will drive an angry audience into a frenzy in a live setting. The music overall isn’t filled with complex leads or solos…it just a bombastic assault on the listener that forces them to either adapt to the music or they get crushed under its sonic assault. For me…I got crushed and lost. For others that are fans of the genre however I think they will be very, very pleased with ‘Our Endless War’. It’s just not for me.
If you are a fan of ultra aggressive and extreme metal then Tennessee’s Whitechapel will be the ticket to the thrill ride you have been looking for in the land of Nascar and John Deer Greene lawnmower races.