Whitechapel is fairly popular deathcore band from Knoxville, Tennessee, whose release of their new album- The Valley on 3/29, spurred a lot of questions for me. Of course I want to know what all that deathcore growling means; I seriously enjoy raging vocals all a lot more when I know the lyrics. Whitechapel has never been one to stoop down to making themselves less intense than what they already are. They are un-apologetically non-radio friendly and seem 100% fine with doing whatever the hell they want. I completely admire the intricacies of this new album, and their balance between speedy, passionate instrumentals and slower, and more serious tempos that emotionally suck you into darkness. Clean vocals seem to set up the true tone of the album as a whole.
Every song is a poem, and provides plenty of examples of unhinged existentialism, and murderous inclinations. There are some lines of lyrics I read that simply blew my mind in terms of the philosophical intellect behind it. There most popular single, “When a Demon Defiles a Witch”, however, has a real life backstory to it. Whitechapel’s lead singer, Phil Bozeman refers to his own mother having severe mental illness, and her several journal entries about a demon named “Mycar”- announced to fans via Instagram live. Every track has remnants and themes of Bozeman’s childhood. He commented on the meaning of “Black Bear” in an interview:
“It is based on the idea of my stepfather coming into my mom’s life, and them getting married, and him being like, that predator. Like he’s basically the downfall of her,” he explains.
Bozeman also describes it as, “A figurative look of just a predator preying on a woman and her child.
Besides that fact that this album kicks ass, it’s great that this band has transformed such pain into the creative piece that is The Valley. Made for everyone to relate to on some level: a level of realness, vulnerability, hopelessness, or whatever emotion comes along while listening. There is nothing wrong with uncomfortable art- that is Whitechapel’s specialty.