Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Whitechapel - Recorrupted EP (2011)

There is certainly no love lost between myself and anything this Tennessee deathcore act has released to date, and with their new stopover EP, Recorrupted, I'm afraid the abject loathing must continue. This is not something meant to be so seriously, as it largely features remixes and a cover song, but regardless I found it to be weaksauce to the nth degree. A disheveled and disjointed teaser for whatever the band is planning next in the full-length realm, straight from the vaults of Metal Blade, who always seem to ply their fingers along the genuine, trendy pulse of extreme music.

In fairness, there are some elements to the sole new original track that, "Section 8" that I was not completely turned off by. After the obligatory ambient/electro lead-in we get a huge, guttural growl that heralds a multi-layered mesh of pumping djent grooves, dissonant industrial metal dressing and droning air raid picking melody. But within the span of a minute, we've already relapsed into some boring drudge of muted groove chugs which bounce along like faux dreadlocks at a Korn gig, pants so baggy that even when they jump da fuc up they're still dragging on the discarded butts, rolling papers and abandoned gig flyers. There is a particular, mechanical resonance that Whitechapel graft to this song that I thought showed some promise, and a nice dual lead melody that slices through its midsection like a plastic surgeon curbing a midriff, but in general I found that there were no memorable riffs throughout, it just sort of bludgeons along into its own grooving oblivion.

Hey, at least it's better than everything else on this EP... The cover of Pantera's "Strength Beyond Strength" manages to make the tracks inherent, ball-fisted mosh break into something dull and methodical. The 'Big Chocolate remix' of "Breeding Violence" seems as hackneyed as a lot of those old Fear Factory techno mixes. Lots of distorted, yawning Skrillex-like aesthetics and some noodling guitar melodies applied for texture. The Ben Weiman remix of "This is Exile" is mildly less annoying, as it takes a more mathematical application, but it feels like something Justin Broadrick would have left on the cutting room floor rather than add to some Godflesh compilation. And lastly, the Tennessee boys show their sensitive side, with an acoustic rendition of "End of Flesh" (these are all from their most recent album A New Era of Corruption). This is instrumental, and not bad as background noise, but neither is it remotely compelling.

Recorrupted is really just a bunch of odds and ends being used to tide over the deathcore fan, and many such releases (in all genres) aren't fit to scrape your boots with. I admit that I would not mind hearing Whitechapel drift further into the mechanistic industrial grooving space with their own writing on the next album, but I think it's time they ditched some of their more dull chugging breakdown sequences and attempted to vary up the vocals a bit, since they too seem like a pastiche of the trite and generic that no one will care about in a decade. Maybe a year. At any rate, I've no inbred opposition to deathcore and its variants if done well. Job for a Cowboy and even Carnifex have surprised me in the past, but I've yet to be impressed by this crew, though I can hear some latent potential slumbering inside them like a kraken on its murky leash.

Verdict: Fail [2.75/10]


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