Metalblade is releasing the 7th studio album of Deathcore heroes WHITECHAPEL and it is definitly not what most fans are expecting. They begin where they left of with experimental songs from 2016's album "Mark of the Blade". The Valley is a total concept album in my opinion. The band invent themself new in a genious and progressive way without forgetting where they come from.
When they experimented very shy with some clean vocals added on the "Mark of the Blade", now they are confident enough to explore the artistical limits and bust boundaries. You cannot put them anymore just in the Deathcore genre. Thinking in drawers is not possible anymore. The band grew out of this and it is really interesting and lovely to see how they evolved from "Somatic Defilemet" from 2007 (That was also when I discovered them on MySpace) to 2019's "The Valley". Singer Phil Bozeman is fighting with his past on this album to relieve all his pain and comming back as a stronger himself. Join Phil on the journey to his darkest depths buried in his soul. Also his band members support him as much as they can on this. I read that statement on an interview on the web.
The band is not the same anymore but for good. Being strong enough and having the balls to try new things and fullfill your artistic needs of exploring yourself. For many bands it is fun to record nearly the same album over and over again, especially in the extreme area we are moving but that doesn't fit to everyone and also not to Whitechapel.
They are doing it so much better then SUICIDE SILENCE which's last album was just a pure disaster in my opinion. I never thought they could include very good sounding clean vocals that smoothly in the harsh and extreme deathcore construct of their songs. Whitechapel is still Whitechapel. Don't get me wrong when I said they are not the same band anymore. All trademarks you love from the extreme are still there. The guttural vocals, the blasting, the groove from the last albums but they just added something more.
The layers of this album are so deep and it took me really some more listens to deeply sank into its atmosphere. And this is really the point, the atmosphere this album is creating is astonishing. Whitechape really created something new, invented themself into a rebirth like a butterfly. Stronger than ever, maybe you think they weakend and sold out but in my opinion they don't. Everything that was added give them more depth to create something new which will touch your soul.
Especially here to mention the song "Hickory Creek" which is more a progressive and soulful rock song but it is so damn good. It creates a nearly 5 minute long goosebump moment which will bring you pure joy if you just let loose and dive into it. The clean vocals on this album never feel forced like in so many albums you hear to cash the check with more record sales. I really hated this in the beginning in the 2000s with the metalcore hype when every band forced clean vocals in to be more successfull and so many just failed because they couldn't sing. Whitechape trained, evolved and brought this element at the right time when they were ready to show the world what they are capable off besides the great trademarks delivered with the 6 albums before.
For the #nocleansinging audience I can just recommend to lay down all your prejudices and dive deep into this artistical masterpiece the band created. If you just enjoy what it is for good, as a concept album, something new for you as fans, it will bring you pure satisfaction.
It is really hard to rate this but for such a great reinvention of a band which I never considered possible, I just can give 10 / 10 because of the artistical courage and having the balls to pull it off from the beginning to the end!