Whitechapel: Recorrupted

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Whitechapel: Recorrupted
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Whitechapel: Recorrupted
Deathcore
Metal Blade Records
November 8th, 2011
Release length: 18:42
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Recorrupted marks the first EP from Deathcore act Whitechapel, as well as Metal Blade Record’s recent push to incorporate Techno into the Metal universe further. The EP features a brand new song, a cover track, two remixed songs, and an acoustic track. But, with all of this being offered at just over eighteen minutes, does Recorrupted have what it takes to be a solid companion effort to their previous full-length, A New Era of Corruption, or does it just wind up being a bit of an overpriced add-on that’s just more of the same?

The audio to this EP ends up being a little less bass driven like previous efforts, and given how the band is presented here, it works for them a lot better. The guitars already sound pretty blunt, but against the bass presence adds a nice edge to the recordings, but isn’t too loud in the mix to overpower everything, giving the audio a slightly higher pitch. The bass kicks to the drum kit have a bit of a click to them, and are pretty loud, adding to that additional pitch but also incorporating some additional intensity to the mix. It’s sad to see the cymbols pushed back so far sometimes, and the snares here do sound nice but also could have been a bit louder. The vocals feel a little deeper and far away from the group’s traditional hardcore badass kind of approach that they’ve been known for, though clearly not leaving it behind entirely.

First up is the new song, “Section 8.” This track is surprisingly good, having a very intense apprach with an energetic start despite it’s chugging, trudging guitar work against faster drumming and verses comprised largely of simple chords played in a tight pattern. The breakdowns and generally slower passages of the song don’t really make you want to immediately get up and headbang, but these moments feel strong thanks to some additional guitar work in the background that helps fill the music a little more. “Strength Beyond Strength” is a cover of the Pantera classic, and it ends up being another surprisingly enjoyable track. The three guitars work out well with Whitechapel for this cover, and even the deeper gutturals instead of shouting in the original work well to match the additional intensity that the band gives this track. Admittedly they do go off in their own little chugging direction later on in the track to accompany the atmospheric material of the original, and the band manages to weasel a breakdown in during this as well, but unlike other bands who do this sort of thing, it fits with the track and feels natural to it.

Overall these first two tracks are easily the best that this recording offers, and ultimately do end up being enjoyable songs all around despite your taste of Deathcore. However, what follows next is something that Metal Blade seems to be pushing at the end of 2011 in some collections of compilation-esque releases, and that’s Techno renditions of previously recorded songs. These remixes are not necessarily a new trend, but they are definitely escalating in the Metal world, and it’s rare that the songs end up sounding good. While these are not necessarily the greatest examples of this style, the two presented are admittedly not that bad. “Breeding Violence (Big Chocolate Remix)” carries that same trudging chugging sound the original had, just less intense a little more mechanical in a literal sense. It’s not a bad song even with the additional computerized sounds against the Deathcore music, and even the effects of a turntable being held to a stop that appear throughout the song. “This is Exile (Ben Weinman Remix)” again finds the music layered with additional Techno elements, but this time those seem to really dominate the album, and the lyrics themselves are drastically cut down. The breakdown here even feels slower, and is just generally annoying beyond belief due to the insane amount of effects used on the vocals and instruments that once in a while makes it feel trippy, but ultimately just sounds like the CD is skipping with a random music box playing in the background and a Speak & Spell saying “strager” at the end for practically no reason whatsoever.

The EP concludes with an acoustic rendition of “End of Flesh,” which is also quite enjoyable and far better then the two remixes here. It’s actually interesting to hear this serious take on the song in an unplugged setting without vocals, and it definitely still holds up that creepy aspect that some of their material has while feeling a little gothic at the same time. It’s an enjoyable interpretation, and not a novelty version of it like Aeon‘s acoustic rendition of “God Gives Head in Heaven.”

Recorrupted makes for a good EP, as well as a safe release for people who want to experience Whitechapel but just generally dislike the simple chugs and slow pace. Granted those exist here, but they are done well enough to make the music and experience come through rather rich and enjoyable. If you’re already a fan, there’s no reason you won’t add this to your collection right away, but given the volatile music ideas the band is working with (of their own free will or not), they did a good job in handling them all as to not really annoy the listeners or tick off dedicated fans of theirs, as well as of Pantera‘s. It’s far from a masterpiece, but Recorrupted is well worth checking out at some point if you’re curious.

01. Section 8 – 4:27
02. Strength Beyond Strength (Pantera cover) – 3:48
03. Breeding Violence (Big Chocolate Remix) – 2:52
04. This is Exile (Ben Weinman Remix) – 3:16
05. End of Flesh (Acoustic Version) – 4:20
Overall Score: 7.5/10
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Digital review copy of this release provided by Metal Blade Records.