Their transformation is almost complete

In 2019, Whitechapel changed tack just a little with their album The Valley, a thematic record retelling stories of vocalist Phil Bozeman’s chaotic upbringing with the loss of his parents and his mother’s battles with mental illness before her passing, all within the boundaries of a deathcore release.

New album Kin takes that personal story telling element one step further. Having covered what built the characters in the previous album, this time Bozeman attacks his own personal demons.

Starting peacefully, I Will Find You lulls the listener into a false sense of security with southern fried acoustic guitars setting a veil that is torn down quickly in a track that could fit neatly anywhere on the band’s previous release. This is quickly followed up with the story arc building Lost Boy and Blood Soaked Symphony almost playing off against each other. The former concludes with clean vocals before the latter blasts out some of the heaviest music Whitechapel has delivered in sometime.

Elsewhere the band continues to transform before everyone’s ears, with Anticure building on previous experiments with clean singing, but instead of a completely clean vocal tone, here it is a gravel-like stadium rock approach, showing off the continual growth of Phil Bozeman as a vocalist. Having hinted at an ability with balladry on their previous album, Whitechapel drop any and all notions of selling out and go for a complete clean track on Orphan, dropping the loud dynamic they previously thought necessary somewhere on a clean sung track.

The ferocity that surrounds a track like Orphan could generally make it feel shoehorned into a track list, but somehow lead in track To The Wolves is again one of the heaviest tracks on show, only accentuating the fragility of the cleaner moments elsewhere. By the time it all comes to a crushing close, it not only sounds as though the character in the album has found peace, you feel it through the musical connection.

Whitechapel may have begun life as just another deathcore band, but by the time Kin comes to an end their transformation to a totally different beast is almost complete. From here they could go wherever they want with their music, having finally proven once and for all that it is possible to grow without completely forgetting your musical grounding or alienating their fan base. Where will their story take us all from here? Only Whitechapel know.

1. I Will Find You
2. Lost Boy
3. A Bloodsoaked Symphony
4. Anticure
5. The Ones That Made Us
6. History is Silent
7. To The Wolves
8. Orphan
9. Without You
10. Without Us
11. Kin