Release Date: October 29, 2021 Genre: Deathcore, Progressive Metal, Groove Metal
Label: Metal Blade Records The Knoxville, Tennesse, deathcore giants Whitechapel are back with their latest offering, Kin. Whitechapel's eighth album is a massive sequel to their previous album, The Valley (2019). Kin is the first album to feature drummer Alex Rüdinger -the newest addition to the Whitechapel lineup. Rüdinger is best known for performing in several metal projects over the years, such as Threat Signal, The Faceless, The HAARP Machine, Ordinance, Conquering Dystopia, and Good Tiger, to name a few. Once again, Whitechapel recruited their longtime music producer Mark Lewis (Trivium, Chimaira, The Black Dahlia Murder, DevilDriver) to produce. The tracking of the band's eighth studio album was, for the most part, done at guitarist Zach Householder's home recording studio.
The album's first track, "I Will Find You," starts immediately where "Doom Woods" left off on The Valley. Now, this is where the music itself is much different on Kin. Over the last couple of albums, Whitechapel has been slowly moving away from their central deathcore sound. Nevertheless, on Mark of the Blade (2016), for the very first time, Bozeman provided clean vocals on two tracks, and the band dabbled in some groove metal. These changes persisted on The Valley, but that album saw the band begin incorporating progressive metal sounds and elements into their repertoire. So now, with this new effort, Whitechapel has furthered their maturity, blending all three into a cohesive blend of metal, which has delivered their most diverse, extreme, but ultimately, their most melodic record to date. By blending their deathcore, progressive, and groove sounds together on these eleven tracks -you get some dark, heavy, infectious metal tunes. If you want that famous deathcore Whitechapel you may love the most, you have songs like "Lost Boy," "A Bloodsoaked Symphony," "The Ones That Made Us," or "To The Wolves." If you want something new and different from Whitechapel, you can turn to some of the tracks like "I Will Find You," "Anticure," History Is Silent," "Orphan," and the title track, "Kin," to name a few.
Some genre-fusion of deathcore and progressive metal does occur on "The Ones That Made Is" and "History Is Silent." While there aren't straight groove metal tracks on the albums, the heaviest of the album's tracks contain groove metal riffs spread into the deathcore. Another interesting aspect of the record is the use of acoustic guitars on songs such as "I Will Find You," "History Is Silent," "Without You," and "Kin." On the band's previous album, The Valley, vocalist and lyricist Phil Bozeman tackled childhood trauma as the main focus of the concept album. It contained some of their darkest content to date. Now, on Kin, Bozeman and the band continue down this route of darker content, but the path the band takes with their sound is another story. The album's title Kin pertains to relatives, which is exactly what the album talks about over its eleven tracks. The deeper meaning behind it all plays into the idea that Bozeman's alternate reality and/or his persona is his kin as well. Both The Valley and Kin tell a fictional representation of a non-fictional story, which comes from a what if standpoint about a possible future Bozeman could've taken in his personal life. Additionally, for the sake of storytelling, the two albums do contain supernatural elements.