With the singles that came out prior to the album release, “Our Endless War” claimed to be the tightest and meticulously crafted album in Whitechapel‘s ten-year history. Given how much time the band put in, in terms of writing, getting a perfect tone, producing and mixing, one would expect an equivalent result, yeah? But, it’s too soon to reach that conclusion yet. First, let’s hear the album. A traditional start to the album, Rise is an inviting instrumental with a calm tone. One thing that makes itself clear after a couple of songs is that there is a drastic change in song-writing, which definitely benefits the album and makes it quite easy and refreshing for the listener. But nothing seems that appealing until Let Me Burn. Oh boy! This is what Whitechapel is capable of – a perfect slow start followed by sheer energy, chug-tech riffs at their best.
What I had appreciated in their self-titled album though, failed to impress this time. Phil’s vocals seem so layered; moreover, stagnant and not what they are known for, although the catchy melodic riffs at the end of the songs make up for it. Not that one can’t get used to that, but it’s the vocals that primarily define Whitechapel‘s sound, especially the high (and yet guttural) singing which sounds so bad-ass and evil. I’ve been listening to Whitechapel for a nice six years, and l’ve always appreciated their lyrics. The song Worship the Digital Age is a prime example of downright brutal song-writing, and it talks about the current state of our civilization and our fucked-up means of entertainment, and how we sold our souls to worship the digital age. Again, layered vocals with so much of mixing; Phil’s style and lyrical content has taken a huge turn over the last few years. I mean, at some point Phil’s just writing shit, senseless and asinine lyrics. It also makes him appear to be quite a douche (refer to Mono lyrics). I’m a big fan of his style and irresistible energy… but not on this album. For the amount of work done on this album and going by their words “working harder on perfecting every song than they ever had before”, it fails to convince their listeners. There’s nothing noteworthy apart from the couple of songs I mentioned, until the halfway mark. Black Out is another good song – powerful and moving.
I’m afraid that’s all I have to say about Our Endless War. There’s nothing great about the album except that Whitechapel‘s song-writing has improved a bit, and the use of three guitars is now even more justified. It’s not only about chugging riffs and hardcore music anymore – it’s about some good song-writing and making great use of the instruments. I’ve always thought of Whitechapel as a mind-blowing band and I look forward to more releases from them.