Whitechapel – “The Brotherhood Of The Blade” DVD / CD (Metal Blade Records)
Not a band shy of music videos, and after five releases – not to mention their gargantuan tours – it’s about time we had something live from Knoxville deathcore stars Whitechapel. In this case its an equally mammoth 13 track live album recorded at The International in their hometown on a combined DVD / CD package. Initially launched via a crowd funding campaign that well surpassed its target, “The Brotherhood Of The Blade” consists of a documentary following the band on tour and at home, plus a full length live concert for those yet to experience their extreme! As one of the few deathcore bands to ever crack the Billboard top 10, plus a #1 spot on the Billboard Hard Rock chart, this release delves deep into the minds of the band and moreover what experiences they’ve had over the past near decade. Shot and directed by Mathis Arnell for Naughty Mantis, with live show audio recording, mixing, and mastering by Audiohammer’s Mark Lewis, what immediately impresses is the clarity of the recording, no mean feat considering Whitechapel’s extreme sound delivered from their 4 pronged guitar attack, not to mention Ben Harclerode’s devastating drum work! Visually, it’s competent with all the angles covered and while not breaking any special effects boundaries, accurately coveys the live atmosphere of a Whitechapel gig with plenty of close ups at this full to the brim venue. From the chugging ‘I, Dementia’ where vocalist Phil Bozeman doesn’t let up with the crowd prompting them to repeatedly ‘…take me away..’ to the visceral ‘Worship The Digital Age’ to the ode to Tennessee of ‘The Saw Is The Law’ with plenty of djent bending riffs, rapcore vocals and a stomping groove, Whitechapel complete the circle with this powerful live package that will only serve to consolidate their fearsome live reputation as a trip into the extreme!