A New Era of Corruption (Metal Blade)
Just a few years ago, the local death-metal six-piece Whitechapel was playing all-ages matinees at the old Electric Ballroom and headlining gyms in Blount County. Now they’re near the top of the Billboard charts—A New Era of Corruption, the band’s third disc and second for indie giant Metal Blade, opened at #43 earlier this month and sold more than 10,000 copies in its first week. Phil Bozeman’s monstrous voice and a three-guitar lineup are used to massive effect on A New Era. The band’s songwriting is fully formed, fitting classic metal melody (check out the solos on “A Future Corrupt” and “Prayer of Mockery”) and new-millennium technical flash on top of dense, elaborately constructed riffs. And Bozeman’s becoming one of the best vocalists in metal, the alternating shrieks and bellows of previous records streamlined here into a malicious bark that drops to a roar as deep as a bottomless pit. This isn’t for everyone, but the target audience is getting bigger, and A New Era is aimed right at it.