For many metalheads, the definition of "deathcore" seems allusive, save that it’s a form of death metal that has perhaps one too many breakdowns. Whitechapel are a shining example of the triviality of such subgenre definitions. On their Recorrupted EP, the Knoxville sextet (three guitarists, oy) blast through one original track, two remixes, an acoustic version, and a Pantera cover, and do so with the versatility and signature style of any decent death-metal band. The results, of course, vary.
“Section 8” is a burly one, with ominous opening tones giving way to a Meshuggah-esque torrent of whinnying guitar leads and all-over-the-place percussion. The guitars are bombastic but maintain a thick, muted feel to them throughout the solos, reminiscent of modern Swedish death metal. The band’s cover of Pantera’s “Strength Beyond Strength” is cool, especially in how different it is from the original; Whitechapel do their best to inject their sound into Dimebag’s grooves. The remixes—Big Chocolate dubstepping all over “Breeding Violence” and Dillinger Escape Plan’s Ben Weinman giving the pretty hate machine treatment to “This Is Exile”—are iffy at best, their dry electronica influence stripping Whitechapel’s music of it’s dark, satisfying chug and churn. The acoustic rendition of “End of Flesh,” however, is masterful. The band perfectly layers multiple guitar tracks to convey the original’s ominous and sinister tone.
Recorrupted does what it does relatively well—it displays a band that, despite categories and subgenres, is simply a product of its influences. This is a band that knows its Pantera, its Fear Factory, its Death. While not terribly mindblowing, this EP is a quick and entertaining listen, even if you’re not especially into "deathcore" or whatever the flying fuck the kids are calling metal these days. CHRIS KROVATIN