Released: 2013, Metal Blade Records
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
First things first...if you consider yourself a die-hard fan of good old classic death metal, or heavy metal in general, it is most likely that metal sub-genres that tend to end with ‘core’ are not your kind of thing at all. …and no one blames you for that. However, this review examines the remastered version of The Somatic Defilement by Whitechapel – one of the few albums that are to blame for giving birth to what we know as ‘deathcore’.
Whitechapel are an American ‘deathcore’ band from Knoxville, Tennessee and they released their debut album The Somatic Defilement back in 2007. The release of this album created a sort of sensation, as no teenager seemed to have heard anything heavier than this record before. The recognition earned by The Somatic Defilement opened the doors for many new ‘deathcore’ bands to follow and suddenly turned into a whole new scene.
April 2013 saw the release of The Somatic Defilement (Remastered) instantly raising a question if 7 years is a reasonable time to remaster and re-release an album, as some bands take 7 years to come up with a single album alone. However, The Somatic Defilement (Remastered) is now re-released under Metal Blade Records and has seen some rather excellent improvements.
The Somatic Defilement (Remastered) is a concept album that is based on Jack the Ripper’s historic murders. The opening song “Necrotizing” starts as an atmospheric and rather frightening piece with speech taken from a Jeffrey Dahmer (an American serial killer) interview. It is followed by the title track “The Somatic Defilement”, which is supposed to knock you off your feet and kick you in the face with its brutal lyrics, chugging riffs and epic growls delivered by front man Phil Bozeman.
The overall production of The Somatic Defilement (Remastered) is on a much higher level and it perfectly highlights stuff that seemed to be left in the background with its original release. The drum parts stand out a lot more and sound absolutely mind-blowing on songs like “Vicer Exciser” and “Fairy Fay”, and pretty much the rest of the album. The new production has allowed to put an accent on the bass guitar, which is no more hidden somewhere in the background behind three shredding electric guitars. Also, the growls of Phil Bozeman are truly spectacular, as he hits the lowest of low notes sounding real pissed-off and bestial.
Generally, this album will appeal to those who enjoy some face melting breakdowns with a bit of gore in the lyrics. Without pointing too much on what ‘deathcore’ has become today, this album remains a straight-forward brutal and aggressive record with lots of death metal, hardcore and grind elements. The Somatic Defilement (Remastered) is a good addition to Whitechapel fans CD collections and will make a great starting point for those who are just about to discover the band’s music.
Review by Anna Dumpe