Whitechapel - KIN [2LP] | RECORD STORE DAY

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At this stage in the game, the name Whitechapel commands respect. Already sitting on one of the most enviable catalogs in contemporary metal, in 2019 they dropped The Valley, showcasing a confident evolution in their sound and standing as a true landmark release that sets a new standard for the genre. In 2021, they return with that album's successor, the mighty Kin, which is an even more dynamic and diverse collection, further advancing the band's sound into new territory without losing sight of what brought them to this point. The commencement of writing for the album was a direct result of the Covid pandemic, the band having several tours lined up to finish out the cycle for The Valley, but when these got cancelled, they decided to refocus their energies and begin working on a new record. The result is a collection that explores a lot of sonic and emotional territory, and for the first time, it could be said that a Whitechapel record is as much a rock album as it is a metal one, an assertion guitarist Alex Wade agrees with. "It's still very much a metal album, I don't think you would hear any of the songs on mainstream radio, but there are elements of the record that have more of a rock and open vibe. We really wanted these songs to breathe and have life and to sound bigger than anything we've made so far. We have explored more singing on 'Kin' too. It wouldn't make sense to have the majority of the fanbase enjoy that sound and then shy away from it." This is not to say that the band have lost their hardest edges, with the full-on death metal assault that kicks off both "Lost Boy" and "To The Wolves" as brutal and serrated as extreme metal gets, and while vocalist Phil Bozeman explores his wide-ranging singing voice more, he also cuts loose with his trademark roar across the album's eleven tracks.