Certain albums define a band and their career more than others. They seem to resonate on a wider level for some reason, connecting on a musical level that transcends any release before or after.
Such was the case with Whitechapel’s 2019 album The Valley, which advanced the band’s sound into unfamiliar waters without straying too far from the path which had forged their path to that point.
With the release of its follow-up Kin – which is out now – the band expands on that new-found freedom even further, culminating in an even more dynamic and comfortable feeling album that will only accentuate Whitechapel’s standing amongst the metal elite.
For the first time, it could feasibly be argued that Whitechapel have released an album which contains almost as much homage to rock music as it does metal, while still maintaining the DNA that is Whitechapel’s music.
Conceptually, Kin is a follow-up to The Valley, but musically it is an entirely different beast altogether.
Guitarist Ben Savage joined HEAVY to dissect the new album and further explore their musical growth.
“The album is… it’s definitely a metal record,” Savage measured. “It’s got elements of what we’ve previously been known for with deathcore and down tuned, deep chugging sounds, but it has new elements of classic rock and 90s metal and rock. We’ve run the gamut as far as classic guitar solos and beautiful clean vocal passages. We’re so happy with it.”
Following the success of The Valley and the shift in intent, it is only reasonable to surmise that Whitechapel would have felt under a touch of pressure going into Kin, a fact confirmed by Savage.
“Yeah, at first we did,” he nodded, “but once we started writing the songs and getting them more and more complete the album started to take shape and we felt more free because we didn’t have any tours booked. The pandemic was sweeping everybody, everybody was in the same boat so we focused our intent and everything on this album.”
In the full interview, Ben talks more about Kin, writing and recording on the clock, the new musical elements and why the band decided to go down that path, how this album continues on from The Valley, the lyrics and how they relate to the music, new drummer Alex Rudinger and what he brings to the sound, the cover image and what it signifies and more.