Ben Savage, lead guitarist and founding Whitechapel member, discusses Kin and their previous album, The Valley, which saw the band begin their transformation from their once-deathcore sound to a more melodic Metal sound.
The Valley was a concept centred around Phil Bozeman’s childhood. With that album, the Whitechapel sound went in what some have called unorthodox direction but is, in reality, a natural way bands develop as they grow over time.
“The Valley was a vital record for us,” Ben says. “Probably the most important of our career because it bears the seed of what became Kin. We knew we wanted part two of The Valley story.
“From that perspective, we could make the structure to the music fit that heavy subject matter. We could get more dramatic with the songs, having a very beautiful sounding part, and build to this cathartic climax. We could explore more, and we wouldn’t have been able to do that if we hadn’t released The Valley. With the power of that story and everything involved, it really helped.”
Kin finds the band still nicely brutal in places, with songs like The Ones That Made Us a real eardrum blasting heavy beauty. Lost Boy is a fantastic example of the band’s development. Heavy to start, the track moves through the clean vocal section to a rip-roaring Ben Savage guitar solo outro, with Phil singing, ‘we’re in this together; you’re mine forever.’
Anticure has an epic quieter opening and builds beautifully. It is an excellent example of how the different vocal styles fit together.
The trio of songs that complete the album begins with the wonderfully picked acoustic guitar in Without You, which then moves into the thunderous opening riff of the next track, Without Us. Kin promises to top the success of The Valley. “We’re very excited for everyone to hear it,” Ben says. “Our fans loved the Valley. That was the best response we’ve had for any of our albums.
The track Kin closes the album. Two minutes, 40 seconds of heartfelt loss with the lyrics, some beautiful guitar and a drummed fantastic riff, and then the most melodic solo build for a further three minutes. This is a beautiful song and an awe-inspiring way to end the album.
“Kin is the continuation of the story. It is going to be exciting. It’s like watching Kill Bill One, and then Kill Bill Two comes out, you know? You want to see it.”
That Whitechapel are continuing to push the boundaries of deathcore is very exciting, and Kin is a further example of how the band deserve much more mainstream recognition.