Releasing their 7th album within 12 years, Knoxville heavyweights bring The Valley to the masses claiming that “Lyrically, emotionally, melody wise, there are not many ‘happy’ sounding parts on this record” which being blunt will come as great news to the majority of fans.
Truly using this platform as a way to express trials and tribulations throughout his life, vocalist Phil Bozeman suggested the album title in reference to the Hardin Valley, near Knoxville, Tennessee, to be the foundation for his rage as he uses it to create something positive in his music, celebrating the fact that he has survived his experiences and also hoping to reach out and provide a way for those who may also be experiencing similar difficulties to express their emotions.
Opening the album with ‘When a Demon Defiles a Witch’ the heaviness grabs you by the throat and starts to squeeze. The powerful growl provided by Bozeman is deep and raw whilst the crashing of the drums and the sharpness of the guitars creates a huge sound. This track does include some sombre sounding clean vocals during some melodic sections, however when this track hits go, it goes hard.
This is the theme for the album, predominantly being crushingly heavy, quick paced and with the aggressive vocals, this feels like a monster at times. The passion and untamed emotion flow through every riff, lyric and beat as the real-life experiences are relived.
‘Hickory Creek’ is one of the more melodic tracks, with a slow pace and clean vocal which really goes to remind you how heavy the rest of he album is, but also puts a more realistic emotional experience onto the album, when the rages leaves, what are we left with.
‘Black Bear’ follows ‘Hickory Creek’ with a huge riff before exploding into a choppy instrumental with a brutal vocal over the top, really beating the ear drums and allowing that anger and frustration to flow again.
‘The Other Side’ is a non stop moshing monster, shout along with the vocals as the the drums are pummelled and the guitars provide a contrasting melody at times, illustrating the conflict inside perfectly. This is certain to be a fan favourite and will sound even more massive live.
The 41 minutes that The Valley lasts for is a rollercoaster of emotion and feels like a huge step forward, both for the band but also for the process of dealing with individual hardships and trauma experienced throughout life. Be prepared to feel drained yet empowered after this experience, as Whitechapel have possibly produced the best of their releases which will connect to many.
The Valley is released 29th March 2019 via Metal Blade Records
- When a Demon Defiles a Witch
- Forgiveness Is Weakness
- Hickory Creek
- Black Bear
- We Are One
- The Other Side
- Third Depth
- Doom Woods