Sunday, February 25, 2024

The Valley by Whitechapel

After a three-year wait, the boys from Knoxville are back with their seventh studio album, The Valley.

It is quite possible that there has never been a darker, more raw album ever conceived in the history of mankind. Phil Bozeman is quoted in the bio for this album as saying; “It’s all about me as a child, and some of it is me looking back on that time from the perspective of now,” he explains. “Also, it’s my interpretation of my mom’s struggles and her different personalities. She had a journal that contained very disturbing and sometimes evil writings, and some of her quotes and a lot of that journal is in the lyrics.”

Over these ten tracks we find some distance has been put in place between the days of old, a distinct contrast from the deathcore spirit, to a new, more melodic style. Fear not though fans, this is still unmistakably, Whitechapel. Along with this new sonic venture, we also come across the very first all-clean vocals song from Bozeman in the albums’ forth track ‘Hickory Creek’ which was unquestionably a sublime choice. If you haven’t heard it – a music video for this track was released back in March, which was dedicated to Theresa Bozeman – I defy you to disagree with me. Switching to clean singing sincerely provides the song with a greater weight to it, emphasizing its emotional impact.

You can watch the video for ‘Hickory Creek’ here:

The ninth track, ‘Lovelace’ has Bozeman crying out for both his parents, begging them for help, pleading with them. This culminates in the dark, heart wrenching lyrics “What moment did you realise that I meant nothing? When did everything fall apart?”
It is a particularly moving song, a mixture of anger and anguish – “I’m trapped inside a nightmare, wake me up or put me in the ground” and “Mother can you see me, I need you to be there” – desperation to be able to see and talk to both his deceased parents once again.

The Valley is a deeply personal album to Bozeman, who is heavily supported by his fellow band mates. It’s another level of braveness and dedication to the craft, digging so deep, weaving quotes and journal writings in with the lyrics. It feels so raw, but ultimately as many musicians have said time and time again, it may be a cathartic release and therapy for Bozeman. Putting this level of your life into artistic expression at this level is something I can only commend.

I highly recommend The Valley, which is available from March 29th.

Rich Broome
Rich Broome
I have blue eyes and like long walks along the beach... I'm an autodidactic freelance music photographer who likes writes reviews on the side! Feel free to leave any comments on my reviews! I'm into a wide range of music and love comedies like Spaced and Black Books. I have worked on P&O Cruises as a photographer and lab technician, which was a great way to travel!

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