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Film Review: Whitechapel’s The Brotherhood of the Blade is Pretty Sharp

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If my name didn’t give it away, I’ve liked Whitechapel since The Somatic Defilement came out in 2007. As I said in my review of Fit For An Autopsy’s Absolute Hope, Absolute Hell (yep, still a 5/5 album, I’m not sorry.), This Is Exile is one of my favorite records ever, and that was the album that really got me into metal heavier than Slipknot. To say that my taste in metal evolved a lot with this band would be an understatement. I feel like I should make it known that I did NOT contribute to the crowdfunding that made this DVD possible and thus had no personal stake in whether it sucked or not. So with that out of the way, The Brotherhood of the Blade was quite enjoyable.

The first part of the DVD focuses on the band members and their touring. The documentary spends a pretty solid amount of time with each member and discusses each of their personalities within the band, painting them all as very likable; though their stage demeanor is serious, it’s always nice to know that the guys who make the music you dig aren’t a bunch of raging douche-canoes. My favorite scene was a short bit where Phil lights a fart on fire in slow motion. As all men know, there is nothing more hilarious than some brotherly farts.

But as great as it is to get up close and personal with the dudes from Whitechapel, this DVD isn’t without a couple flaws. Some of the filler shots seem out of place, particularly those near the beginning of nature and the ocean in slow motion. Similarly, most of the shots of the band playing live are also slow motion, and they’re from behind, and it doesn’t vary from that too much. Finally, some of the music dubbed over seems oddly, chosen; for example, the scene with the band hanging out at the beach has dubstep playing over it. I have nothing against dubstep, but it just doesn’t really seem to fit in a documentary about a deathcore band.

The second part of the DVD is the live set of a Whitechapel performance in their hometown, Knoxville, Tennessee, which captures a standard (awesome) Whitechapel show. The camera angles are great and the band sounds amazing, and although the crowd looked a little unenergetic that’s not Whitechapel’s fault.

The final word? This is a great DVD marred only by a couple questionable music choices, some repetitive/random camera shots and the overuse of slow motion. The cinematography and production values are stellar, and it’s a very enjoyable watch. If you’ve liked Whitechapel for as long as I have — or even if you haven’t — you owe it to yourself to buy this.

The Brotherhood of the Blade is out now via Metal Blade Records. Order it here.

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