WSOU Album of the Month: Whitechapel’s Kin
Seton Hall University’s WSOU is the only all-metal, all-the-time radio station currently broadcasting in the U.S., and has been a force in metal for decades. It’s also streamable online from anywhere in the world!
Each month on MetalSucks, a WSOU staff member will share a review of an album they’re currently digging. Enjoy!
Written by Valentino Pietro Petrarca
Whitechapel truly made jaws drop with their previous album, The Valley, leaving fans anxious and excited to hear what the band had cooking up next. Upon hearing Kin, adding it into our station’s new music rotation and listening to fan reception, WSOU is proud to name it as our album of the month.
With Kin, the band delivers their most captivating and unique record yet with so many new and exciting elements added not only to the band’s own sound, but to metal as a whole. This album deserves all the praise it’s been getting.
Musically speaking, Kin has the widest range of sonic emotions we’ve heard from Whitechapel to date. There are serene moments of calm, explosive elements of brutal anger, and soulful passaged all weaved throughout. The band truly branches out and incorporates as much under the rock umbrella as they can to deliver an album listening experience that is 100% original and unique to them. Frontman Phil Bozeman’s clean vocals could carry an album on their own and his heavy screams have become a staple of metal in the ’00s. The triple guitar attack of Ben Savage, Zach Householder and Alex Wade is immediately recognizable; they truly help carry the sound of the record, especially on tracks like “Orphan.” Gabe Crisp proves himself yet again as an extremely versatile bass player, and Alex Rudinger does a fantastic job on his first album appearance with the band.
But it’s not all about the music: Kin is a concept album with lyrics that continue right where 2019’s The Valley left off. To truly hear and appreciate Phil’s lyricism, we recommend you open up the lyrics and follow along. The album opener, “I Will Find You,” sets the stage perfectly for the journey the listener is about to experience while “Without You/Us” is the most climatic moment of the story and the title track and closer, “Kin,” feels like the epilogue. There are so many interpretations of the lyrics already floating around, and there will continue to be so, but this much is certain: this is not a record that can really be digested in one sitting, and nothing on it is meant to be taken at surface level. Just listening to the screaming would be doing yourself a severe disservice. As a fan of concept albums and metal, I urge you to check these lyrics out.
The pacing of this record is also flawless. Once sucked in, listeners can experience the ebbs and flows that makes Kin what it is. Every single time I found myself starting to get bored, the album changed pace and continued to be as engaging as possible; a 48 minute album feels like less than 20 because of how enthralling it is. For example, after two incredible heavy tracks like “Lost Boy” and “A Bloodsoaked Symphony,” we get treated with the airy and slower “Anticure.” After the slow section at the end of “History is Silent,” the band erupts into “To the Wolves.”
There are so many album highlights on Kin, but no glaring negatives. Every song serves its purpose and serves it well. It’s almost as if the band knows exactly what the listener wants to hear every second. This album feels like one cohesive piece of music that just happens to be broken into songs.
Kin is WSOU’s album of the month for its impeccable songwriting, profound and mysterious lyrics, and perfect pacing, showcasing the band proving themselves as masters of their craft. It has everything a fan of heavy music could ask for and reminds me why I love metal.
Other Notable Records This Month: Welcome to Horrorwood by Ice Nine Kills, In The Court of the Dragon by Trivium, Hushed and Grim by Mastodon, Radical by Every Time I Die.