Whitechapel is one of those bands that don't come to Buffalo often but when they do, bring everyone out to see them.
The Waiting Room at Buffalo was almost at capacity Thursday night when the Tennessee deathcore band arrived with Carnifex (who played Buffalo a month ago), Within The Ruins, Cruel Hand, and local band A Future Corrupt. Whitechapel's diverse fan base was showcased with older patrons as well as mohawk sporting youngins.
The tour, supported by Merchnow, was designed to promote their upcoming album Our Endless War which will drop on the 29th.
"We're playing a lot of the new stuff tonight as well as older songs off This is Exile," said drummer Ben Harclerode before the show. "I hope the newer songs and the album as a whole are received well because honestly it's the best shit we've put out in years."
Harclerode's wishes might come true if Buffalo's show was any indicator. When the opening chords of their new single "Our Endless War" began, most of the crowd screamed and pushed the boundaries of the pit. It was Whitechapel's first time performing it live but you wouldn't have been able to tell. Vocalist Phil Bozeman's gutturals and screams were on point and never overpowered his bandmates' instrumentals. They obviously put a great amount of time into practicing their new songs.
The energy remained high for the whole night. Between the old and new songs, fans were genuinely thrilled with every song choice on the set list. Of course, when the older songs off This is Exile and their debut album The Somatic Defilement were played, the venue roared with cheers. Having this wide range of songs on the set list provided all attendees the chance to rock out to what they knew best.
"This is Exile," "Posession," and "The Somatic Defilement" were the highlights of Whitechapel's performance. Bozeman's passion in every lyric was easily seen and rippled into the crowd. The show goers fed off his energy and bounced it right back to him like a mirror effect. Since crowd surfing isn't allowed at the venue, some fans took it upon themselves to hoist up on someone's shoulders to perform a quick mic grab. Obviously, this failed numerous times as everyone was sweaty and not in the mood to be disturbed from watching Whitechapel.
Whitechapel's signature technical and heavy riffs were consistent with their recorded sound. Everything sounded as it should and their performance was near flawless. However, the lighting in The Waiting Room makes it difficult to see stage antics sometimes and it's already dark enough as it is.
Still through the obnoxious pulsing lights and smoke guitarists Ben Savage, Zach Householder, and Alex Wade captivated the audience on the sides of the stage. They whipped their sweat soaked hair around as they furiously strummed and kept everything precise.
Local openers A Future Corrupt were heavy as always. Vocalist Ethan Fingold had the chance to play with some of his idols and stepped his vocal game up. However, Cruel Hand failed to impress and a majority of the audience took to standing at the bar or browsing Facebook on their phones.
Within The Ruins has been to Buffalo quite a few times in the past year and seemed genuinely happy to be back for the third time. Vocalist Tim Goergen utilized every inch of the stage possible on tracks such as "Feeding Frenzy" and "Solace". Buffalo seems to really take to Within The Ruins as their set sparked some energy the crowd lacked thus far.
Carnifex was of course brutal as always. Even though they were just here, Buffalo was overjoyed to have them again. Unfortunately, their set consisted as the same tracks as last month. Perhaps a little variety next time would improve the audience reaction.
After Whitechapel releases Our Endless War, they will travel to Mexico for a few dates and return to the states for another tour. Their busy tour schedule will only push the success of the new album even more. Go pick it up on the 29th, you won't be disappointed.