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Country: USA

Kin’ bio
By: Dan Slessor
At this stage in the game, the name Whitechapel commands respect. Already sitting on one of the
most enviable catalogs in contemporary metal, in 2019 they dropped The Valley, showcasing a
confident evolution in their sound and standing as a true landmark release that sets a new standard
for the genre. “To me, it was like the stars aligning for us to create our almost perfect record in
regard to songwriting, vocal performance, the mix and master, and the artwork,” says guitarist Alex
Wade. “We like to look at our albums as chapters of our career, and that is one chapter I will never
forget. I think it really solidified that we can embrace a new sound, and if we execute it properly,
then the fanbase is going to support and enjoy it.” In 2021, they return with that album’s successor,
the mighty Kin, which is an even more dynamic and diverse collection, further advancing the band’s
sound into new territory without losing sight of what brought them to this point. “I feel with every
album, we learn what worked best on the last one and try to utilize that in our writing. Early in the
writing, there was some discussion of the album being like ‘The Valley’ part II, not literally called
that, but in how the songs sound and flow through it. It’s very much a storytelling type record like
‘The Valley’ was,” adds vocalist Phil Bozeman, “Musically, we just want to create what we vibe
with at the given moment. We write music with how we feel and not what is expected of us, while
lyrically the idea of continuing from the story of ‘The Valley’ was always the goal.”
The commencement of writing for the album was a direct result of the Covid pandemic, the band
having several tours lined up to finish out the cycle for The Valley, but when these got cancelled,
they decided to refocus their energies and begin working on a new record. “We started writing
sessions beginning in May and would write for usually a week solid, then take a few weeks off to let
everyone digest that material, reset and gain new ideas and perspectives on the songs, then get back
together for another week to continue the process,” says Wade. Working for the first time with
drummer Alex Rudinger, who has been touring with them since 2019, they treated writing like a
job, working from 12pm to 7pm before taking a break, and if they found themselves grinding gears
on a particular song, they would shift to working on another one, which helped refresh them. Wade
also admits that following The Valley was initially a daunting task, something that he soon
overcame. “I can’t speak for everyone in the band, but personally, I did feel slightly intimidated at
first, wondering if we could summon that kind of magic again, but after hearing some of the demos
we were working on, I felt more confident in being able to recreate a similar vibe to ‘The Valley’ on
the new one. I feel like our songwriting is done in layers, and as each layer is created and placed
into the songs, they begin to take on a life and personality of their own. So, with each layer, you get
more confident in the songs and the impact that they are going to have.” The result is a collection
that explores a lot of sonic and emotional territory, and for the first time, it could be said that a
Whitechapel record is as much a rock album as it is a metal one, an assertion Wade agrees with.
“It’s still very much a metal album, I don’t think you would hear any of the songs on mainstream
radio, but there are elements of the record that have more of a rock and open vibe. We really wanted
these songs to breathe and have life and to sound bigger than anything we’ve made so far. We have
explored more singing on ‘Kin’ too. It wouldn’t make sense to have the majority of the fanbase enjoy
that sound and then shy away from it.” This is not to say that the band have lost their hardest edges,
with the full-on death metal assault that kicks off both “Lost Boy” and “To The Wolves” as brutal
and serrated as extreme metal gets, and while Bozeman explores his wide-ranging singing voice
more, he also cuts loose with his trademark roar across the album’s eleven tracks.
With Bozeman exploring childhood trauma on The Valley, it was their darkest release to-date, but
its successor, which continues the story told on that record, is darker still. The album title pertains to
relatives, which is what the album is about, but the deeper meaning behind this plays into the idea
that the vocalist’s alternate reality/persona is his kin as well. “It’s a fictional representation of a non-
fictional story. I’m coming from a ‘what if’ standpoint. I’m also representing it in a way that conveys
a more deep and dark frame of mind. This is all about what I could’ve been, had I decided to take
the dark road. For the sake of storytelling, there are supernatural elements in play here as well,”
explains Bozeman. While each song is complex and would require going line by line to truly break
down what they are actually about, Bozeman offers explanations of the first three. Opener “I Will
Find You” takes place right after the last track off The Valley, “Doom Woods”, which sees Bozeman
entering into his life following the events characterized on that album. “However, I am being
followed by my alternate reality/evil self. It’s the part of me that can’t let go and will go to any
heights to find the real me and pull me back into the dark past that I want to move on from.” Then
there is “Lost Boy”, where the vocalist and his alternate self meet for the first time. “He tries to
convince me into going into his reality, which is a false sense of security. He knows I’m at a
vulnerable point of my life, and this is a perfect time to pull me in. However, I resist and the
alternate me is cast back into where he came from.” This leads directly into “A Bloodsoaked
Symphony”, which sees his alternate self living through the tragedies of his life in a never-ending
loop. Eventually the character kills himself only to find himself in the same world, but it’s dark,
depressing, and he’s full of delusional thoughts. “My parents are with him, but in a brain dead,
corpse-like state, but his delusion sees it as a way to be together. Throughout the song, he relives
certain parts of our past life but with different outcomes.”
These haunting lyrics and themes are accompanied by album art designed by Jillian Savage – as
Wade explains, “The artwork was a concept that was developed by Ben Savage and the band that
was hand-painted by Ben’s wife, Jillian Savage. Ben arranged a mock-up of what we were
envisioning digitally, then they projected that image onto a canvas, and she painted the piece in a
pointillism style – dot by dot – over the course of several weeks. The result produced the perfect vibe
for the more artistic direction of the record. Not only was the music painstakingly labored over, but
the art was too.”
Tracking of Kin was predominantly done at guitarist Zach Householder’s home studio with
producer Mark Lewis producing his fifth straight Whitechapel album, making for a very
comfortable working environment. “Creating records with him has an effortless flow to it, and we
can track things pretty quickly and efficiently these days,” says Wade. “Mark has a great ear for
giving us unique and complementary guitar and drum tones for the songs we are trying to record.”
Spending two weeks hunting for the right rhythm guitar tone before commencing, like writing, the
band treat tracking like a job, putting in the hours between 12pm-8pm, Monday to Saturday, which
is the most productive way of working. The tracks were then sent off to David Castillo at
Ghostward Studios in Sweden in February 2021 for mixing, Ted Jensen mastering it in Nashville in
March, making for a total of ten months spent on the record, the longest the band have worked on
one to-date. Now, having another album they can be as proud of as its predecessor, it stands them in
good stead as they look toward the future. “I see more growth and a limitless potential,” says
Wade. “I think we found a great formula on ‘The Valley’, and we used that to create another
monumental record for our career that I can’t wait for people to hear. We hope to continue to grow
our fanbase with this new album, and always seek to move in a positive direction. I’m excited as the
pandemic lessens for the touring world to come back to life and to be able to perform these massive
songs we have created in the manner they were meant to be heard – live and loud.”
Kin track-listing
1. I Will Find You
2. Lost Boy
3. A Bloodsoaked Symphony
4. Anticure
5. The Ones That Made Us
6. History Is Silent
7. To the Wolves
8. Orphan
9. Without You
10. Without Us
11. Kin
Whitechapel online: