In preparation for the main stage at Bloodstock Open Air, Tennessee’s Whitechapel take to the sweaty confines of Camden Underworld.
It’s a real surprise as to how well received Borders  considering they were announced at very short notice (i.e. the day of the show) in place of Carcer City. The four-piece’s djent-tinged metalcore isn’t the most unusual or distinct, but the audience respond well with the first mosh pits of the evening as the band themselves put in an animated performance.
Abhorrent Decimation  are arguably less ‘core’ than their peers this evening, and their brand of white-hot death metal takes a while to summon a suitable reaction. However, once they settle into a set of crushing riffage and guttural brutality the audience’s intensity ups a notch and the pits become more violent. Leaning heavily on cuts from new album The Pardoner (which was only released five days earlier) the band demonstrate a greater understanding of dynamics than your typical death metal band, ensuring that when the breakdowns hit they do so in a way that floors the listener.
When Whitechapel  take to the stage they waste no time in diving head first in to fan favourites- “The Saw Is The Law” sounds monstrous when shouted by a packed Underworld. Opting to predominantly draw upon their previous three releases, the band sound particularly muscular punishing as the sextet lock into pummeling grooves that get heads banging and fists raised. With little rest between songs the band relentlessly plough through with intensity, save for the relative breather of “Bring Me Home”, a brooding ballad of sorts that builds with hefty guitars and epic leads. When the band occasionally dip into their earlier works the audience respond in a rapture, particularly to the churning groan of “Prostatic Fluid Asphyxiation” and an encore of “This Is Exile” which sees front man Phil Bozeman deploying brutal pig squeals that sends the crowd in to rapture. While a few more hits would be welcomed (no “Possession” nor “The Darkest Day Of Man”?), tonight Whitechapel show that of all the deathcore bands that burst from the mid 2000s, they’re the ones that have matured into a respectable metal band in their own right.