Whitechapel returned to the House Of Blues in Chicago, IL, a venue the band is very familiar with over years, for a special evening of metal.
Kicking off the festivities was technical death metal-ers Entheos. From their first note it was clear fans came early for them and they blasted through a 30 minute set. Vocalist Chaney Crabb commanded the stage with an insane voice. Drummer Navene Koperweis needs to be spoke of more though as its not human the speed and technical skill he plays with. The band also made sure that the crowd was always moving and had security scrambling for the nonstop waves of crowd surfers making their way to the stage.
Signs Of The Swarm kicked off next. A very bass heavy blend of death metal, slam, and deathcore. The band brought back vibes of acts before them showing off the more evolved deathcore sound that happened over the years. It was clear though that the crowd came to party for them as circle pits and surfers were at a constant.
Archspire kicked it off next and showed that there is no way the band is from Earth. The Canadian tech metal gods blazed through a set with immense speed. Vocalist Oli Peters vocal speed is something that needs to be experienced live. Sounding dead on like record its hard to almost comprehend just how fast he can do his vocals. Tobi Morelli and Dean Lamb trading off duties on guitars with technical ease is a sight to see as well. It can’t be ignored though the skill set Spencer Prewett possesses on drums.
The crowd was red hot for Archspire and gave the band back energy in ten fold. After seeing 1,000 different bands live I thought I’ve seen it all but Archspire had two members of the crowd play a game of twister in the pit before having them just ravished in the middle of a wall of death.
Closing off the night though was Whitechapel. The house lights came on and vocalist Phil Bozman walked on stage. He asked the crowd how they were before informing everyone that he was incredibly sick and was going to try his best to make it though the setlist which included doing their album “The Valley” in full followed by a few hits. As the crowd cheered the rest of the band walked on stage and they broke into the opening track of “The Valley”, “When A Demon Defiles A Witch”.
While it was clear visually that Bozman was sick, vocally he sounded as massive as always. He’s also been in talks as one of deathcores leading vocalists and it shows. What he lacked in energy, often standing with the mic stand or sitting down, he never really faltered in his vocals. He asked the crowd to help extra tonight and they sang louder than the band. It was clear all members of the band were happy to be here and playing this special set for fans in Chicago, a city that has come out for the band for 10+ years.