Behind the Cover: Whitechapel - Kin

Unmasking the layers entrenched within the pointilistic shades of blue.

Words by Luis (@luis.hoa):

In a contemporary, accelerated world of self-destructive overstimulation and overwhelming responsibility, one tends to overlook the true significance of genuine media. Music becomes background noise or merely a soundtrack to the long commutes to and from work, removing the organic nature of this otherwise spiritual experience. This brings forth a need to find time to sit back and engage, even if only for a few minutes a day, to truly let it resonate in ways that perhaps can help one find a deeper understanding of life and the unique circumstances it finds us in. There's more than meets the eye to what one could consider "simple", and if we allow for it to breathe as a canvas, new layers begin to unfold. Knoxville, Tennessee's Whitechapel understand this well and as such have grown to be intentional about every aspect of their comprehensive release cycles. In the case of today's announcement of new album Kin, the accompanying arts are capable of swallowing you whole as the band's trailblazing deathcore rips through in unison.

Arriving on October 29th via the always consistent Metal Blade Records, Kin marks the largest audiovisual departure from anything in the band's 15 year trajectory. Sonically, it finds the deathcore unit exploring more a more seamless blend of vocal alternation while letting melody take the forefront on a frequent basis. Artistically, it sports a front cover of pointilism wonder, crafted by multifaceted artists Jillian Savage, partner of guitarist Ben Savage. What appears to be two ambiguous beings staring at each other as wave-like energies flow throughout them is much more, as you'll come to learn today. Every dot and every maniacal detail was meticulously placed to evoke the same cathartic feelings of the Kin's prevalent themes. As the saying goes, there's a method to the madness and we're only a conduit to a full-length composition that astounds in more ways than one.

We go Behind the Cover of Kin with Ben Savage and fine artist Jillian Savage to dissect the month-long cover creation, the hidden meaning among it, the importance of artistic distinction in metal, and where Kin stands as a crucial entry in this new era for Whitechapel:

Ben, Whitechapel has worked with a variety of artists across the band’s discography, like Branca Studio for ‘The Valley’ (2019), Colin and Aaron Marsh on ‘Mark of the Blade’ (2016) and ‘Endless War’ (2014), and Colin Marks on ‘This Is Exile’ (2008) to name a few. For ‘Kin’, you brought your talented partner Jillian on board for visuals. How did that all come about?

Ben: We really needed a visual with psychedelic elements for the album, which I feel can only be brought about with paints, acrylics, and canvas.