When Whitechapel started embracing groove metal, first blending it into their output two albums ago, they created a level of tension in their fanbase. A resistance was to be expected, but the question was always how far they'd go. Well, The Valley makes it clear that the clean vocals and more melodic moments are here to stay, for better or worse.

The good news? If you are ok with these changes to the band's palate you will be rewarded. The full embrace of grove metal here allows for a beauty & the beast style album, full of mellow radio-friendly sections and whiplash intensity. So, if you want an album that sounds like Cattle Decapitation fucking Seether in the middle of a rural town, here ya go. They seem much more comfortable here, and I can only expect future releases will remain in this zone.

In all, The Valley is a great album worth checking out. Give it a spin when you get the chance.

Rating: ***1/2