Some bands are brutal. I mean, you know they are brutal because they have spiked leather codpieces, or maybe corpse paint, or perhaps full Viking regalia including a longship with red light up eyes and smoke belching nostrils. It’s important to get these details right, otherwise how are people going to know to expect brutality.
Maybe someone should tell Whitechapel frontman Phil Bozeman.
Judging by the t-shirts on display, Whitechapel had a substantial following among the younger members of the BOA audience, and by the time they arrive onstage in the afternoon sunshine the atmosphere has taken on a bit of an edge as the deathcore powderkeg is set to explode.
Whitechapel hit things flat out right from the off. Appearances are deceptive, they certainly don’t look like the roaring death metal machine that they proved themselves to be within about the first 5 seconds of set opener Make It Bleed. Given their fairly early stage time the crowd that had gathered had made the effort to be there for the Knoxville6-piece, and that effort is rewarded with one of the most intense, passionate and f’kin angry sets to grace the BOA main stage all weekend.
If the pit security guys were expecting an easy start to the day, they were in for a surprise as the first crowdsurfers of the day came over the barrier, while one of the most ferocious circle pits of the whole weekend opened up. Bozeman is a master at getting a crowd whipped up into a frenzy, extolling the faithful to keep the pits going with ever increasing levels of lunacy.
Certainly not one for the faint of heart, Whitechapel were properly unrelenting, and by the time the inevitable Wall Of Death happened during finale This Is Exile it looked like the band had succeeded in leaving more than one exuberant punter battered, bloodies and bruised.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a band put over this level of intensity at an early slot on a major festival… and if this is what they were like here I can’t f’kin wait to find out what carnage they bring to a dark, sweaty little club.