This Week in Misplaced Outrage: There’s a Petition for Whitechapel to Re-Record Our Endless War with Tube Amps

I was told a story once, about a band that wanted to record the sound of a guy screaming. I think it was Burnt by the Sun or maybe their guitarists’ previous band Time’s Up. Anyway, the solution they devised was to lock one of their guys in a closet until he panicked, thrashing and yelling that he needed to get out. During the course of the conversation in which this was explained to me, I asked why they didn’t just find someone who could act. I was told that the band wanted it to sound authentic. But often the sound of something crafted rings true more than the genuine article. First there’s the practicalities: are they going to record the guy through a door? That’s going to sound distant, muffled. More importantly, though, what if he doesn’t have a realistic scream? “Of course his scream is realistic,” you might respond, “because it’s not acting, he really wants to get out.” But we have a certain expectation for what these things should sound like, conditioned by lifetimes of film and television. Some people don’t do it right. Sometimes you need an actor to be authentic. The point isn’t whether the person recording the scream is feeling the emotion. Only the person listening to the album matters. Do they feel the intended emotion? Who cares what happened in the studio?


What does this have to do with Whitechapel? I was sent a link, by reader Luke Burket, to a petition. It’s a request for Whitechapel to re-record the Our Endless War guitar tracks with “raw, real, tube amps.” Well I have good news and bad news for you folks. The good news is that it’s likely that the band wouldn’t even have to re-track the guitar parts. It’s become commonplace for the direct, straight-from-the-guitar tone to be recorded, in case re-amping is necessary in mixing. Since the band tracked using a Kemper Profiling Amp, odds are that the direct-from-guitar audio is still available.

Now here’s the bad news for you: it’s really, really unlikely that the band will indulge in such an undertaking. And not just because a whopping 5 people have signed the petition as of this moment. No, it’s because we can safely assume that the band likes the tones they got. And fans obviously are happy with the record, since it’s the first Whitechapel album to crack the Billboard top 10.

But most importantly, would you have known that the guitar tones were generated by a Kemper Profiling Amp if the “making of” videos didn’t spell it out for you? Honestly? Because I call bullshit on that. This is subjective, but I think the recording is a vast improvement over the band’s last record, drum and guitar tones alike. And if anything the guitar tones are less hyped in the highs and lows than what I’ve come to expect from the realm of polished modern metal. There’s nothing that would convince me that the amps were modeled besides the video evidence. How could anyone be sure that what you’re hearing isn’t just the nature of the mic or the preamp, the mixing job or the mastering?

And most importantly, who gives a flying fuck? If you don’t like the guitar tone, fine. But let’s not forget that bad guitar recordings are equal opportunity, friend to microphones and s/pdif outputs alike.

Written by

Chris Alfano has written about music and toured in bands since print magazines and were popular. Once in high-school he hacked a friend's QBasic stick figure fighting game to add a chiptune metal soundtrack. Random attractive people still give him high-fives about that.

Latest comments
  • Its a Whitechapel album. Its not going to sound good regardless of the equipment because they are awful.

    • Yeah, I don’t get the “Whitechapel are the one deathcore band that isn’t shit” hype. No, they’re not. They’re awful. All Shall Perish are the best deathcore band and their singer left to join one of the worst deathcore bands in existence.

  • if the songs were good, maybe it would be worth pursuing. something tells me these turds wouldn’t know how to get a good tone with a real tube amp if they were in a warehouse full of them though.

  • This is metal’s equivalent of old men who petition the government to abolish the internet.

    • When ever someone says old men in relation to metal I always default back to thinking about this video.

  • Not my favorite but their drumkit sounded killer live the other night. You can hear even through this phone recording .

  • Where do I sign up to get them banned period?

    • tell em just a name of your favourite band and i sign a petition to ban you

  • I fully support this petition. There’s no reason why shitty, now-mainstream deathcore can’t sound organic and tonally awesome.

  • That would be the equivalent to finding Bigfoot and making him cook breakfast for you. Obviously the tone would change, but to get the same magic that happen when they tracked the album is impossible. Thats why other bands haven’t done it. People should do research on recording and engineering before they make a fool of them selfs. Its the 21st century, everything is going digital.

  • Sounds great to me, though I like the way Pinnacle of Bedlam was recorded, but Whitechapel should leave this record as it is despite the critics’ opinions.

  • its funny seeing these posts about how horrible whitechapel are but heres a question. when was the last time you had an album on the billboards top 10?

    • It seems like only yesterday that they recorded the Black album and no one was ever happy afterwards. Ah, let’s kick the beehive again and again and again and again, because Metal.

    • By your reasoning that makes Justin Bieber’s albums better than just about every metal album in existence. Honestly, if you think the quality of an album is determined by how many people buy it, she shouldn’t be listening to metal.

    • Yeah cause sales = quality. Justin Bieber proves this.

  • When two giraffes fight, it’s usually neck and neck.

  • See them live. Their tone is honestly unfuckwithable.

  • I love how the people who are talking shit about Whitechapel are the same people who probably love Cannibal Corpse and Dying Fetus. And yes, I am saying there’s almost no difference between Death Metal/Slam Death Metal and Deathcore. ;)

    • Well that just proves how much of a tonedeaf moron you are. And yes I love CC and DF, because they’re awesome.

      • ok….but who fucking cares about your tastes? if you like certain bands we don t …you do, we dont, you do we dont……you are all a bunch of stupid people… after one, all a bunch of idiots…i wish a tsunami will destroy all humans.,….because we became all a bunch of idiots….just to let you know that whitechapel don t give a shit if you don t like them.

        • You seem to care a disturbingly large amount.

    • nope, those bands suck too

    • Well that’s because you are deaf my child.

  • I love how people start bitching about the tone coming from the Kemper. The thing is – those fucking morons don´t have an Idea what the Kemper actually does. It´s not a modeller. You don´t model a sound. You PROFILE (duuuuuuuuuhhhhh) it. It´s SO GOOD that you actually can´t hear the difference between real amp and profile – especially not in a full mix. Seriously. Youtube it. Lasse Lammert did a nice blind test. Now shut up about the sound not being natural.

  • jesus wept

    shitty band, who cares what amps they use

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