Since their 2007 debut, The Somatic Defilement, Whitechapel's output has been mired in darkness, but they have never inhabited blacker territory than where we find them on 7th full-length, The Valley. "Lyrically, emotionally, melody wise, there are not many 'happy' sounding parts on this record," states guitarist Alex Wade. "Our last album, Mark of the Blade (2016) did not sound exactly 'happy' either, but the majority of those songs did not have much emotion or vibe behind them, they were just straightforward metal songs. These songs have a darker, more melancholic presentation to them." With vocalist Phil Bozeman having never held back when it comes to speaking his mind, and delivering lyrics as uncompromising as his decimating vocals, this time around he gets even more personal, and in looking to the hardships of his childhood the music needed to fit the tone. "It's all about me as a child, and some of it is me looking back on that time from the perspective of now," he explains. "Also, it's my interpretation of my mom's struggles and her different personalities. She had a journal that contained very disturbing and sometimes evil writings, and some of her quotes and a lot of that journal is in the lyrics."