REVIEW: WALLS OF JERICHO – “No One Can Save You From Yourself”
Walls of Jericho have had their fair share of ups and down in their 18 year long existence. With an unstable lineup for most part of their initial years, they were forced to take a hiatus between 2001 – 2003. However, they came back stronger than ever with their second full length album ‘All Hail the Dead’ after almost five years since their debut. The album won a lot of praise and the band was catapulted to the forefront of the Hardcore/Metalcore scene. Although they were never really in the thick of things, Walls Of Jericho have always been able to connect with their audience, thanks to their honest and non-compromising approach towards song writing. Eight years is undoubtedly a long time considering the amount of new material that is thrown at our faces almost every day and the ever receding attention span of “fans”. Nevertheless, Walls of Jericho are back to kick your teeth in and give you a violent reminder of the past. Those who were missing them in action will be satiated to the core with their latest release ‘No One Can Save You From Yourself’ out on 25th March via Napalm Records.
The album kick starts with an edgy intro, full of sirens amidst a warning delivered on the emergency broadcast system about martial law being imposed. The track builds up the intensity with a marching fleet and screeching guitars in the backdrop. The intro gives way to “Illusion of Safety” with Candace Kucsulain screaming her lungs out amidst a crispy drum work by Dustin Schoenhofer. “Illusion of Safety” is a short and an intense track, full of groove and aggression completing the intro and reminding us of in-your-face sound the band possesses.
Although “Illusion of Safety” provides the album a strong opening, it is actually the subsequent track “No One Can Save You From Yourself” through which the album completely takes off. With a crushing thrashy opening that alternates with a groove laden hook, the title track sums up the band’s sound in style. Kucsulain’s angst-ridden aggressive vocals combined with Chris Rawson and Mike Hasty’s crunchy distorted riffage, create a kickass mosh-worthy ambience. The track ends with a signature Metalcore breakdown that is definitely predictable but still enjoyable.
The band does not deviate much from their previous album ‘The American Dream’ and combines the same amount of thrashy belligerence and groove laden Metalcore breakdowns. Although I felt the new album creates a slightly more polished sound than before and also incorporates some variations in tempo, but nothing that stands out. Kucsulain’s furious vocals shine throughout the album and the “gang-chorus” this band often incorporates elevates the intensity and aggression to newer levels. The entire band sounds like a tight, well-oiled Metal machine as can be seen on tracks like “Cutbird” and “Relentless”. There are many moments the band creates on this album that you just can’t take sitting down; “Anthem” for instance. It starts off with a nice melodic intro but quickly twists into a thrash monster that will blow your mind. It will undoubtedly be a great live track with the crowd joining on the anthem-like chorus section. The band also throws in a curve-ball in the mix in the form of an acoustic track “Probably Will” at the end of the album. The track reinforces Kucsulain’s ease at tackling both blood curdling belligerent screams as well as soft clean vocals. The lyrics are nice and inspirational that will definitely connect with the audiences. Overall, it’s a nice melancholic farewell to the album.
Eight years after ‘The American Dream’, Walls Of Jericho are stronger than ever and deliver a dynamite in the form of ‘No One Can Save You From Yourself’. The band delivers a supremely aggressive performance and rise up from the clutter of the terribly over-saturated Metalcore genre to give birth to a gem that will go well with fans and new listeners alike.