For Fans Of
Bands don’t really come as tough or as “hardcore” as Walls Of Jericho do. Eight years ago, the band’s last album ignited mosh-pits faster than a white guy at a Trump rally seeing someone of colour. Now, that last record, ‘The American Dream’ (the title track easily has one of best breakdowns of all time. No joke) is now followed up by their Napalm Records debut, ‘No One Can Save You From Yourself’.
Obviously, eight years is a pretty long time in the music biz (can’t believe I just said “biz” – I am writer scum). For perspectives sake, eight years ago the world was still using MySpace for “totes hot” selfies and bands still used that platform for their actual promotion, for Christ’s sake. As this writer loves to ask redundant questions in his reviews, he’ll ask you this: “Does the music world still need Walls Of Jericho?” Sure, why not?
Now this time gap can make for either a kick-ass comeback or a rather sad attempt to recapture relevance in this fast moving industry, and this record falls somewhere in the middle. As far as hardcore and metalcore go these days, ‘No One Can Save You From Yourself‘ isn’t too shabby, in all honestly. And considering how long the group has been in the game, it’s definitely a solid record for their age, fitting nicely into their back catalogue. But this just isn’t an album that we think one should rush out to call “fantastic” or “amazing”.
Heavy guitar riffs and chugs, heavy as shit breakdowns, Candace Kucsulain’s rough signature screams, and a tight chunky rhythm section makes up the bulk of the hardcore/metalcore sound with this 13-track release…as it basically has since day one of their career, and it don’t take a genius to know that the die-hard fans will adore this to no end (as fans, you know, tend to do). The only real change comes right at the end with ‘Probably Will‘, a much softer and dynamic acoustic number. While we enjoy Wall Of Jericho‘s normal brand of hardcore, this track kind of comes out of nowhere but it does a lot for the record as a whole. However, if the band had come back with a new sound and started to experiment more, that may not sit right with their core fan base.
Furthermore, the lyrics here are the usual hardcore positive/motivational fare and are all about personal determination and drive, but sorry guys we’ve all heard Hatebreed’s ‘The Rise Of Brutality’ and that was 13 years ago! However, admirably, some songs do push through the somewhat generic themes and offer heartfelt thoughts, such as ‘Relentless’, which deals with the loss of Kucsulain’s brother to cancer. Those rare moments uplift the record and add some much needed human and emotional weight to the already weighty and often deliberate hardcore template that is the band’s sound.
‘No One Can Save You From Yourself’ (a totally cheery album title, for sure) is definitely a solid return for this Detroit outfit, just not an immaculate one. If you prefer a more traditional and rather standard hardcore/metalcore sound, then this new record from Walls of Jericho will be your piece of deliciously generic cake. At the very least this will keep you pumped until the new Hatebreed record drops *salivates at the mouth*.
2. Illusion of Safety
3. No One Can Save You From Yourself
4. Forever Militant
5. Fight the Good Fight
8. Damage Done
9. Reign Supreme
10. Wrapped in Violence
12. Beyond All Praise
13. Probably Will