Review by Jeff Maki
I remember Walls of Jericho being part of the second or third tier of the New Wave of American Heavy Metal bands in the mid-2000s. The band even got a coveted slot on Ozzfest 2006. Though it is from Detroit, the band’s hardcore/metalcore style had it lumped in with the rest of this pack. Vocalist Candace Kucsulain was on a short list of females fronting hardcore bands and still is to this day.
No One Can Save You from Yourself is the band’s first release since 2008, the members passing their time pursuing other ventures. I had all but forgot about Walls of Jericho. During this same time period, the state of the world has changed drastically, and Walls of Jericho is pissed off about it. The announcement in the cleverly titled “Intro” sounds like it was lifted out of the movie The Purge. After stating martial law has been declared, a rebellion ensues. As this conceptual-style album unfolds, Candace and company mash out 12 anthemic hardcore songs as its soundtrack. (There’s even a standout in the latter half of the album called “Anthem.”)
I think this was the first time I truly sat down—or at least tried my best to—and listened to a Walls of Jericho album from start to finish. I can hear why it was associated with the NWOAHM.The band shares some musical characteristics with Shadows Fall or God Forbid. But at its core, No One Can Save You from Yourself is a hardcore album if there ever was one. Check out the lyrics for “Relentless”:
“We will never stop
“We will never give up
Candice’s vocal style and cadence is similar to Scott Vogel of Terror. The gang vocals are prominent, and the breakdowns hit hard. Musically, this is tight, damn-near perfectly executed hardcore, and like Terror, it has a metallic edge. This new music is going to make moshers out of unsuspecting concert-goers. It will be encouraged if not unavoidable—stage-diving, too.
No One Can Save You from Yourself is so in your face that it sounds like a live recording. There are some new elements here, as well. It’s not too often you hear an evil Slayer riff coincide with a breakdown and gang vocals, but you do here. Stick around for the album closer, when the chokehold finally is released and you’ll hear Candace singing a hardcore ballad called “Probably Will.” It’s not too often you hear that either.
The lyrics of “Reign Supreme” say:
“We will go down in history
“Or we will go down in flames
“You won’t forget my name”
I won’t forget this band’s name again after hearing this.
Standout tracks: “Illusion of Safety,” “Cutbird,” “Damage Done,” “Reign Supreme,” “Anthem”
(Napalm Records, March 25, 2016)