02. Illusion Of Safety
03. No One Can Save You From Yourself
04. Forever Militant
05. Fight The Good Fight
08. Damage Done
09. Reign Supreme
10. Wrapped In Violence
12. Beyond All Praise
13. Probably Will
2016 Napalm Records
by Luke Henderson
In the early 2000s, Walls of Jericho were able to gain well deserved praise for their brand of metallic hardcore with releases like The Bound Feed the Gagged and All Hail the Dead. While not overly inventive, these albums stood out amongst their metalcore compatriots by interweaving elements of female-fronted hardcore and metal while still retaining a punk ethos that ensured that each release was as lean and ferocious as possible. Despite later missteps like the Corey Taylor-guided Redemption EP, Walls of Jericho has always been fairly consistent and reliable, which is an apt way to describe their latest offering, No One Can Save You From Yourself.
Following an ominous, mood-setting intro, "illusion of Safety" wastes no time showing that the band has steered away from the Redemption-era melodic endeavors in favor of the straight-forward brand of metallic hardcore that fans of their earlier work are more familiar with. Following this quick introduction to the record, the title track and "Forever militant" are lengthier and more developed offerings, but neither lose the intensity of the opening song. Nor does frontwoman Candace Kucsulain, whose delivery is as savage as ever. Chugging riffs and distorted breakdowns abound, these songs are undoubtedly intense, yet fail to leave a lasting impression, which is a chronic problem on much of this album.
Thankfully, "Fight the Good Fight" and "Cutbird" are more dynamic and well-crafted. Their gang vocals, bludgeoning riffs, and vocal diversity make them more impactful than songs like "Reign Supreme" and "Wrapped In Violence," which fail to incorporate any meaningful ebb and flow in their structure, and ultimately meld together into a largely indistinguishable mass.
The heart of this album lies in tracks like "Relentless," despite its unnecessarily repetitive intro, "Damage Done", and "Anthem." These songs all show that Walls of Jericho, despite their prolonged hiatus, still know exactly how to create a well-constructed, anthemic, hardcore song. The inspirational tone of "Relentless" is matched with machine-gun riffs layered over galloping drums to create a song that is both thoughtfully arranged and viciously executed. Similarly, "Damage Done" hits hard with memorable riffs and copious amounts of gang vocals, and "Anthem" crashes to a unique and vocals-driven ending after building to a fevered pitch.
Unfortunately, the album returns to its competent, yet lackluster form towards the end. In particular, its closing track, "Probably Will," is a misplaced return to the clean vocals and atmospheric instrumentals that plagued some of the band's pre-hiatus releases. A weak note on which to end the album, the song isn't particularly well-crafted, and is almost immediately forgettable.
Bottom Line: Fans of Walls of Jericho will not be shocked by this post-hiatus offering, but they won't necessarily be overly impressed. While No One Can Save You From Yourself does have a few standout tracks, there simply aren't enough of them to suppress the tedium that creeps in upon repeated listening.