If you bought into The American Dream it’s been a while since its follow up but finally after 8 years Walls Of Jericho return with album number five, No One Can Save You From Yourself. In the hiatus, life and side projects have kept the band side-lined prior to new recording and some comeback shows and festivals. Singer Candace Kucsulain has become a mum over this time but the anger and vitriol of material has not been subdued in the slightest, never expect her to start demurely crooning and singing lullabies (although there might well be a surprise here) and not launching herself off the stage and into the audience at any given moment. In a male dominated chest-beating arena the queen of hardcore is back and it’s great to hear her roar once more!
Assailed by the warring, warning sounds of sirens the intro does as intended and pumps us up before opener ‘Illusion Of Safety’ makes it clear all is far from well. The first couple of tracks work well together notably shorter than the cluster-bomb of the next ten tracks all perfectly honed sitting between the 3-4 minute mark. The title track throws pretty much everything you would expect into the midst, a shrill guitar cadence, rampaging drums and a burly bottom end as it tears off with rabid vocals and massive gang shouts over the top. Slowing down it adds a bruising beat down that’s designed to get a circle pit boiling over live and then tears back in, repeat a couple of times and there you have it; like the band have never been away. The problem one may expect after this is how do they keep the momentum going throughout after delivering so precisely so early? Well luckily they have plenty more in the way of good tunes that although not adding anything new to the mix keep you on your toes with successive bludgeoning and good memorable song craft.
The adrenaline is kept flowing and has you wanting to start a ruction of your own in the comfort of your own home or if you are that way inclined no doubt heading down the gym with this on your first opportunity. Its music to pump iron to and definitely not for wimps, probably why this scribe in aging years misses the hurly-burly of bands like this in the pit, too broken to ‘suffer the pain’ of it anymore. Some of the guitar licks by Rawson and Hasty (apt name) are up there with the likes of Pro-Pain whilst the jumping around vocals and shout outs on songs like ‘Fight The Good Fight’ are up there with the best of material by Sick Of It All. Melodic metalcore / hardcore, call it what you want but it’s all good in my book. ‘Cutbird’ has some licks that seriously wouldn’t be out of place on an Arch Enemy song and the chorus on it is seriously anthemic and guaranteed to get everyone joining in and pumping fists, and forgetting about killing each other for a second live. ‘Relentless’ starts with a load of different voices telling you they are just that before it smacks you between the eyes and ploughs wildly off, “now is the time” you better believe it people, well I’m sold.
And so it continues, savage and powerful as it twists and turns through a seething mass of antagonistic, neck-bracing songs. An apocalyptic vibe brings out austere atmosphere brooding over ‘Reign Supreme’ before the song bursts into a chugging frantic forceful feast of mid paced brutality. There’s a message on each and every number and they all have plenty of sense of identity of their own which means things never get stale in the slightest here and this keeps going right up to that somewhat surprising song. It could be described as the “wouldn’t she have a lovely voice if she didn’t yell all the time’ number and it was obviously a cover the second I first heard ‘Probably Will.’ I completely guessed wrong wondering if Candace was getting her inner Lana Del Ray on or something but a quick search shows it’s a Concrete Blonde number. I found it more than a little interesting and a chill out before the silence sets in. If you think otherwise you can just skip and press play again if you still have the energy left
(8/10 Pete Woods)