Walls of Jericho

The American Dream

Written by: NB on 19/11/2008 02:01:07

"The American Dream", I thought, when looking at the fourth studio album by Detroit based metalcore outfit, Walls of Jericho: "sounds like a bit of a cliché". And whilst I listened with optimism to the fast-paced and grandiose intro track "The New Ministry" and a few solid tracks at the front of the album, they slowly blended into one another; a monotony of bland, hardcore riffs and breakdowns. It seems my first impressions were correct.

First of all, I have to say I have never heard so many gang vocals as on this album. I'm not sure whether it is layered recordings of Candace Kucsulain's brutal voice or whether the rest of the band is involved but they are used to good effect; and then sadly overused to mediocrity. It is definitely Kucsulain's stand out female vocals that provide the main interest in Walls of Jericho's music, and are indeed the band's only unique feature as the rest of the music is completely unoriginal. The music moves from the occasional interesting riff or arpeggio to a chugging, metalcore, single-chord breakdown followed by standard hardcore shouts of meaningless lyrics (the kind of rebellious, pseudo-political rubbish you might expect from Rage Against the Machine). Then this pattern is repeated. On this album the only break from the average hardcore/metalcore fare comes with the last track, a melancholic, gothic ballad which showcases Kucsulain as a competent singer. However, owing to this contrast, the song feels like a slightly uneasy and detached close to the record.

It's not all bad. The band is tight and the production on this release is second to none. The guitars sound as brutal as they should and the vocals are punchy and hard hitting. For these reasons I found it to be a thoroughly enjoyable, paradigmatic hardcore/metalcore album. And for these reasons also, it's all the more disappointing that it wasn't more original.

6

Download: The New Ministry, II The Prey, The Slaughter Begins
For The Fans Of: Terror, Sworn Enemy, Arch Enemy
Listen: MySpace

Release Date 29.07.2008
Trustkill Records

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