Walls of Jericho
The American Dream


3.5
great

Review

by TheDistantFuture USER (24 Reviews)
September 4th, 2008 | 24 replies | 8,213 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Thrashy Ass-Kicking Female Fronted Hardcore

2 of 2 thought this review was well written

Some genres in music just seem to naturally lend themselves to those of the XY chromosomes and few of these styles are more testosterone dominated than metal and hardcore with their "tuff guy" identities and lyrical messages within the music. One might even draw a parallel between them and say, football or rugby, where girls, simply put, don't play, or at least are not taken seriously. However, with the advent of respectable female fronted groups like Arch Enemy, Lacuna Coil, and, Nightwish, that seems to slowly be changing. But generally there also seems to be a certain expectation that these women will strictly sing and stay out of man's hallowed vitriolic territory. Angela Gassow clearly changed this mentality with her appearance of a drop-dead gorgeous blonde as well as her ability to make noises that would scare full grown men. In her wake many groups have formed balancing the two extremes, albeit with a more mainstream slant, however there really haven't been many of these bands since Arch Enemy to create such an uncompromising "middle finger to the mainstream" sound; Walls of Jericho is one of these unusual groups.

Enter Candace Kucsulain, a cute and innocent looking demon in disguise. From her outward appearance she looks like a heavily tattooed Haley Williams, but couldn't possibly sound less like her. Instead she unleashes positively destructive, vein-bulging wails that will leave even the staunchest metal heads in shock and possibly horror (yep, she's a chick alright). There are also two other things that really make her standout as a metal/hardcore vocalist, one being her relentless ferocity. Many of the better known gals in metal today often tend to mix the hooky radio-ready choruses of metalcore into their arsenals to broaden their appeal; Candace makes virtually no such concessions. With the exception of a brief melodic stint in the bridge of "A Long Walk Home" and her soft, bluesy croons in the surprisingly calm closer "The Slaughter Begins," she roars all the way through the record. When she actually does sing she proves herself to be every bit as effective and sinister, with a tone not so different from that of Fiona Apple. The other attribute that really separates her from her peers is her range. Many female metal vocalists tend to be limited to higher register screams which quickly makes their voices tedious to listen to. Kucsulain isn't restricted in these regards; be it fierce mid range shouts, gang vocals, brutal death-ish growls, and even paint-stripping shreiks; she can do it all. Even despite her unwillingness to sing, her vocals rarely become tiresome.

As good as Candace is she isn't the only thing that makes Walls of Jericho special. Whereas many metalcore bands today follow the typical establishment of using harmonized Gothenburg guitar leads to drive their music, WOJ takes a more old-school approach instead steroid pumping their sound with classic thrash metal riffs that will bring a smile to any Slayer fan's lips. These riffs make for some insanely catchy tunes like "II They Prey," "Feeding Frenzy," and "Discovery of Jones" that in no way compromise on heaviness. Additionally they supplement these with heavily distorted and even discordant melodies that also call Slayer to mind. Unfortunately there are no solos on the album, however it is unclear how well they would have worked in many of the songs, considering their relentless pacing.

People typically aren't too enthused about breakdowns in heavy music anymore given how badly they've been abused and misused by many bands. While Jericho's breakdowns are not excessively technical the group knows how to take something simple and chunky and just make it heavy as shit. Hearing the thrashy riffs, and speedy double kicks rush over them as Candace roars lines like "FUCK THE AMERICAN DREAM" and "WE MUST TAKE BACK OUR LIVES" in her nastiest snarl sure make for some hella brutal bridges.

There are a few nagging flaws that keep The American Dream from being great, one of which is the sense of repetition on the record. The band doesn't necessarily have a dead set formula for all their songs like many metalcore bands do, however the consistent punch of their music can dull a little after multiple listens and some of the songs do tend to blur into each other. There are some neat switch-ups here and there like the atmospheric intro of "The New Ministry" and the acoustic fadeout in "Discovering Jones," however considering the lack of solos, technical parts, or clean vocals, there should really have been more of them. Many of these complaints are fairly minor considering the fact that at just over thirty-five minutes in length, The American Dream hardly gives you any time to get bored; you'll be headbanging so hard you won't have the brain cells left to remind you that some of the band's songs sound a little similar.

The American Dream is a very solid album in every sense that will appeal just as much to thrash afficionados as it will to hxc! tuff guys. Walls of Jericho are not just another band that knows how to play a couple power chords with a pretty face yelling on top, but a group of heavy music lovers who can make one hell of a ruckus and with their most recent release they have crafted one of the most urgent and catchy core' albums to come out in 08'.



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user ratings (52)
Chart.
3.2
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
TheDistantFuture
September 4th 2008



200 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Is it really necessary to have my cusses blurped out? I see plenty of reviews here with them, heck even Rolling Stone uses them on occasion.

kingsoby1
Emeritus
September 4th 2008



4950 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Use an italics tag to get around it. For example, PIZZA

Tyler
Emeritus
September 4th 2008



7926 Comments


Italics look like shit. Use "font=2" "/font". Put it somewhere in between the word.

IAmInsect
September 4th 2008



3800 Comments


like this? i like to shit

Crimson
September 4th 2008



1935 Comments


no shit sherlock

review's good.This Message Edited On 09.04.08

Bleak123
September 4th 2008



1902 Comments


lolThis Message Edited On 09.04.08

BallsToTheWall
September 4th 2008



44197 Comments


Reviews good, but I never liked Walls Of jericho. Candace reminds me of my 12th grade P.E coach. And she sings now? I'll check that song out first.This Message Edited On 09.04.08

Digging: My Chemical Romance - Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge

jrowa001
September 4th 2008



8750 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

good review. this isnt as good as their previous 2 albums but me being one of few WoJ fans here i still enjoyed it

TheDistantFuture
September 4th 2008



200 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Ah there we FU[font=verdana]C[/font]KING go. Thanks Coke

weare138mike
September 6th 2008



48 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I love WOJ or did love them. The are nothing but music for mallcore kids to just now discover


TheDistantFuture
September 8th 2008



200 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Not that I'm a huge fan or anything weare138mike, but WOJ aren't mallcore at all. There are no poppy sing-along choruses in their music or anything, as I said The American Dream is straight up hardcore and is just as heavy if not heavier than their past works. Also that acoustic ep they did (if that's what you're referring to) was just a one time thing. Plus mallcore is really not genre- honestly what mall plays any type of core music? (If you find one, I'd love to go, all they play in the one's near where I live is Paramore and Boys Like Girls.)

Sorry to sound snappy, but there's just nothing accurate about your statement.

poweroftheweez
September 8th 2008



1290 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Hot topic at my mall plays whitechapel.
I agree with the consensus, worst effort thus far. They can do better.

beans
September 8th 2008



2332 Comments


heard most of this a while ago on thier myspace, it was decent
better than their last full length

Jom
Staff Reviewer
September 8th 2008



2670 Comments


Trainwreck. Didn't enjoy this one at all save for one track.

beans
September 8th 2008



2332 Comments


what track?

weare138mike
September 13th 2008



48 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

This band fell off the good music train after they released that horrible EP with Corey taylor from slipknot producing. UGHHH i cringe even thinking of one song on that album. I miss WOJ w/ no slipknot kids f***ing it up.

weare138mike
September 13th 2008



48 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

and mallcore isn't necessarily a genre but more like a census of ppl attached to said genre. so they are metalcore/mallcore cuz they attract slipknot kids that live inside their little boxed in worlds. mallcore is pretty much any "mainstream" metal or hardcore band. e.g. trivium, suicide silence, disturbed,slipknot. just think of mallcore like this. think of it as not a change in genre but change in demeanor and intentions. e.g. WOJ working with crapknot corey taylor. that's a move that will change their crowd from moshing hardcore kids to mallcore type kids. mallcore= epic fail in the underground scene. in the mainstream scene it means money

marksellsuswallets
September 13th 2008



4848 Comments


You really like calling things mallcore don't ya...


Also, there's nothing bad about "mallcore" at all. Sure its pretty stale and bland and whatnot, but I think its something that definitely should be around. Most of the people I know (including myself) got into good music by bridging the gap between crappy mainstream rock and stuff with a few of the "mallcore" bands that you mentioned. Without bands like Atreyu, Norma Jean, and the like...I don't think I would have ever been exposed to the music I listen to now... (I really can't stand those bands anymore but I think you get my point)This Message Edited On 09.13.08

pyogeniccortex
December 23rd 2008



183 Comments


fuuuuuu uuuuuuck

Burnyourface
January 19th 2009



223 Comments


I think that a particular band can't be blamed for who likes their music.... cream always rises, WOJ, Hatebreed, Killswitch, and whoever elses name you wanna throw in have been slugging it out for years and just because their not playing in clubs for 9 people anymore doesnt mean that their "mallcore" it means that a corporate chain: Hot Topic, has made it a point to find what bands are big in the underground. After Being exposed to these bands in said store, some kids will jump on the band wagon regardless, and some are just plain going to like the music and ditch their Korn and Godsmack for something heavier. I did once upon a timeThis Message Edited On 01.19.09



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