Walls of Jericho

All Hail the Dead

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One of the few hardcore bands of note to feature a female singer, Detroit's Walls of Jericho ended a five-year hiatus with this, their long-awaited second album. Thankfully, time has done little to change the band's balls-out approach to songwriting, with tracks like "Through the Eyes of a Dreamer," and "Fixing Broken Hearts" perhaps showing, if anything, a slightly more personal touch in the lyric department from the still razor-throated Candace Kucsulain -- and that's it! Her words are often equally sardonic ("There's no I in Fuck You," "Another Anthem for the Hopeless," anyone?), and when she breaks into momentary clean-singing passages (see "A Little Piece of Me," "1:43 AM"), Kucsulain elicits surprise thoughts of N.Y.C. metal freaks Crisis. But actually, extreme metal is an integral part of Walls of Jericho's garbage salad of sound; the proof is in the pudding of guitar textures -- okay, enough food references. Fact is, most of these tracks pack just as much energy, aggression, and occasional melody as your average death metal band, with the additional weight of hardcore's thoughtful delivery. All of which is good news for Walls of Jericho in these crossover-happy times between the two genres. Ultimately, All Hail the Dead is no instant classic, but it does the business reliably and convincingly enough to satisfy both the band's original fans and most hardcore kids alike.

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