01. All Hail The Dead
02. There's No I In Fuck You
03. A Little Piece Of Me
04. Another Anthem For The Hopeless
05. Revival Never Goes Out Of Style
06. Day And A Thousand Years
07. Through the Eyes of a Dreamer
08. 1:43 AM
10. Thanks For The Memories
11. More Life In The Monitors
12. Fixing Broken Hearts
13. To Be Continued...
2004 Trustkill Records
With two prior records under their belt (Bound Feed the Gagged and A Day and a Thousand Years), Walls of Jericho have become a staple in the hardcore scene. After almost a two-year hiatus, the band has reformed now with ex-Catharsis drummer Alexei Rodriguez behind the kit and singer Candace screaming bloody hell like she's a spawn of Satan. Unfortunately, her clean vocals leave a lot to be desired.
The songs are still the same structure; verse, breakdown, chorus, breakdown, verse, breakdown or slight variations song-by-song. The band has always relied on breakdowns as the main transitions in all their songs. At times it's hard to believe that these songs weren't written around a certain breakdown with them being so prominent and more often than not, lethal. It would just be nice to see this band do something out of the ordinary for a change. I must also comment briefly on the abundance of clean vocals used on this record. In the words of Jay Sherman - "It stinks!" A lot of times the clean vocals are off-key and are thrown in when seemingly unnecessary. The clean vocals just aren't executed properly. This is one of the major blunders that can occur when a band produces their own record, as Walls of Jericho chose to with this record. With a producer on-hand, the clean vocals either would have been dropped all together, or Candace would have been recommended to a vocal coach for lessons before tackling clean vocals. As far as I can tell, and I'll be brutally honest here, she's sounds tone deaf on most of the clean parts of this record (as heard on "Another Anthem for the Hopeless"). But, this blunder is almost a forgivable offense when Wes Nightmare's guest vocals come screeching in. Definitely a welcome surprise.
Keep in mind that up to this point it's been strictly Jericho stylin'. The following song, "Revival Never Goes out of Style," is unfortunately never "in style" from the opening chord and is hands down the biggest letdown of the entire record. Now at this point, nearly midway through the record, you immediately start getting worried that this might be the end of the line. The following song is a re-recording of the title track to their first record, "A Day and a Thousand Years." I really hate when bands re-record songs from prior "official" releases, especially title tracks. I've never understood this phenomenon and probably never will. Quite simply, there's nothing different about this recording except that it's on a Trustkill release this time around. Anyways, on "1:43 AM" you definitely get the first sense that the drumming has changed in this band. The Catharsis drum sound can definitely still be heard at times, especially at the beginning and end of this track. Alas, this is another song with poorly executed clean vocals. But, at least you have Catharsis sounding drum parts to sway this song into your occasional rotation.
I will end by talking about the best song on the record, which is the instrumental closer "To Be Continued..." I'll probably catch some slack for this, but it's truly the only song on the album that expresses any sort of maturity in their musicianship as a band and as players. Quite frankly, I'd prefer listening to more instrumental songs by WOJ rather than have half the album's songs get butchered by poorly executed vocals.
Bottom Line: If you have a mind of your own and some sense of what's good and what's bad in terms of music, you will probably not care for this record as a whole. Instead, you'll get the selection of songs untainted with clean vocals down to an exact science. I was once a huge WOJ fan, but now I'm left wondering what could've been if a few tweaks had been made to this final product. Unfortunately, "All Hail the Dead" could quite be a testament of why bands that go into retirement should stay as such.