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Charred Walls Of The Damned
Creatures Watching Over The Dead
Released: 2016, Metal Blade
Reviewer: Manos X
Charred Walls of the Damned is band created in 2009 by the amazing drummer Richard Christy who has played with bands like Death, Control Denied, Iced Earth, Leash Law, Acheron just to mention a few.
His drumming wowed the metal audience especially with albums from Death and the ill fated Control Denied.
So we come to 2009 where Richard decided to make a return to the metal world (he has been absent since 2004 after Iced Earth’s THE GLORIOUS BURDEN) and create a new band with a strong lineup.
And damn what a lineup that was. Steve DiGiorgio (Death, Iced Earth, Control Denied, Testament, Sadus, Sebastian Bach) on bass the unknown (to me at least) but extremely skilled guitarist, Jason Suecof (Capharnaum, Crotchduster) and the always stunning Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens (Judas Priest, Beyond Fear, Winters Bane, Yngwie J. Malmsteen) handling the vocals. Now as you can imagine this as super group as it gets since most of these guys have played and in monumental albums of the genre.
However no matter how good their intentions are and how high the bar has been set due to weight their names carry, first album was a total disappointment for me. While each member performed flawlessly on their role the final outcome was a mess due to unfocused or poor songwriting leaving a lot to be desired. So just before the turn of the year Charred Walls strike back with their latest offering CREATURES WATCHING OVER THE DEAD and you know something? Nothing has changed!! Yes, each member gives an excellent performance, yes there are some really good moments in the album. Production/mixing is helping the final outcome by giving each instrument room to breathe while at the same time retains a modern up to date level. And yes there a couple of interesting songs that stand out like “My Eyes” and “Soulless” especially the 2nd one brought Death and Control Denied memories to mind.
But let’s face it the biggest problem in Charred Walls of the Damned are weak songwriting skills handled entirely by Richard and Jason. When a band has in its ranks one of metal’s finest singers then they must create cool and interesting vocal lines for him to soar. And this album is hardly the case. It’s a shame listening to Owen’s golden pipes slurring over uninteresting lyrics or mediocre songs at best. And it’s sad indeed ‘cause Tim Owen’s voice is as strong as it was 20 plus years ago when he was featured in Winters Bane amazing HEART OF A KILLER album.
I really wanted to like Charred Walls but unfortunately I can’t since they’re doing their best to turn me off. Thankfully its 2016 and 1986 so there are ways for a music fan to listen to an album before making a purchase something I strongly advise in this case.
1. My Eyes
2. The Soulless
4. As I Catch My Breath
6. Reach into the Light
7. Tear Me Down
8. Living in the Shadow of Yesterday
9. Time Has Passed
Tim Owens Vocals
Jason Suecof Guitar
Steve DiGiorgio Bass
Richard Christy Drums
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