Charred Walls Of The Damned – Charred Walls Of The Damned

Well-known metal drummer and Howard Stern sidekick Richard Christy’s new band, CHARRED WALLS OF THE DAMNED, is a conglomeration of heavy metal’s finest musicians.

I don’t like to use the term “supergroup,” but the band’s incredible lineup — Tim “Ripper” Owens (vocals), Steve DiGiorgio (bass) and famed producer Jason Suecof (guitars) — is pretty spectacular. The players have been friends with Christy from previous bands, so the chemistry to create the kind of metal that they are all fans of and would want to listen to is definitely present. With three of the four guys being ex-Iced Earth members, there will undoubtedly be comparisons, but CHARRED WALLS OF THE DAMNED is not simply an Iced Earth ripoff.

Christy wrote all of the lyrics, and the album took two years to complete. “Ghost Town” has been previewed on their MySpace page for months, and the eerily awesome video debuted this week on various Webzines. The song proves to be a great opener to this nine-track CD. The technical aspect of the band is top-notch. Each song flows well and never gets boring. Owens’ voice is in fine form, and the rest of the band play their parts exceptionally well.

“Blood On Wood” emerges with a cool-but-brief funklike bass line from DiGiorgio, followed by an excellent chorus line and some sweeping guitar leads from Suecof. “Voices Within The Walls” has an Iced Earth and Demons and Wizards flavor to it, especially Suecof’s intro lead and melody line. Suecof’s guitar prowess is pretty amazing; his stamp is all over the CD (he also produced it). He pops up at the right moment to execute a tasty guitar lick and guides the song with precise riffs. Christy’s drumming is solid, and he adds the right fills at the right time without overpowering the song. His double bass technique and rhythm changes are executed with tasteful precision. CD closer “Fear In The Sky,” handles how Christy feels about flying. The song is chilling; you’ll really feel the emotion of what Owens is singing, and the tempo changes add to the excitement.

This is an excellent album, from Christy’s introductory drumming to the climactic conclusion. However, DiGiorgio’s bass is mixed too low and doesn’t stand out, which is a shame because he is one of metal’s premier bassists. Given that one bad point, I think Christy hit the nail on the head with CHARRED WALLS OF THE DAMNED’s debut album, and it definitely deserves the fans’ attention.

Rating: 9/10
Label: Metal Blade Records
By Kelley Simms


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