Leading The Way
For any group, making it past the first album is an accomplishment. For any super group, making it past the first album is almost miraculous. Besides coordinating disparate styles and schedules, just making good music is a challenge; especially when a group’s members are already famous in their own right. Charred Walls Of The Damned manages to pull this off on their second full-length, Cold Winds On Timeless Days.
Comprised of drummer Richard Christy (Death, Iced Earth), bassist Steve DiGiorgio (Death, Sadus, Testament), guitarist Jason Suecof (Capharnaum), and vocalist Tim “Ripper” Owens (Judas Priest, Yngwie Malmsteen), the members of Charred Walls bring a mishmash of power metal, metalcore, prog, and straight death metal to the table. Thankfully, these elements blend together wonderfully, as the opener “Timeless Days” delivers a wash of precision drumming, epic guitars, and soaring vocals. “Zerospan” allows Christy to release his death metal roots, while “Lead The Way” is a relentless neo-thrasher that provides the perfect bed for Ripper’s uncanny vocal range. “The Beast Outside My Window” is the showpiece of the album, as all four members unleash the full force of their talents to create a song that simply must be heard. “Bloodworm” is the group’s marvelously extreme spin on the power ballad, and the lightest point of the record, before slapping us upside the head again on the closer, “Avoid The Light.”
Produced by guitarist Suecof, Cold Winds manages to blend production styles as well as its musical styles. The drums are precise and clean, but not sterile, while the guitars are lush, but not overbearing. The bass is clear and present, yet still rich, and Ripper’s penchant for multiple vocal layers is perfectly captured. In short, it’s a masterful blend of power and death metal.
With their spotless track record, Charred Walls Of The Damned should be making great music for years to come. Fans of fine musicianship will not want to miss this. As well, folks who enjoyed the past works of any one of the group’s members should check this out. And, of course, if you like the heavier side of metal, this is the record for you.