Will 2010 be the strongest year of the decade for metal music? Typically, I try to refrain from being overly optimistic—and try to exercise some degree of caution—when making bold or what may seem as premature predictions. However, 2010 continues to amaze me with monstrous metal offerings; only several weeks into the new year and several seemingly landmark albums have been dropped. Charred Walls of the Damned continues this wonderful streak with a nine-track blitzkrieg of brutality on their self-titled debut.
The sound produced by Charred Walls of the Damned features an exceptional understanding of the classical methodology of heavy metal. By combining and highlighting the best components of thrash, power, and progressive this quasi-supergroup delivers a punishing assortment of songs, such as “Blood on Wood” and the opening track and first single “Ghost Town.”
Leading this effort is the percussive talent of Howard Stern personality Richard Christy, providing the band with an ever-important strong backbone. Not to say the vocals of the legendary Tim “Ripper” Owens are second-rate in Charred Walls of the Damned; his operatic range is an absolute necessity and priceless asset to the group.
Performing on the bass guitar is long time technical metal veteran Steve DiGiorgio while well-established metal producer Jason Suecoff provides the predatory lead guitar work.
The nine-track length of the album is ideal as the ferocity of the record is never given the chance to let up. This is a very classy move that even experienced bands forget to practice.
While the first half of the record crushes your balls in, some of the deadliest assaults are saved for the end (“The Darkest Eyes,” “Manifestations,” “Fear in the Sky”).
“In a World so Cruel” comes the closest to slowing down the album with its somewhat ballad-styled framework, that is until the progressive mastery sets in during the extended intro. It is on this track in which DiGiorgio’s work shines.
Charred Walls of the Damned is an excellent album overall. Christy may want to consider leaving Stern for a full-time supporting tour and Owens should probably make Charred his current primary focus. I cannot wait to see what 2010 brings us next…keep the madness coming!
Charred Walls of the Damned is Tim “Ripper” Owens (Vocals), Jason Suecof (Guitars), Steve Digiorgio (Bass), & Richard Christy (Drums).
- “Ghost Town”
- “From the Abyss”
- “Creating Our Machine”
- “Blood on Wood”
- “In a World So Cruel”
- “Voices Within Walls”
- “The Darkest Eyes”
- “Fear in the Sky”