Charred Walls Of The Damned – Charred Walls Of The Damned (Metal Blade Records)

Monday, 18th March 2013
Rating: 9/10

The average follower of pop culture knows Richard Christy from his comedy/ crazy man stunts on the Howard Stern Show. Those in the metal scene are aware of his long time exploits as a drummer for acts like Burning Inside, Control Denied, Death, and Iced Earth among others. It’s been quite a while since we’ve heard Richard inside the studio walls, but his new act Charred Walls of the Damned is a welcome aural energy bomb to start off the year.

Guitarist Jason Suecof [Trivium, All That Remains] also doubles in a production role, leaving the vocals for Tim “Ripper” Owens and the bottom end bass work for well known journeyman Steve DiGiorgio. Overall these ninesongs contain more of a slightly progressive meets powerful, traditional feel. Richard exerts his heavier ,faster feet and hands exchanges on the opening track and first single “Ghost Town” while Tim finds comfort in keeping up with his strong, sustaining high pitch antics.

Knowing that Richard has an affinity for King Diamond explains the dramatic, epic riffing and multi-layered vocal parts in “From the Abyss,” When you have the right human assembly in terms of professional musicians, the chemistry creates brilliant songwriting and the highlights of this album include the rhythmic forward progressive “In a World So Cruel” which is a doom fan’s delight and the speed feast “The Darkest Eyes” with excellent Forbidden-like solo workout of Jason.

Sadly, the Far East gets the bonus cover of the band’s interpretation from Powermad “Nice Dreams” – but all is forgiven when you have a compact, dynamic effort that should get all sides of the underground and above singing the praises from message boards to concert venues everywhere.

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