Richard Christy drummed with Death for four-years, played alongside Iced Earth for three-albums and is founder of this amalgamation of musicians that came together in 2009. Charred Walls Of The Damned have an A-list of talent that certainly puts the US band in the ‘supergroup’ category. Made up of former Judas Priest vocalist Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens, prolific bassist Steve DiGiorgio and guitarist Jason Suecof, the four-piece return with second attempt Cold Winds On Timeless Days.
The reinvigoration of classic metal is a narrow and dodgy patch of territory to tackle and too often it’s done with a conscious intention to pay homage to heroes a little too much. But when you are those very heroes, do you have a sovereignty that rules forthrightly? No, you don’t of course. Complacency is the ill that kills ageing musicians and what is pleasing about Charred Walls Of The Damned is that they’re a band that avoid this mentality – open to seriously mixing it up and unafraid to try new things.
Attempting to bring a razor sharp modern style to an old framework, Charred Walls Of The Damned launch into surprising bouts of blastbeating at times and momentarily dazzle us with some momentary melodeath guitar lines. But instead of hearing a harsh assault of brutal squawks, Owens shakes the ground with his dynamic vocal style. It’s perched alongside classic NWOBHM soloing too, providing a half-way house for those reeled by the melodrama of trad metal but psyched over the intensity of a DM.
At the same time, Ashes Falling Upon Us has a theatrical atmosphere that reveals the band’s obvious link with Iced Earth while Bloodworm is a powerful energy of melodious guitar soloing and minimalistic but apt riffing – certainly the most successful track on the album.