Charred Walls of the Damned - Self-titled (Metal Blade/Riot)

Metal's newest 'Supergroup' struggles with the idea that less is more.

Of course, were this project in any way the beneficiary of correct nomenclature it would be called Charred Wails of the Damned, as Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens – for it is he in the throatsmith’s booth – quite literally doesn’t stop for a second on this release – he’s at it  from go to WOOOOOOOAAAAAHHHH !!!!!

Now, whilst this is good in context – seeing Owens live singing Judas Priest classics during his shortish tenure with the band was an exhilarating experience – it kinda loses its effect when every song, usually its ultimate detriment, features the man wailing away like a dog with distemper.


We know the man has asbestos pipes, why does he keep having to prove it? Maybe it’s to take our minds off of the workaday heavy metal he’s adding his talents to: not until the album’s penultimate track is he given something truly worthy of his talent, and it has to be said that The Darkest Eyes is an absolute barnstormer of a song.


But elsewhere CWOTD come across as just another brainless DevilDriver ‘heavy for heavy’s sake’ outfit who come long on bluster but short on inspiration. This is a shame, because the individual parts of the band, that’s Richard Christy (drums, ex-Death, Iced Earth and the brains behind the whole project), Steve DiGeorgio (bass, also formerly a member of Death and Iced Earth, as well as the likes of Sadus and Testament, among others) and Jason Suecof (guitars, Capharnaum) in case you didn’t know, are all masters of their particular crafts, a fact which makes this album trebly disappointing.

All of which sounds rather depressing; however the band are all up to the task, should they choose to do so, of persevering with this and creating something special – they have the tools, so they may be worth keeping an eye on come album number two’s release.


In the mean time, approach only if you’re a completist  of any of the parties involved.


Charred Wall's of the Damned's self-titled release is out now on Metal Blade/Riot.