Sunday 2 October 2016

ALBUM REVIEW: Charred Walls of the Damned - “Creatures Watching over the Dead"

By Theron Moore
Album Type: Full Length
Date Released; 23/09/2016
Label: Metal Blade Records


Richard Christy & Co have created something special with “Creatures Watching over the Dead.” It needs to be heard and talked about.  This is metal with heart.  Metal with soul.  And most of all?  Metal that’s larger than life.

“Creatures Watching over the Dead” CD//DD//LP track listing:

1). My Eyes
2). The Soulless
3). Afterlife
4). As I Catch My Breath
5). Lies
6). Reach into the Light
7). Tear Me Down
8). Living in the Shadow of Yesterday
9). Time Has Passed
The Review:
It’s been five years since “Cold Winds on Timeless Days” dropped.  This band is hungry.  They’ve got blood in their eyes.  The result is “Creatures Watching over the Dead,” a solid offering of slab heavy, emphasis on heavy mind you, metal.  Songs range from melodic (“My Eyes”) to speed / thrash (“The Soulless”) but more so than not, this record finds a good middle ground to satisfy metal fans of all genres and tastes. 
When I think of the term “heavy metal,” it’s the sound of this record that plays inside mind’s eye.  When founder / drummer Richard Christy set out to make “Creatures…” he had this one goal in mind – "To bring the metal! I want people to listen to this album, bang their head, and have fun."  And fans will.  You can’t help but bang thy head…
“Creatures Watching over the Dead” is a return to a style of old.  You won’t find screamo, metalcore or any of that nonsense here.  This is metal the way it was meant to be made; a musical tapestry of song, structure and style.  If the song needs to be slower, maybe more in line with a ballad, it is.  If it needs to rock harder and heavier, it’s done, as in the case of “The Soulless.”  That’s the great thing about this band and level of musicianship in it – they know how to write songs and bring them to life.  They’re seasoned pros and know metal inside and out. 
Says Christie, "When I write for Charred Walls I never really plan anything out. I just start playing riffs and if something sounds really cool, I'll build a song from there. My only intent is that I want our music to be heavy, melodic, and catchy. Jason and I then get together for pre-production. I'm an average guitar player so he takes my riffs and makes them amazing, and then we spend a lot of time re-arranging and crafting the songs to refine them and make them flow really well. Once we have the songs where we want them, we get together with Tim and Steve to take them to the next level."
Two great examples are the opening song “My Eyes” and track number eight “Living in the Shadow of Yesterday,” in fact “Living…” could easily be a radio single, it’s that good.  And for you Priest fans, track six, “Reach into the Light,” finds Tim “Ripper” Owens finding a return to style here, straight up, horns high, Priest influenced. 
Christy:  "Tim is such an incredible singer, and it's so fun to build those huge choruses in the studio," Christy enthuses. "Jason and Tim have such a great ear for harmonies, and to hear the choruses take shape is so exciting. The first cassette that I ever bought was Quiet Riot's 'Metal Health', and I always loved their huge choruses, so that's definitely an influence on us!" Without doubt, the Ripper is in top fighting shape throughout this record; the range in his voice, his ability to switch up musical styles, simply phenomenal, driving “Creatures Watching over the Dead” to be the outstanding record it is.
Metal fans need to seek out this record and support this band.  Richard Christy & Co have created something special withCreatures Watching over the Dead.” It needs to be heard and talked about.  This is metal with heart.  Metal with soul.  And most of all?  Metal that’s larger than life.  Rock soldiers unite…
“Creatures Watching over the Dead” is available now

Band info: facebook
FFO: Iced Earth, Control Denied, Judas Priest, Nevermore