Charred Walls Of The Damned | ‘Charred Walls Of The Damned’
I always felt sure that after Chuck Schuldiner died, his bandmates Richard Christy and Steve DiGiorgio wouldn’t drop the ball. Control Denied was so splendid that despite Chuck’s absence, it was impossible not to want to hear more from them.
Charred Walls Of The Damned, featuring themselves and Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens, have come out of nowhere – and they’ve made a definite early contender for the album of the year.
The reason that Control Denied was so great was as much about every musician playing rather than just another vehicle for Chuck (great though that was). Richard Christy is a phenomenal drummer, Steve DiGirgio is one of metals few bass originals, and vocalist Tim Aymar had a bite that would take the skin from a Jack Russell.
In point of fact, it’s hard to believe Tim Aymar could be bettered: but if anyone can do it, it’s the Rob Halford’s heir apparent, Tim Owens.
This record is the most apporpriate continuation of the Death legacy. It achieves that by being what Chuck really wanted: pure heavy metal. It is nothing less.
It rips contempoaray heavy metal to shreds with its aggression and surpasses much of it in its total vocal heroism. Tim Owens is better than he has ever been, hitting incredible falsettos (‘Manifestations Of The Supernatural’) with incredible power and gnash.
The music is a straight follow on from Chuck’s last three albums: ‘Symbolic’, ‘Perseverence’ and ‘The Fragile Art’. Guitarist Jason Suecof is the Death player there never was, sounding almost preceisely like Shannon Hamm or Kelly Koelble, with that thick rhythm and chunky arpeggiated lead feel. He has done their style to a tee.
But the drums – oh, the drums. Just wrap your ears around the end of ‘The Darkest Eyes’ for a Richard Christy caterpillar tank attack of thrusting toms, tinkling ride cymbal and machine gun snare that will have you wetting yourself in appreciation. He may have been fronting a radio programme these last few years, but he hasnt lost a trick. It’s terrorizing drum work.
This fantastic, essential metal album is exactly what late Death stood for. It’s about revelling in pure, heroic heavy metal. The music is extreme metal through and through. The vocals though are traditional, steeped in Judas Priest with their soaring and emotional cadences.
For long in tooth fans of Death, this is the album you’ve been waiting for. It’s as if Chuck plays though it himself.
For fans of power, true, trad and classic heavy metal, this is the album that will rejuvinate your collection. An up to the minute demonstration of the total power of the music we love.
Pure, unadulterated Heavy Metal.
Guts, glory, power, passion: this album has all of it in abundance. You should not, cannot, must not not own it.
5/5 – Earl Grey ::: 23/01/10