Charred Walls Of The Damned: Creatures Watching Over The Dead-2016.

Charred Walls of the Damned is an American heavy metalsupergroup formed in 2009 consisting of drummer Richard Christy, bassist Steve Di Giorgio, vocalist Tim “Ripper” Owens and guitarist Jason Suecof.[1] The band was formed by Christy after a five-year absence from the metal scene since joining The Howard Stern Show in 2004. They have released three studio albums.

While Iced Earth were on their 2004 Glorious Burden tour, drummer Richard Christy decided to depart from the band, thus postponing upcoming dates in Japan.[2] He became a finalist in “Get John’s Job”, a listener contest on The Howard Stern Show to replace “Stuttering John” Melendez, who left to become the announcer for The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Having not participated would have made him “regret it every day of [his] life”.[3] On July 1, 2004, Christy won the contest with 30% of the listener vote.[4]

With his busy work schedule in New York City, Christy kept in touch with his musical roots. He built confidence in his guitar playing and song writing, putting together an entire demo album of material. He returned from a 5+12-year absence from music, announcing his new band, Charred Walls of the Damned. The origin of its name was explained on May 20, 2009. It derives from a series of radio prank calls he and Sal Governale made to a Tradio show on a Christian radio station.[5] In response to the pranks they received, the host described how he prays for them, thus “saving their soul to be saved by God’s grace…not in the devil’s hell where you’d be putting your nails in the charred walls of the damned”.[6]

The band’s first single, “Ghost Town”, was released on December 1, 2009.[7] Their debut album, Charred Walls of the Damned, was released on compact disc and iTunes on February 2, 2010.[7] Blabbermouth.net reported around 2,200 copies were sold in the United States in its first week of release.[8] The Japanese version of the album includes a cover version of “Nice Dreams” by Minneapolis metal group Powermad. The album entered Billboards “Heatseekers”, “Independent Albums” and “Hard Music Albums” charts at No. 6, 37 and 46 respectively.[9] It also reached No. 85 on the Canadian “Independent Chart”.[10] On January 5, 2011, Christy reported the album sold 20,000 copies worldwide.[11]

Overall, the album was well received by critics. English on-line music magazine Rocksnail, with its award of 3.5 out of 5, noted the band’s potential if they convey such material live.[12] Dom Lawson of Bravewords praised the album with an 8.5 out of 10, hailing it as “a platinum-plated triumph” which “absolutely lives up to every expectation on a musical level.” He pointed out the pairing of Christy and Di Giorgio as a “particularly inspired touch”, particularly on “Blood on Wood”.[13] Chris Akin from Pitriff, who awarded the album 8 out of 10, identified a “distinct chemistry” between the four musicians, with the album delivering “terrific, old school sounding metal”.[14] Though he believed the album achieved its “pure, out-and-out metal” aim, Andy Lye from Jukebox:Metal argued it “sounds somewhat disjointed … like parts of it were recorded very separately and only partially successfully spliced together afterwards.” Lye believed at 35 minutes the album was “far too short”, believing it “could and should have been so much better given the talent involved.”[15]

In July 2010, the band performed for the first time in the United States and Canada. The nine-date tour featured replacements John Comprix and Matt Sorg on guitar and Ed Stephens on bass.[16]

Discography:

Charred Walls of the DamnedFull-length2010
Nice DreamsSingle2010 
Cold Winds on Timeless DaysFull-length2011
Creatures Watching over the DeadFull-length2016

Steve DiGiorgio
Bass (2009-present)
See also: Act of DenialFutures EndGeodaGone in AprilItselfJohnny NewmanMythodeaSpirits of FireSynesis AbsorptionTerra OdiumTestament, ex-Control Denied, Bassists Alliance Project, Devil’s Highway, Quadvium, Death DTA (live), ex-Anatomy of I, ex-Artension, ex-Beltfed Weapon, ex-Dragonlord, ex-Faust, ex-Memorain, ex-Painmuseum, ex-Sadus, ex-Sebastian Bach, ex-SMRT, ex-Obituary (live), ex-Obscura (live), ex-Death, ex-Ephel Duath, ex-James Murphy, ex-Dark Hall, ex-Soen, ex-Suicide Shift
Richard Christy
Drums (2009-present)
See also: Böar GlüeMonument of Bones, ex-Burning Inside, ex-Control Denied, ex-Death, ex-Iced Earth, ex-Tiwanaku, ex-Incantation (live), ex-Wykked Wytch (live), ex-Acheron, ex-Leash Law, ex-Public Assassin, ex-Demons & Wizards (live), ex-Caninus, ex-Bung Dizeez (live), ex-Syzygy (live)
Jason Suecof
Guitars (2009-present)
See also: Capharnaum, ex-Gargamel, ex-Crotchduster, ex-Evince
Tim “Ripper” Owens
Vocals (2009-present)
See also: Beyond FearKK’s PriestThe Three TremorsTim Ripper Owens, ex-Brainicide, A New Revenge, Dio Disciples, TRED, ex-Iced Earth, ex-Judas Priest, ex-Killing Machine, ex-Spirits of Fire, ex-Yngwie Malmsteen, ex-Carthagods (live), ex-Twist of Fate, ex-Winters Bane, ex-Arena, ex-British Steel, ex-Hail!, ex-MegaPriest, ex-Seattle, ex-Soulbender, ex-Trinity, ex-American Dog (live)

Past Members Live:

Dennis HayesBass (2010)
See also: Book of NumbersSeven Witches, I Don’t Know, ex-Beyond Fear, ex-Wretch, ex-Iced Earth (live), ex-Winters Bane, ex-Castle Black, ex-Raging Bulls
Ed StephensBass (2010, 2012)
See also: Beyond FearHarlot’s GripRingwormShed the SkinShok ParisVanikVindicatorSixx (live), ex-Sinister, ex-Violent Night, Gluttons, ex-Byron Nemeth Group, ex-Destructor, ex-Abdullah, ex-Civil Disobedience, ex-Pete
John ComprixGuitars (2010, 2012)
See also: Beyond Fear, ex-Law of Destruction, ex-Spawn, ex-Integrity, ex-Ringworm, ex-Tim Ripper Owens (live), ex-Winters Bane, ex-13 Faces
Matt SorgGuitars (2010, 2012)
See also: Beyond FearRingwormShed the SkinSoullessMidnight (live), Dead of Night, ex-Alterrik, ex-Blood of Christ, ex-From the Depths, Perdition Sect, ex-Holy Ghost, ex-Decrepit
Songs
1.My Eyes04:30  Show lyrics
2.The Soulless04:03  Show lyrics
3.Afterlife02:53  Show lyrics
4.As I Catch My Breath05:03  Show lyrics
5.Lies03:31  Show lyrics
6.Reach into the Light02:39  Show lyrics
7.Tear Me Down03:50  Show lyrics
8.Living in the Shadow of Yesterday03:36  Show lyrics
9.Time Has Passed03:16  Show lyrics
 33:21 

1 Comment

  1. hells_unicorn, December 13th, 2016
    Written based on this version: 2016, CD, Metal Blade Records
    Defying both the odds of a longstanding 2 album per project rule that has dogged more than one member of this outfit and the tendency for super bands to drown in a sea of self-indulgence, Charred Walls Of The Damned has returned from a five year studio hiatus to see if three times is truly the charm. As a project, they’ve managed to offer a respectable, albeit predictable take on melodic metal with an emphasis on speed and technique that seems to want to bridge the gap between Control Denied and Iced Earth. The comparison to said bands is naturally unavoidable given the membership involved, but it is also highly applicable to the songwriting as well as the general quirks and nuances in the various members’ performance, resulting in something that is stylistically similar to Horror Show and The Fragile Art Of Existence, though trending a bit more towards the former in terms of structure and melodic content.

    Teaming with electrolytes and all the other things that plants crave, Creatures Watching Over The Dead is an exercise in meeting standards already set. The songwriting is naturally quite symmetrical and easy to follow, as anthems of beautiful woe such as “My Eyes”, “As I Catch My Breath” and “Tear Me Down” feature consonant sing-along chorus sections that would be reminiscent of a mainline metalcore clean section were they not sung by the arguable successor of Rob Halford’s vocal technique. Truth be told, the one area where this album really has its act together is the choir of voices provided by Ripper Owens, which seem a bit denser and very close to his signature approach on Framing Armageddon, an album that was likewise a bit more atmospheric and vocally oriented. It actually gets little close to outright pop territory on the slower moving numbers like “Living In The Shadow Of Yesterday”, in spite of the noodling lead guitar lines and hyperactive bass work.

    Naturally this isn’t an album built entirely off of hook oriented anthems with musicians playing their instruments a little too fast and fancy, and there are some rather auspicious examples of this band keeping up the thrash side of their style. Case and point, the rapid fire crusher of a beast “The Soulless”, where things launch into territory normally reserved to the more extreme fringes of Sadus’ material with Christy blasting away at full force and Jason Suecof providing an impressive array of Bay Area infused punishment in between the minimalist melodic motives and icing the cake with arguably one of the most ridiculously technical guitar solos he’s ever put out (think Jon Petrucci’s solo on “Under A Glass Moon” on crack). The album’s closer “Time Has Passed” sees a similar mode of high speed slaying, though the emphasis is shifted a bit more in Steve DiGiorgio’s direction as he all but upstages the guitar with a barrage of pummeling runs and chords that would make Les Claypool do a triple take.

    The long wait for a follow up to Cold Winds On Timeless Days naturally begets heightened expectations, and that is what proves to be the only real enemy to what has transpired in Creatures Watching Over The Dead. Apples to apples, this is almost a perfect retread of the concise, catchy yet predictable character of this band’s self-titled debut. It’s strength is primarily tied to the masterful performances of each individual member involved, and while they meld together nicely, the album suffers a bit from being too short and spending a bit too much time in catchy territory and not quite enough exploiting the talents of all those involved. It is by any standard a solid album, but for anyone with even a basic familiarity with the backgrounds of both Christy and DiGiorgio, it doesn’t really go too far beyond doing what is expected and leaves one wanting for more.

    Like

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