Drum maniac Richard Christy’s power/heavy metal project Charred Walls Of The Damned have remained dormant for the better part of five years. It is a collective that features members of Death and Iced Earth, and not just Christy himself. Creatures Watching Over The Dead marks their return and third use of an album title which follows the CWOTD word pattern.
Their third album is a true combination of their last two efforts. It has their self-titled’s length and Cold Winds On Timeless Days’ songwriting.
Each member of the band is allowed to showcase the goods here with bassist extraordinaire Steve DiGiorgio in the fold, vocalist Tim “Ripper” Owens and guitarist/producer Jason Suecof completing the foursome that is further solidified by Christy’s songwriting ability. “My Eyes” opens the album with a mid-tempo pace and pounding gallop provided by the Suecof and Christy. Ripper has always had a great vocal range and he is able to soar with the music being the bedrock of his performance.
“Reach Into The Light” and “Tear Me Down” have wonderful guitar heavy sections. The melodious tones flowing after the fast paced drum/vocal parts break the song up in a great way. DiGiorgio’s bass is working hard in the background too with nice and fat riffs being played with aplomb. It is nice to know that the band isn’t getting sucked back into making an album over an hour long, as was the case with their previous album. It was still strong, but the fat wasn’t trimmed well enough. This nearly seven minute stretch packs quite the punch and in two songs instead of one this time around.
Creatures Watching Over The Dead is likely the CWOTD’s most well rounded album as it shows off the talent of each individual member, but is also mindful to do so in short order. If you are looking for an album with ample punch and melody on top of great musicianship throughout, look no further.
(released September 23, 2016 on Metal Blade Records