Charred Walls of the Damned - Cold Winds on Timeless DaysNowadays, Richard Christy is mostly known for being one of the hosts on the Howard Stern show, but there was a time when he bashed the skins for Death, Control Denied and Iced Earth. He does like to keep his drumming chops in shape with a new project, called Charred Walls Of The Damned, together with chums Steve DiGiorgio (bass), Tim “Ripper” Owens (vocals) and Jason Suecof (guitars). “Cold Winds On Timeless Days” is the title of the second album by these metal luminaries, so let’s take a closer look.

So, what to expect? Based on the sheer talent of this supergroup one could a expect a totally over the top metal album or perhaps a (bad) parody on all things metal? “Cold Winds On Timeless Days” is a little bit of both. The music on this album can best be described as a combination of Iced Earth and Death, with a couple of twists from the progressive and extreme metal realm to give it all some extra spice. Guitarist Jason Suecof shows his considerable skills on tracks like “Ashes Falling Upon Us”, “Lead The Way” and “The Beast Outside My Window”, while Steve DiGiorgio and Richard Christy show why they’re one of the most formidable rhythm sections in metal, reminiscing the days of Iced Earth’s “Horror Show” and Control Denied’s “The Fragile Art Of Existence.”

“Cold Winds On Timeless Days” simply oozes metal, but it also gets dangerously close of becoming a parody of itself. One part has to do with the somewhat cheesy lyrics and the other part has something to do with the overly dramatic vocal delivery by Tim “Ripper” Owens. Granted, the guy is a gifted singer and he did a better job as a singer in Judas Priest than Rob Halford in his prime, but he simply tries too hard to be “metal” in my book. My second gripe with the album is that despite the collective talent, the song material is mostly solid, but it rarely gets really spectacular. A shame if you ask me, because Charred Walls Of The Damned can do better.

Production-wise there’s nothing to complain about the album. The sound is clear, yet heavy, giving “Cold Winds On Timeless Days” an undeniably modern feel.

This album is all about four guys having a blast revisiting their metal roots. If you’re looking for deep and thought provoking music and ditto lyrics, you’d better look for something else. Good clean fun is the key phrase here. “Cold Winds On Timeless Days” is an enjoyable and solid album, but it’s a far cry from being a modern metal classic…

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