What do the following albums have in common:
– Master of Puppets by Metallica
– Among the Living by Anthrax
– Toys In the Attic by Aerosmith
– Slippery When Wet by Bon Jovi
– Pyromania by Def Leppard
Not only did these albums unleash these bands to a whole new level of fame, but they were their third albums. Many argue that these are the best albums by these bands. The new album by Charred Walls of the Damned, Creatures Watching Over the Dead, may qualify for this list.
The new album comes out this Friday, Sept. 23. Creatures Watching Over the Dead finds the band back with a more mature sound from the first two albums. These songs are heavy, melodic, and even catchy. “The Soulless” has a chorus that will stick in your head all day. “Reach Into the Light” and “Tear Me Down” are also stand-out tracks. But, there’s not a clunker in the bunch. It’s straight up heavy metal with a groove that I believe can take them to new heights.
Charred Walls of the Damned is the creation of drummer Richard Christy. Most probably know Christy from the Howard Stern Show. But, before that, he drummed with Death and Iced Earth. Don’t confuse the goofy Stern persona with the true musician that is Richard Christy. He put the band together and writes the majority of the music and lyrics for the band.
This supergroup isn’t just Christy. Tim “Ripper” Owens (formerly of Judas Priest, Iced Earth, and others) tears through the vocals. He’s grown from the first two albums and is now singing in the perfect pocket where his voice fits in these songs. He’s always had a strong voice (you have to if you’re going to replace Rob Halford), but he’s on fire here.
Guitarist Jason Suecof shreds on these killer riffs. He takes what Christy comes up with and twists them into crushing heavy metal works of art. His mind-blowing fretwork shines on the aforementioned “The Soulless” and “Reach Into the Light.” to name a couple.
Bassist Steve Digiorgio has great chemistry with Christy. They hold down the rhythm to drive these songs into a new gear. But, they could turn the bass up a bit in the mix.
Christy‘s drumming is top notch. My only minor criticism is that he gets a little too happy with the double bass. I’m not saying they need to take away half of his gear like Guns n’ Roses did to Steven Adler back in the day. But, a little restraint on a couple of the songs would go a long way. Overall, though, he’s a monster on the drums.
2016 has been a great year for heavy metal releases. Creatures Watching Over the Dead is right up there with the best of them. Let’s hope we get a few live dates for Charred Walls of the Damned because that will be the key to taking their success to the next level. I know they’ve got busy schedules, but these songs are screaming for a live crowd. There are heavy rumors of an extensive Metallica tour. They’ll need a kick ass opener. Just saying…
Run and check out this album. Crank it up and play your best air guitar and air drums.