Charred Walls Of The Damned - Creatures Watching Over the Dead

Charred Walls Of The Damned Creatures Watching Over the Dead cover
Charred Walls Of The Damned
Creatures Watching Over the Dead
Metal Blade Records
While the collective laurels of misters Christy, DiGiorgio, Tim Owens and the somewhat lesser known Jason Suecof, contain memberships to bands as influential as Death, Iced Earth and even the mighty Judas Priest, their current statuses vary greatly. Ripper is doing solo tours to small audiences and has to join forces with other former glories to even get a decent billing in the states. Christy is busy with a variety of projects and might or might not still be involved with the Howard Stern show, but not being American, I have no clue whatsoever. DiGiorgio tours and records with a variety of acts, and if Suecof is one of the most in demand producers, I haven’t heard his name in conjunction with production credits, but even if he is, forgive me – I’m a little more old-school. He’s quite the guitarist though.
On paper every one of the “CWOTD” albums should have been huge both in terms of acceptance as well as in terms of artistic scope. Yet, I have failed to notice serious touring behind the project, their sales at least locally, were low and overall, even if I try hard, I can’t quite remember a single song, despite the fact that I found both their previous albums quite “acceptable” and easy to fathom.
But something cool – isn’t automatically great and that’s the problem with this band’s third album as well. While there isn’t something majorly wrong with the album or songs, it’s terribly generic, with the opener “My Eyes” not being bad at all, as well as the melodic “As I Catch My Breath” being quite good too, but not really to the point where you’re completely hooked. “Afterlife” that follows sits comfortably in the middle, but still doesn’t particularly excite. The first track that was released “The Soulless” seems more interested in displaying the virtuosity of Christy and Suecof, but hardly matching the songwriting of the other two aforementioned tracks… and it’s songwriting that this band suffers greatly in, with the bouillabaisse of sounds not really coming up as a particularly tasteful result.
Bands like Iced Earth used to dominate in this area, but nowadays I prefer what bands like the re-energized Tad Morose, Evil Masquerade or Darkology are doing, darker but still melodic and sufficiently technical metal that pushes the envelope. CWOTD should easily be topping all of the aforementioned, but it seriously wastes any such potential by being too focused on musicianship that it ends up lacking in overall catchiness, which is a shame. Still any album by the given set of musicians is granted to be at least interesting, but it’s not something, earth shattering or world-changing… so then I can’t really recommend it, but to the most ardent completists, or people who really look into performance more than the overall result.