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Charred Walls Of The Damned - Cold Winds On Timeless Days Review

About.com Rating 3.5 Star Rating


Charred Walls Of The Damned - Cold Winds On Timeless Days

Charred Walls Of The Damned - Cold Winds On Timeless Days

Metal Blade Records
Cold Winds On Timeless Days is the sophomore release from Charred Walls Of The Damned. The band is fronted by Tim “Ripper” Owens, but this is drummer Richard Christy's project. He once again wrote the music and lyrics. The rest of the band (guitarist/producer Jason Suecof and bassist Steve DiGiorgio) also return for CWOTD's second effort.

The sound is similar to their self-titled debut, a mix of power metal, traditional metal and thrash with a few other surprises thrown in. The opener “Timeless Days” showcases all those genres along with some progressive influences and even a brief Middle Eastern tinged acoustic guitar solo. “Zerospan” ups the intensity a bit, with some potent drumming from Christy. As you'd expect, he's turned up high in the mix throughout the album, but he has the chops to pull it off.

Suecof really hits his stride on this album. From scorching solos to intricate riffs, his guitar work is really good. And of course Ripper always brings first-class vocals. From power metal vibrato to more traditional lower register singing, he makes even the most challenging vocals sound effortless. DiGiorgio's bass is also higher in the mix this time around.

The songwriting on Cold Winds On Timeless Days is more complex than their debut. The songs are dense and ever-changing, with complicated riffs and numerous tempo shifts. While the musicianship is flawless, there could have been more catchy choruses. The technical skill is top-notch, but more hooks (like on the song “On Unclean Ground”) would have made it even more memorable.

CWOTD's debut was short, with 9 songs clocking in at 35 minutes. This time around, it is 12 songs and about an hour. It's a little long, but not overly so. The back half of the album is more streamlined than the first, with some of the strongest tracks towards the end. With Christy's Howard Stern obligations, Ripper's numerous other projects and Suecof being an in-demand producer, they can't play too many live shows and their studio time is limited. But Charred Walls Of The Damned has shown with Cold Winds On Timeless Days that they are much more than a one-off supergroup project.

(released October 11, 2011 on Metal Blade Records)

Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.
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