Charred Walls of The Damned - Charred Walls of The Damned
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This lengthily-named outfit is a new project from former Iced Earth drummer and current writer for Howard Stern's radio show Richard Christy, featuring Steve DiGiorgio on bass and singer Tim "Ripper Owens" providing vocals between solo shows and touring with HAIL!. The aim is pure, out-and-out metal, which they've achieved, but the album sounds somewhat disjointed. Like parts of it were recorded very seperately and only partially successfully spliced together afterwards. The fast-paced thrash of Ghost Town, Fear In The Sky and The Darkest Eyes don't suit Owens' vocals at all and the songs almost sounds like the music is from other tracks altogether. From The Abyss and Creating Our Machine fit together far better, and could come from Ripper's solo album Play My Game, except that they're not as good as anything on that disc. The slower-paced In A World So Cruel is a stand-out track, but the competition isn't particular stiff. All the members of the band do excellent jobs with the part they're given, it's just that none of them fit together particularly well. Fans of Owens' vocals can be confident that he's done it again in terms of the quality of his performance, but it feels like another ill-advised project to add to his growing resumé. At 35 minutes the album is far too short, and really could and should have been so much better given the talent involved.
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