After producing two albums in quick succession, five years have now passed before drummer Richard Christie's pet metal project have achieved a third, due to the regular commitments of the project's members, no doubt. The gap hasn't really made any difference though. Creatures Watching Over The Dead follows exactly the same pattern as both previous Charred Walls of The Damned albums, which is to say it's too short, and at least half the songs focus so strongly on being complex, fast drumming pieces, that they are musically completely at odds with singer Tim "Ripper" Owens' vocal delivery of more long notes than quick-fire. In essence the album, just like both of the others, sounds like the result of precisely the situation from which it was probably produced; four musicians communicating remotely and recording their parts in isolation between other projects. Even after a third attempt, although closer to coherence than the first two, it still doesn't work very well. Occasionally a song sounds like it's complete and everyone is pulling in the same direction (usually on slower ones, but also on the high-paced Reach Into The Light where Ripper screams his heart out), but mostly it sounds disjointed. So in the end, nothing has changed, which is a shame because Charred Walls consist of four exceptionally talented men (Christie and Owens are joined by top thrash metal bassist Steve DiGiorgio, and a stellar performance from Jason Suecof, best known as a producer and songwriter, who saves the album), capable of so much more. Purchase of Creatures Watching Over The Dead, is an easy decision. Anyone who liked the other two will like this. Anyone who didn't, won't. It's their best effort to date, but doesn't go far enough in addressing the problems to be changing anyone's minds.Written by Andy Lye
More: 2016, Albums, Heavy Metal, Quickplay Reviews, Charred Walls of The Damned
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