CHARRED WALLS OF THE DAMNED – Charred Walls of the Damned

When Richard Christy finds time away from The Howard Stern Show, Jason Suecof takes a break from his producing jobs, and Tim “Ripper” Owens and Steve DiGiorgio are pried away from playing in their multitude of bands, they pull off a brilliant project like CHARRED WALLS OF THE DAMNED.

Ghost Town” immediately brings back memories of DEATH’s The Sound Of Perseverance as Richard Christy executes a timely drum intro, and starts to blast away with his unique drumming style. Fretless bass master Steve DiGiorgio‘s bass lines immediately draw your attention, and when Ripper‘s first notes hit, the listener knows that this is nice slab of classic heavy metal melted together with great musicianship. So many bands these days forget how to write “songs,” but this all-star group writes a few excellent and memorable tracks, as “From The Abyss” showcases the heavy metal sound with catchy riffs and solos that even extreme metal enthusiasts can enjoy. The entire album is a throwback album paying tribute to traditional heavy metal and reminding youngsters how to write metal songs with catchy hooks, choruses, excellent leads, and superb drumming without resorting to overused blast beats, generic vocals and mindless solos. Christy can out drum any of the so-called “technical” death metal drummers, but he chooses to be clean, basic, and solid, while adding his own technical flair, much like his days with DEATH and ICED EARTH.

Blood On Wood,” as with a large chunk of the album, has a lot of NWOBHM and JUDAS PRIEST influence. And while the songs are on the short side, the length works out well as the tracks range mostly in the 3-4 minute mark. A track like “Manifestations” is one of those heavy metal tracks you can sing along to without feeling cheesy and just have fun belting out a long Ripper scream. “The Darkest Eyes,” the pinnacle of the album, showcases Christy‘s perfect and synchronized drumming, with Suecof‘s melodic solos and breakdowns which compliment Ripper‘s sing-a-long chorus and screams amazingly well.

CHARRED WALLS OF THE DAMNED is finally a “supergroup” that lives up to its name and isn’t just a quick cash grab, like EX-DEO or OV HELL. This project can be comparable to a more traditional heavy metal version of CONTROL DENIED, but CHARRED WALLS definitely holds its own. Fans of any of these amazing musicians should dig this release, as would any heavy metal or metal fan in general. Do not overlook this band just because of the horrible name or cover art, because this album may very well be the surprise album of the year. (Metal Blade Records)

CHARRED WALLS OF THE DAMNED Confirm First Ever Tour

Richard Christy‘s CHARRED WALLS OF THE DAMNED is hitting the road. Tickets are now available on http://www.richardchristy.com and http://www.timripperowens.com.

Richard Christy talked about the tour: “I am Soooooooooooooo pumped to get out on the road and blast some heavy metal with CHARRED WALLS OF THE DAMNED this summer! Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens and I are beyond excited about this tour! The response to our debut album has been so amazing and I think people are going to be blown away when they hear these songs live! I’m sweating my buns off in the rehearsal room every day getting tighter and tighter on our songs so that we will be absolutely blistering when we get out on the road in July! Steve DiGiorgio and Jason Suecof have prior commitments and won’t be able to join us on this tour but we have the incredible musicians John Comprix (BEYOND FEAR, RINGWORM) on guitar, Dennis Hayes (BEYOND FEAR, ex-ICED EARTH) on bass, and Matt Sorg (RINGWORM) on guitar joining CHARRED WALLS OF THE DAMNED for this tour! We’ll be playing our debut album in full and we’ll have plenty more surprises as well! Joining us as host of the tour and also doing stand up at each show will be the hilarious comedian and carrier of the heavy metal torch, Don Jamieson from VH1’s That Metal Show! I’ve known Don for many years and I’m so psyched to have him as part of this tour! Coming soon we’ll have more big announcements about the tour including opening bands in each market and other cool surprises! So get ready to raise your fists and bang your heads with CHARRED WALLS OF THE DAMNED this summer! See you on tour!”

Vocalist Tim “Ripper” Owens adds: “Man I really look forward to this short run of shows, just going out with some friends and playing in front of some of the best fans around. And watching Don every night just tops it off!!! See you all on the road!”

Tour dates:

07/01 Chicago, IL Empty Bottle
07/02 Detroit, MI Harpo’s
07/03 Montreal, QC Les Foufounes Electrique
07/04 Toronto, ON Opera House
07/06 Cleveland, OH Peabody’s Down Under
07/07 Pittsburgh, PA Diesel
07/08 New York, NY Gramercy Theater
07/09 West Chester, PA The Note
07/10 Worcester, MA Palladium w/ DREAM THEATER

ICED EARTH EP to feature Re-Recorded The Something Wicked Trilogy

On June 5th, ICED EARTH return to action and set the stage for their upcoming double-album epic.

The Overture Of The Wicked EP features the brand new, hard-hitting track “Ten Thousand Strong” along with a special 2007 version of the Something Wicked trilogy (originally appearing as the closing to 1998’s classic Something Wicked This Way Comes album.) This release is the prelude to the full-length album, Framing Armageddon (Something Wicked Part 1), coming this fall.

Led as always by guitarist/composer Jon Schaffer and featuring the soaring vocal mastery of Tim Owens, ICED EARTH returns stronger than ever and are about to embark on the most ambitious journey of their career.

Schaffer explains: “The Something Wicked trilogy (comprised of the songs “Prophecy“, “Birth of the Wicked“, and “The Coming Curse“) has been completely rerecorded. From the ground up this is a more vicious and more atmospheric version of the epic piece. All of the vocals have been redone, obviously by Tim Owens, who did a masterful job at retaining the passion and honesty of the original, and still put his stamp on it and made it his own. We also put in some teaser atmospheric things that will give you a hint of things to come on Part 1. But just a hint…we don’t want to spoil any surprises.”

“For those of you that aren’t familiar with the old version or the Something Wicked story at all, you should check it out. The original trilogy is just an overview of the story that begins 12,000 years ago and leads us to modern day. You should look at the trilogy as an introduction to this whole epic. What is coming next in the two parts is a far more in depth look into this very tragic, heavy and apocalyptic sci-fi/fantasy story.”

A full tour of North America is in the planning stages. More details will be available soon.

DEICIDE – The Stench of Redemption

Everyone knows that Glen Benton and his merry band of hell raising mischief-makers have been writing songs about hating Jesus and killing Christians for a long time, but after a series of mediocre and otherwise seemingly forgettable releases on Roadrunner Records there is one question that seemed to haunt this band – does anyone care? With the reinvigorated songwriting and supercharged rhythms on The Stench of Redemption, DEICIDE is going to make you care.

Although their 2004 release Scars of the Crucifix marked a return to form of sorts on Earache Records, it took a line up change and rebuilding of this band’s sound from the ground up to create the aural assault in The Stench of Redemption. Gone are the production hiccups that appeared on Scars…, and Brothers Brian and Eric Hoffman bowed out to be replaced by ex-CANNIBAL CORPSE guitarist Jack Owen and guitarist Ralph Santolla of ICED EARTH. The result is excellent production with a plethora of roars, riffs and blasts that explode with thrash-infused death metal goodness. The band freely admits that this is the fastest material they have written, and their determination to write what is potentially the best DEICIDE release to date shines through. Tracks such as “The Lord’s Sedition” demonstrate that Glen picked up a few pointers on atmosphere and mood during his time working with VITAL REMAINS, though nothing on this album is as pretentious as the songwriting that appeared in Dechristianize.” Ralph and Jack most notably showcase their talents with solos on “Desecration,” “Crucified for the Innocence,” and “Death to Jesus.” Select versions of the album also include an interesting cover of DEEP PURPLE‘s “Black Night,” which has more blasting drums than Deep Purple could ever have imagined.

Some may say this album only serves up the best parts of those songs in DEICIDE‘s early career, but anyone with an ear for reinvention will recognize this release as representing the expression only hinted at in 1992. Let the earth quake, skies fall, and gods tremble with The Stench of Redemption. (Earache Records)