Charred Walls Of The Damned - Cold Winds On Timeless Days review
|Band:||Charred Walls Of The Damned|
|Album:||Cold Winds On Timeless Days|
|Release date:||October 2011|
01. Timeless Days
02. Ashes Falling Upon Us
04. Cold Winds
05. Lead The Way
06. Forever Marching On
07. Guiding Me
08. The Beast Outside My Window
09. On Unclean Ground
11. Admire The Heroes
12. Avoid The Light
It seems that whenever a band releases their sophomore album, one of two things happen: the album ends up being overshadowed by their debut (see Arsis' United In Regret, or Nightrage's Descent Into Chaos); or the band is able to focus and refine their sound, resulting in a monster of an album (see Dark Tranquillity's The Gallery, or Vesperian Sorrow's Psychotic Sculpture). Charred Walls Of The Damned's Cold Winds On Timeless Days falls into the latter category.
Compared to their self titled debut, Cold Winds is an improvement on all fronts. Steve Digiorgio's quality bass work is higher in the mix than on their debut, where he only really popped up on the intro for "Blood on Wood." Personally, it's still not quite as high as I would like but then again, this isn't Sadus. Richard Christy's drumming is still impressive with varied and appropriate beats and complex fills. As the main songwriter, his tempo changes are well-executed and he makes sure not to overdo anything, as shown in "Avoid The Light" and "Guiding Me". Tim Owens delivers more of the same piercing falsettos and his hit or miss vocal harmonies. Thankfully, his harmonies are mostly successful, save for a few ill-advised ones like those in "On Unclean Ground" and "Admire The Heroes" For those looking to hear some of Owens' falsetto high spots, then check out the "Zerospan", and the chorus for "Cold Winds." The pre-chorus bridge in "Lead the Way" sounds really cool, with Owens singing an undulating chromatic vocal melody, (from D to Eb, if you're curious) while the rest of the instruments play an ominous sounding dissonant riff.
Most impressive to me is how much the guitar work has improved between the two albums. On their debut, it was clear that the main stars of the album were the drums and vocals, with the bass sometimes popping up, and the guitar belting out nice leads, but overly simple, somewhat generic riffs. With this album, the guitar melodies and solos are more impressive with the riffs being improved. During the slow-burn intro to "The Beast Outside My Window," Jason Suecof crafts a nice, layered acoustic melody.
Cold Winds On Timeless Days has Charred Walls Of The Damned (pretty cool that the album title and the band name have the same acronym), working together as more of a unit. The songwriting is varied, and well-performed, with a phenomenal production (courtesy of Jacob Suecof) The songs are also arranged better this time around, unlike their debut, which was marred with abrupt song endings. To me, the only weak point on this album is the opening track, which I find sort of boring.
Standout tracks: "Ashes Fall Upon Us," "Lead The Way," "Guiding Me," "Avoid The Light", and "Zerospan"
|If there was ever an album to symbolize a good chunk of Ripper Owens career, this would be it. As a vocalist, he's more than capable, and he has had his number of high moments, but never really anything all that amazing, he's a man known better for his talents than any type of legacy with dynamite albums. Cold Winds On Timeless Days is similar - it has some really interesting moments, but they are too frequently diluted by those utterly boring in-between minutes.
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