Rating:
7.0
Charred Walls Of The Damned - Cold Winds On Timeless Days
11 October 2011


01. Timeless Days
02. Ashes Falling Upon Us
03. Zerospan
04. Cold Winds
05. Lead The Way
06. Forever Marching On
07. Guiding Me
08. The Beast Outside My Window
09. On Unclean Ground
10. Bloodworm
11. Admire The Heroes
12. Avoid The Light


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.

Let's not be mistaken, though - this band is primarily put together by drummer Richard Christy and guitarist Jason Suecof, which is kind of odd, all things considered, as most of the highs on this album are courtesy of Tim Owens. It's a fairly typical sort of hyper-aggressive sounding US power metal. If it weren't for the vocals, this album wouldn't have the identity that it does. Sure, there's a small handful of neat-o melodic leads, but too frequently they're augmented by the generic riff work.

Here's the kicker; the latter half of the album actually really picks up the slack. It seems like the song placement precisely reflect the order in which they were written. It's almost as if they realized how aimless, anticlimactic and dry they were sounding somewhere around the first half of "Lead The Way", then got their shit together. That makes this an incredibly difficult album to get into; it takes a little over 4 full songs before the whole thing really picks up. When they do, however, the riffs are juicy, the leads are massive, and the vocals no longer have to carry the whole thing, but rather soar over top as icing on the cake.

Unfortunately, even with the stronger songs being presented in the second half, there's still some weaker moments frequently dispersed. Had the first half of the album been absent of those parts then they would be a little more digestible; every album has some low-key moments that aren't so good, but when you've finally waded through over 20 minutes of that crap already, it's a little tiring to have to sit through more.

Had Cold Winds On Timeless Days been cut down to a lean, mean 40 minutes, we may have had one hot album on our hands here, the additional 20ish minutes of completely asinine song writing however is a bit much to handle.


Band profile: Charred Walls Of The Damned
Album: Cold Winds On Timeless Days


 



Written on 22.10.2011 by
Doc Godin
Former EIC. Now just a reviewer guy.
More reviews by Doc Godin ››

Guest review by
Silver Soul

Rating:
8.5
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.

Read more ››
published 05.01.2012 | Comments (3)



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Rulatore - 22.10.2011 at 03:56  
Agreed. A good review
WorpeX - 22.10.2011 at 04:37  
Going to have to agree on the review here. I absolutely love "Zerospan", and I think that song alone makes up for a lot of the filler. I have trouble listening to a lot of the other songs on the album though... the only other song I can see on the track list and say "oh yeah, that ones good" is "The Beast outside my window".

I don't fully agree that Tim makes up for the song writing though. I absolutely despise "Lead the Way" because of the way he sings the bridge. It's just one tone, very monotonous and bland. He sings it for just long enough to make me want to switch the songs, but then right when I go to my media player to turn it... it finally goes into the Chorus which is actually quite good.

So yeah. I got the album for Zerospan. That song is a masterpiece. The rest, I can do without.
JÄY - 23.10.2011 at 02:13  
Oooohhhh man, this is off to a bad start. Why cant ripper do anything right?
The Benighted - 23.10.2011 at 06:36  
'Ashes Fall Upon Us' is probably the best song on here, imo. Second up is probably Zerospan. Overall I thought the album was just alright.
Hammer34 - 24.10.2011 at 18:41  
Spot on comment in the review about the enigma that is Ripper Owens. It is really strange that his reputation is entirely about his trademark vocal chops---or chop really (absent his impressive falsetto ability, he is a pretty unremarkable singer IMO)---rather than any truly renowned or "classic" albums or songs. A big part of that has to be his choice to be mostly a singer for hire vs. staking his claim with one, organic band, evolving over time, and slugging it out to make a name for it. If that's a conscious decision on his part that he's better able to make a living working at his craft that way than by starting at ground zero and toiling to hopefully build something formidable over time, then I respect that. It's a trade-off. If he stays this course, however, it will be interesting to see if he is ever known as much for some truly great music or signature album(s) as he is for just being "Ripper!"

As for CWOTD, I love the idea of this band: all the aggressive trappings of death metal and other extreme forms, but with melodic singing and a traditional base. I got the first album and thought it had a few good songs and was impressive in pulling off that blend of styles, but ultimately it was not that memorable. I will check out some samples to see if anything catches my ear, but from the review and comments it sounds like the new one is more of the same.
Void Eater - 25.10.2011 at 23:56  
It sounds lighter and more restrained than their previous album. To much softer midpaced parts, not enough up tempo parts.

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