With a day job as a Howard Stern Show funnyman, veteran drummer Richard Christy can keep his music as all play and no work, which may explain why Charred Walls of the Damned sound so energized and uncompromising. The group’s second album is a 58-minute barrage of cutting-edge power metal abounding with tumbling polyrhythms, asymmetrical riffs, and unconventional arrangements. Though technically demanding, the songs are focused by the tuneful, vibrato-laden vocals of Tim “Ripper” Owens and the crafty guitar work and stellar production of Jason Suecof, who adheres disparate instrumental parts to piercing vocal harmonies seamlessly. Timeless, indeed. JON WIEDERHORN
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