"Creatures Watching Over the Dead"

By Colonel Angus

"Creatures Watching Over the Dead" is the third release from these guys in their roughly six year history.  In that time, they have created some very good power metal with this current disk being the best.  The reason, I use the words “very good” is because no matter how many times I play the album, nothing really sticks.  I realize that they are not trying to re-invent the wheel here and all they seem to want to do is produce some good metal.  Well, mission accomplished.  Unfortunately, we live in a world where there are so many choices (and unfortunately not much time) so listening to a record that is only very good is not enough.  If this was 1985, my view may be different. 

There are a number of tunes that almost reach greatness but fall a little short.  “Reach Into The Light” has a great Judas Priest "Painkiller" vibe and “Tear Me Down” has some cool Dio elements.  “The Soulless” and “Afterlife” are also tracks that almost make the grade.  I’ve played the disk completely about a dozen times now and I really, really wanted to like it a lot.  I think Richard Christy is a very talented drummer and Ripper Owens is also spot on.  Owens will always be known as the guy who replaced Rob Halford in Judas Priest and that is short-changing his talents.  Whether he is singing for Priest, Iced Earth, Yngwie Malmsteen, or his own band Beyond Fear, he has shown that he has the talent and the voice to elevate the material.  That is why pains me to say that while "Creatures Watching Over the Dead" is a very good record, in today’s world, it need to be better.  Unfortunately, it’s just not at the level that would make me toss this disk into regular rotation of music.