Released: 2006, SPV/Steamhammer / Playground Music
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall
Every true fan of metal ought to know who Tim “Ripper” Owens is. He is the singer that replaced Rob Halford in the metal icons Judas Priest. Owens recorded two albums with Judas Priest, JUGULATOR and DEMOLITION, where he was made the laughingstock because the albums didn’t sell, and he was made responsible for the unfortunate sales. However, everyone should remember that Owens only sang what the guys told him to and wrote for him to sing - in other words, Owens shouldn’t be held responsible for the members’ misfortune. After the years in Judas Priest he went on to sing in Iced Earth.
Now it’s time for Owens to show the world what he’s got and to do that he formed the band Beyond Fear. My expecations were really high before this album landed in my mailbox. Beyond Fear didn’t disappoint me at all, because when I turned on the album and his charismatic voice flooded out of the speakers along with the finest-played classic heavy metal, I was in metal heaven (or maybe hell?). Beyond Fear are just as agressive, angry and mean as expected and believe it or not there are smaller influences of Judas Priest here and there.
If you’re like me and grew up with and loved classic 80’s heavy metal of the finest brand I strictly DEMAND you to check out Beyond Fear. I promise you won’t be disappointed and if you are then call me and I’ll convince you that this is maybe the ultimate heavy metal album so far this year. In the middle of the album they have put in 3 slower songs, “Dreams Come True”, “Telling Lies”, “I Don’t Need This” but even if the tempo is remotely slower the music doesn’t loose the edge and heaviness.
Owens wrote 6 of the 12 tracks, the other 6 he wrote with one of the members in the band. The material and the production are absolutley outstanding. It’s really hard - almost impossible - to pinpoint any favorite tracks, but if you held a gun to my head and told me to I would pick “Scream Machine”, “And....You Will Die”, “Coming At You”, “Words Of Wisdom”, “My Last Words”, “Your Time Has Come” and “The Faith”.
As written earlier, this is an album for all true metalheads, and it’s going to come really high up on my chart of the year’s best debut album at the end of 2006.