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Beyond Fear - S/T

2006 SPV Records :: Reviewed by skeksis on 2006-05-26

To many Tim 'Ripper' Owens will always be known as the man who filled in Rob Halford in the Priest for a few years while the Metal God got in touch with his roots. Now that Halford is firmly back in the Priest and released their (ahem?cough, cough) comeback record, and The Jon Schaffer Project (a.k.a. Iced Earth) seems to be on perpetual TDI, Tim has resurfaced with Beyond Fear. We all know by now the man has an incredible voice (geez, the guy did fill in for Halford!) but is his latest endeavor any good? Well, lets get this out of the way, aside from a few tracks off the Glorious Burden (namely 'Green Face'), it's a heck of a lot better than that said record, and spanks the Priest comeback record. In fact, one could draw similarities between this record and Halfords second release 'Crucible'. Like 'Crucible', there are some killer tracks ('Scream Machine', 'And?You Will Die, 'The Human Rage'), some filler ('Coming at You', 'Save Me'), and some that you just skip over ('I Don't Need This'). Thankfully the better stuff outweighs the turd. Although the record is being billed as somewhat classic metal make no mistake this is modern all the way. Just like 'Crucible', its chock full of heavy riffing, fast drumming, and paint peeling vocals. But I digress, although this record is very similar to 'Crucible', its a lot like Halfords first release (minus the gay biker pictures) as you can just feel that this band is still feeling their way through and the next record is probably going to rip (pun intended). Tim is on fine form, displaying what could be his best vocals yet, and still very much in the Halfrord vein. Blessed with a thick, clear production, the only thing marring this is the horrid, juvenile album cover. But all in all, not a bad record, not a bad record at all.