BEYOND FEAR - Beyond Fear

Beyond Fear - Beyond Fear

12 songs
47:21 minutes
***** *
Steamhammer / SPV


Tim "Ripper" Owens, the mastermind behind Beyond Fear, first received international recognition when he had joined Judas Priest in 1996 to replace Rob Halford. Seven years later, he had to leave because Rob Halford returned. Tim Owens did the vocals on one Iced Earth album (The Glorious Burden), but he wanted to have his own band with which he released a first self-titled CD. One of his band members is bass player Dennis Hayes from his former band Winter's Bane while the other three haven't been playing in well known bands.

Tim Owens started making music in the Eighties, and the traditional metal trademarks are reflected in his songs. He doesn't copy what was popular nearly twenty years ago, but gives the classic heavy metal structures a more modern touch. The album may of course also take some advantage from a contemporary fat production. The opener Scream Machine lets you already guess the general direction. It's a song which could have been on Judas Priest's Painkiller milestone. There are several tracks (Coming At You, Words Of Wisdom) where Tim Owens tries to sound like Rob Halford and these are mostly the best parts on the album. The other songs are often less brutal, throwing parallels to Iced Earth, Vicious Rumours and other classic power metal bands. Even if some songs are real smashers (Save Me, The Human Race), the album unfortunately suffers from some tracks that don't kick at all (Telling Lies, Dreams Come True, I Don't Need This, Your Time Has Come). Too much on this record has already been heard many times before or just sounds somehow unfinished.

There are no doubts that Tim Owens is an excellent singer, but his first album has maybe been released a few months too early. If he had waited a bit longer, I'm sure that the result would have had improved songwriting. It should be possible to avoid that error the next time.

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