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Thursday, 23 August 2012

Out Of The Beyond 21

Beyond Fear: S/T

Tim 'Ripper' Owens will forever be known as the man that replaced Rob Halford in Judas Priest. Beyond Fear is his own band formed after leaving Priest (and as a side-project to his stint in Iced Earth). Teaming with guitarist John Comprix who also co-writes the majority of the album. The album as you can imagine is fixed in the traditional/speed metal attack of latter Judas Priest. This is epitomised in opening track Scream Machine which sees Owens in full flight screaming as much as he can over Comprix's full on metal riffage, this continues to the next track before the pace slows on Save Me which has a heavy groove riff. The pace quickens again with the conspirational The Human Race. The majority of the album mixes between heavy walking rockers and speedy metal tracks with the occasional overblown ballad thrown in for good measure see Dreams Come True. The album is better than the two he released with Priest and for fans of 'The Ripper' or well played classic heavy metal this album is the perfect foil for Rippers unique vocals and shows the talent of his backing band. 7/10

Tim 'Ripper' Owens: Play My Game

This could be seen as Beyond Fear part two and is far more of a mixed affair. BF guitarist John Comprix does appear but only on a few tracks contributing rhythmn guitar. The majority of the tracks feature special guests on such as Bob Kulick, Chris Caffery, Vinnie Appice, Micheal Wilton, Doug Aldritch, Billy Sheenan, Steve Stevens, Jeff Loomis and Craig Goldy. The album features alot of Dio personell as The Ripper is now represented by Wendy Dio. It is this change that means that there is more variety in the tracks rather than straight up metal, opener Starting Over is a Dio track without the great man while there are many Dio/Rainbow and even Sabbath influcnes on the rest of the tracks. The speed metal quotient is handled by The Cover Up. Owens shows his vocal range on this album and starts to sound alot like RJD. Lyrical content ranges from the earth to aliens to conspiracy to fantasy with the antagonistic Play My Game full of red blooded male posing. This is a more diverse as I said but shows Ripper as a great vocalist when aided by a great collection of musicans. 8/10

'77: High Decibels

Two brothers form a rock and roll band that concentrates on blues based hard rock with gravelly whiskey soaked vocals and a penchant for big guitar solo's. Sound familiar? Well so do '77 naming themselves after the year Australia's most popular band released their seminal Let Their Be Rock is a dead giveaway to who the band soundlike. Hailing from the sunny climes of Spain, Armand (Rhythym guitar and vocals) and LG (Lead guitar) Valeta have manged to encapsulate the sound of Bon Scott-era AC/DC and whether you think they are paying homage or shamelessly copying the band is up to you but whatever it is they do a very good job. Kicking off with the OTT and heavy rocking title track the band set out their stall, the rest of the album is classic era Acca Dacca with Armand doing his best Bon. The bluesy walk of Let's Beat it Up and Backdoor Man show that these Europeans can bring the blues with the best of them. It's with Promised Land that the band extend their repitoire as this is a mini opera of sorts but the rest is a straight up AC/DC revival but they can border on tribute rather than having the orginality of Airbourne. 7/10   

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