Welcome to the musical meandering insights of Aaron Joy. Here you'll find 600 reviews of CDs & DVDs of rock & metal in all its variations, mainstream & indie. What they all share is that the album or band is unique in some way & not every submission was reviewed. Please share these reviews or link to them if you like what you read. Reviews are no longer being posted here but feel free to e-mail Aaron & post comments. (Formerly the Roman Midnight Music Blog) (last update 5/23/2017)

July 3, 2010

Beyond Fear ~ Beyond Fear (aka debut)

(No official website.)
Style: heavy metal
Label: Steamhammer/SPV
Year: 2006
Home: Akron, Ohio

Members: Tim "Ripper" Owens ~ vocals
John Comprix ~ lead guitar
Dwane Bihary ~ rhythm guitar
Dennis Hayes ~ bass
Eric Elkins ~ drums

I actually did not know Tim Ripper Owens, famed Rob Halford imitator & his replacement in Judas Priest, let alone front man for Iced Earth & Yngwie J. Malmsteen, fronts this band when I picked it up. I was going off of the metal-ness of the name. So, having already given away who sings you'll already know what the vocals are like - Judas Priest with all the highs & lows. I'll confess that I love Owen's two albums with Judas Priest & in many ways I prefer his vocals over Halford. Halford has a tendency to go over the top while Owens is much more grounded in his music. Owens is the gorilla to Halford's flying monkey. But, behind Owens is a firm crunch of densely rhythmic guitars on triple time, not too bloated with layers or solos, with a very strong rhythmic backbone. Opener "Scream Machine" is a great song that had it been recorded by Priest alongside "Breaking The Law" would now be a verifiable classic. That being said, the traditional metal elements are here, but this is far harder & truly metal of the new era of modern giants. Every song on this album is a meltdown headbanging classic. I can imagine that a live show would have been pure demolition. This is a great album that probably got overlooked due to the Judas Priest connection but deserves more attention than anything he did with Priest & maybe even Iced Earth. This is a warhorse addition to any music collection.

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