BEYOND FEAR – Beyond Fear

BEYOND FEAR - Beyond Fear


Release date: May 9, 2006

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Since Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens was presented as Metal behemoths Judas Priest’s new vocalist in 1996, he has rapidly become an anomaly in the world of Metal. Walking the road “from fan to fame,” he became the epitome of the Rock ‘n’ Roll dream, replacing one of the greatest personalities in the history of Metal –- hell, even in the history of music -– The Metal God, Rob Halford. While many of the worldwide Priest fans claimed that no one could ever replace such a famed name, Owens got a chance to show his abilities as a vocalist and frontman, making him a respected artist throughout all of Metal. Building up a musical foundation during 7 years with Priest and via recording Iced Earth’s The Glorious Burden in 2004, Owens gradually grew restless to release his very own material –- a longing fulfilled with the first release of his new band project Beyond Fear.

The showstarter “Scream Machine” could, as Owens even states in the cover, have suited some of the later Priest albums -– this is another take on the idea of Metal as an industrial, unstoppable phenomenon (Priest tracks “Grinder,” “Exciter,” and “Painkiller” are but a few examples), and nicely sets the pace for the album. Including the modern, Hardcore-style riffing, Beyond Fear’s “transportation of Traditional Metal style into the present” has been released with a … well, scream.

And … You Will Die” further explores the epics of modern day dressed on a Metal plate -– chemical/mechanical sound effects, a chuggy guitar riff, and a corroboration of vocal prowess starting off the track, which presents some escapades in the lower regions. While Owens certainly has more power and panach in his screams and screeches, it’s nice to know that he is capable of more. “Save Me” is another example of NWOBHM anno 2006 –- and resembles “And …” in many ways, with the old über-heavy guitar intro riff, and yet another effect intro, as well as another hair-whitening refrain from The Metal God’s former apprentice –- emerging with silver in hand, showing why Iced Earth decided to get hold of him after his departure from Priest in 2003.

The intro of “The Human Race” starts to bring back happy memories from the Neo-Classical era, matching Yngwie Malmsteen’s “Tomorrow’s Gone” from Magnum Opus, but whatever hopes and/or worries may have been borne are quickly crushed as one of John Comprix’ and Dwane Bihary’s already characteristic massive riffs enter the arena. This one is the album’s most speedy yet, and is a great listen -– these musicians are both talented and brutal to boot, building a fine musical stage for Sir Tim to perform on. Owens seems to have lined up the songs in pairs, as the style of “Coming At You”‘s intro is close to an exact replica of the former track.

Thus, by this time –- far, far too early –- the tracks are starting to wear thin. The riffing sounds increasingly similar to what has been played earlier, and unveils the prime flaw of this release, as it seems to be repeating itself. Luckily, “Dreams Come True” make the dreams of another dimension to this record come true indeed –- a nice ballad number, which seems like Easy Listening after the eardrum-piercing material given thus far, accompanied by the least convincing vocals of the album. By no means a catastrophic performance, but still a disappointment.

“Telling Lies” brings the album back on track in every aspect, with another heavy riff (really catchy, this time) and a return to the more typical Ripper voices -– with a few more screams in the chorus, this track would be a killer. And Beyond Fear’s debut frankly doesn’t get any closer to such a track, as “I Don’t Need This,” “Words Of Wisdom,” and “My Last Words” all fail to bring anything new to the picture. This also largely counts for “Your Time Has Come,” but the mid-tempo interlude in the middle of the number deserves a hail. While not anything extraordinary, it certainly freshens up the album, simply by being different. Tracks of such similar nature and style crave bullseye riffs to keep the energy up and thankfully, the ending track, “The Faith,” falls into that category. Along with a cutthroat riff, the chorus of this song also has some really interesting (in no negative way!) vocal harmonies.

This leaves Beyond Fear a great record to plunge into if you’re in a really Metal mood and plan on staying in that mood for the foreseeable future, as this is a tight band full of attitude, accompanying probably one of the most talented and experienced frontmen in the business today. While not being great solo guitarists, Comprix and Bihary perform well throughout the record, and the same can be said for bassist Dennis Hayes and drummer Eric Elkins. This crew will probably gain and maintain a position as a great live band, and, despite everything, it is not every band granted to find a playing style at all –- this considered, Beyond Fear may well be satisfied with the record in the sense that they have done nothing wrong. It’s just that it had every prerequisite to be so much more.


  • Eirik P. Krokfjord

    Eirik was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Oslo, Norway. He was introduced to music through marching bands and classical piano lessons. Still, he developed some sort of ear, and is now a more or less fully fledged Metal/Jazz/Big Band/Opera vocalist prodigy v6.66 AWESOME. This secured him the vocalist slot in the Prog/Thrash outfit Sarpedon, a band in which his brother plays guitar. Eirik's favorite bands include Shadow Gallery, Symphony X, Savatage, Nevermore, Children of Bodom, W.A.S.P., Muse, Weather Report, Return to Forever, Arch Enemy, Judas Priest, Evergrey, Kamelot, Conception, and Tower of Power.

    View all posts

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.