Released by: Frontiers Records
Release Date: February 15th, 2011
Genre: Heavy Metal
Ralf Scheepers: Lead & Backing Vocals; Acoustic Guitar; Keyboards; FX Sounds
Tim “Ripper” Owens: Lead Vocals on “Remission of Sin”
Magnus Karlsson: Lead Guitars; Guitars; Banjo; Accordion; Keyboards
Sander Gommans: Lead Guitar, Guitars
Mike Chlasciak, Alex Beyrodt; Kai Hansen; Victor Smolski: Lead Guitars
Mat Sinner: Bass, Keyboards
Snowy Shaw: Drums
01. Locked In The Dungeon
02. Remission Of Sin
04. The Fall
06. Saints Of The Rock
07. Before The Dawn
08. Back On The Track
10. The Pain Of The Accused
11. Play With The Fire
The name of Scheeprs is now synonymous as one of the best power metal vocalists around. Hailing from native Germany Ralf Scheepers has made a living in the metal game with his main band Primal Fear with its inception back in 1997. One step at a time these Germans have taken the metal torch and burned the night away with blaring speed power metal the way it was meant to be played.
As a respected metal vocalist Ralf had nothing more to prove to anybody, but as any artist trying to release something new or different he wanted to step into the solo spotlight and add a new light for fans to witness a slightly different style then the all out nuclear blast metal from his main band.
Luckily enough I was to get an advanced listen of Ralf’s solo album I dug in with an open mind and as anybody knows that has heard him in the past, his voice has an uncanny rampage atonement like future greats like Halford, or Dio. Even though he is known for his works with Primal Fear, he debuted back on Tyran’ Pace’s “Eye to Eye” album in 1983 and has since then been a staple of the German metal scene. Seems like a long time, yeah but surely back then Ralf heard a few Judas Priest songs you think? as evident on his new stuff featured here.
What we have here is a tribute not in a tribute CD kind of way, but in Scheepers paying respect to the greats in his own music that didn’t really fit into the mold of Primal Fear. I notice the duet with Tim Ripper Owens on “Remission of Sin”, not only is it bad ass but it sounds as if Ralf and Ripper we’re singing a duet on a Priest record. If you know anything about Ralf, you know that great guitar playing is something that has always been a featured on Primal Fear, so with leading guitar here we have his good friend Magnus Karlsson. Another blazing opening epic crunches your stereo speakers in “The Fall” a thundering voice by Scheepers grinds his way through this slab of pure metal!!!.The trembling pace of “The Pain of the Accused” is another curious track because he once more makes this slower power ballad and elevates it with his amazing pipes.
The bristling bass of Matt Sinner comes up close and personal on the lurking rhythm of “Saints of Rock”. A memorable cover of the classic Judas Priest track “Before The Dawn” of the Hell Bent For Leather album is sung admirably by Ralf and company. There isn’t to say that all songs work on a certain level, the more dull tracks like “Dynasty” and “Back On Track” are a little to generic for my liking. But only a few minor notches off pretty solid material.
The deviation from his other metal work is commendable, despite the fact the some songs don’t come on as killer cuts towards the bottom half of the record. There is enough material here for any metal fan to check out. The guitar playing is excellent as usual courtesy of the above mention Karlsson, and guest spots by Mike Chlasciak, Alex Beyrodt; Kai Hansen and Victor Smolski. As a fan of Ralf Scheepers knows the man puts all effort into delivering good music for his fans and is nice to hear a different part of him on his debut. Recommended.
Written by Denys
Ratings Denys 8/10
“Locked In The Dungeon” audio sample:
“Remission Of Sin” audio sample:
“The Fall” audio sample: