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Beyond Fear - Beyond Fear
Most people will know of Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens’ existence ever since he recorded the 1996 ‘Jugulator’ album with British heavy metal legends Judas Priest. I, however, encountered Owens’ talent for the first time when seeing the video of ‘The Reckoning’, taken from the album ‘The Glorious Burden’ by Iced Earth. I was instantly mesmerized by Tim’s unique voice, accompanied of course by the talented shredder Jon Schaffer, who’s skills on the guitar I’d also never actually noticed before.
Tim knew Rob Halford would eventually come back to Judas Priest. It was what the fans wanted and he accepted that. Even in his successful collaboration with Iced Earth Tim always had the desire to do something with his own musical ideas. Because he didn’t want to do a ‘solo’ effort, he recruited a permanent band, which he called Beyond Fear. And oh, man: please don’t let this be a one-day fly.
 
‘Scream Machine’, the first song on the self-titled debut, instantly reminds me of Judas Priest. As intended, this song shows where Tim’s roots lie, namely in the 80’s heavy metal. The thing I’ve always found admirable, was Tim’s ability to switch from ultra high-pitched vocals to deep raw ones without making the entire song less credible. And that’s exactly what Beyond Fear is about; credibility. The foundation of every individual song is very strong. Although I couldn’t really put Beyond Fear into a metal style such as power, progressive, heavy or thrash, it holds elements of all of these styles. Even nu-metal riffs aren’t shunned: ‘Coming At You’ utilizes a chorus riff that resembles the style of a number of well-known nu-metal bands like Slipknot and Mudvayne.
Another example of metal ‘integration’ would be ‘And… You Will Die’, which strongly reminded me of the thrash-progpower style that resembles the one of Nevermore.
 
The record is mainly memorable because of the aggressive, yet recognisable and adaptable style it is written in. 'Words Of Wisdom', to name another song (I could name and comment on them all, but I’ll try to keep it compact) is one of my favourite songs because the aggressive vocals in the verses are something I’d love to hear on stage. Accompanied by the tight guitar riffs and solid drums, this is a real head banger.
 
When reading back, I noticed that I tend to lay the emphasis on the vocals on ‘Beyond Fear’. Although Tim is the band’s founder, I would like to point out that the (bass) guitars, both rhythm and lead, as well as the excellent drumming, are no small part of the album. Tim wrote seven of the twelve tracks on this debut, so it’s only logical they fit best with his vocals and may even ‘up’ their quality a bit.
The heaviness of the bass guitar is the element that mainly gives ‘Beyond Fear’ its unique atmosphere. It’s also the reason that the many musical influences actually fit together. There aren’t many bands that are able to do this, in my opinion.
 
'Beyond Fear' is an excellent debut album, although I don’t really see it as a debut, really. I see it as a mix of the best things that Tim’s experienced over the years and managed to put into one record. Therefore, I can only conclude one thing: Beyond Fear’s next album is really going to be something to look forward to.
Beyond Fear - Beyond Fear
82/1001Details Steamhammer / SPV
Released on Tuesday May 9th, 2006
Metal

Writer @Bastian Blackrain on Tuesday May 2nd, 2006

Tags: #Beyond Fear
Tracklisting 1. Scream Machine 5:33
2. And... You Will Die 3:53
3. Save Me 3:46
4. The Human Race 3:36
5. Coming At You 3:14
6. Dreams Come True 4:42
7. Telling Lies 3:21
8. I Don\'t Need This 3:30
9. Words Of Wisdom 3:47
10. My Last Words 3:24
11. Your Time Has Come 4:49
12. The Faith 3:38
Line up Tim \"Ripper\" Owens - All Vocals
John Comprix - Rhythm & Lead Guitar
Dwane Bihary - Rhythm Guitar
Dennis Hayes - Bass
Eric Elkins - Drums