Artist: Scheepers 
   Title: Scheepers
   Label: Frontiers Records
 

Well February is turning into quite a month of Metal for Frontiers Records with Benedictum and Scheepers both set to take the metal world by storm, and it’s the latter Ralph Scheepers solo album simply entitled Scheepers that is the focus of this review.

As one if not the top Heavy Metal vocalist around these days, Scheepers has come up trumps with his first solo release, a real triumph of power driven Heavy Metal with the titanic vocals of the man himself the undoubted mainstay of the album.

This is an album that Scheepers has had in background for some time, as he wrote the songs that didn’t quite fit into frame of what was going on in Primal Fear, as early as 2007 Scheepers.  Then Mat Sinner and Frontiers Records President Serafino Perugino got together to talk about the future, with Primal Fear signing to the label for their excellent album.  Sinners name started popping up all over the place with several Frontiers artists last year and I suppose from that it was always going to be on the cards that if Scheepers was going to release this album then it was going to be with Frontiers.

Scheepers is joined for this album with long time buddy Sinner laying down the bass lines, but also there is a plethora of all star names from the metal world who have guested on the album, but more of them as each track unfolds.

So down to the album itself, this release showcases perfectly why Scheepers is regarded as thee metal vocalists of the new millennium.  As the album opens up in emphatic style with ‘Locked in the Dungeon’, a track that comes out of the darkness and takes you by the throat, much in the same way Accept's classic Fast As A Shark did all those years ago.  Only this time it's Scheepers that's reaching those dizzy heights that previously we all thought were reserved for Udo and Mr. Halford, but anyone who know Primal Fear will know what a powerhouse frontman Scheepers is and its sustained power that not many vocalist can keep at that fiery pitch like Scheepers can.  Maybe the two aforementioned can.  Oh and did I mention one Metal Mike of Halford plays guitar on this one?, I didn’t well he does. 

It was once rumored that Scheepers was considered for the Judas Priest spot when Halford left, so how ironic is it that the guy that did get the job, ‘Tim ‘Ripper” Owens, duets with Scheepers on the stunning metal anthem that is ‘Remission Of Sin’, which uncannily does sound very Priestish,

One of my many favourite tracks off the album is the stunning ‘Cyberfreak’, a track that delves into today’s dark side of the Internet.  A real ball busting metal slice of rampaging Heavy Metal.

Scheepers brings a little Melodic Metal vibe to proceedings with the outstanding ‘The Fall’, before things take a more mellow refrain with the dark ‘Doomsday’.  Next we venture to another of my favourites, the anthemic ‘Saints Of The Rock’.

The Judas Priest and Halford connection is kept going when Scheepers delves in to the bands back catalogue, to be more precise to the 'Killing Machine' album, for the excellent ‘Before The Dawn’.  Not the most well known song but a favourite of Scheepers all the same and one where he plays all the instruments on, except for the solos which were handled by Victor Smolski.

Keeping the more genteel vibe going is ‘Back On The Track’, a track that ebbs and flows in tempo but never reaches such breakneck speeds.  Another track where Scheepers shows the many facets of his vocal range, one minute it's gentle melodies, the next he's towering above everything else.

Things start heating up again with another metal anthem as Scheepers pays homage to world of Heavy Metal with ‘Dynasty’, before bringing the tempo right back down with the intro into the stunning ‘The Pain Of The Accused’, which features the guitars of Gamma Ray’s Kai Hansen.

It's metal all the way with the rampaging guitar fuelled ‘Play With The Fire’.  This is old school metal at its fist raising best. Then it's all change once more as the album closes with ‘Compassion’, an all acoustic track which shows this album is one of variety and that it may have been three years in the making, but its sure been worth the wait. 

Tracklisting:

1. Locked In The Dungeon
2. Remission Of Sin
3. Cyberfreak
4. The Fall
5. Doomsday
6. Saints Of The Rock
7. Before The Dawn
8. Back On The Track
9. Dynasty
10. The Pain Of The Accused
11. Play with The Fire
12. Compassion 

                  

 

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