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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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’.
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
the more genteel vibe going is ‘Back On The Track’, a track that ebbs
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.
1. Locked In The Dungeon
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