Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens is having such an incredible life that it would make a good movie! Well it did in a way. One of those, “This Film is based on a true a true story”, and then does nothing but bend that truth. Rock Star with Mark Warburg and Jennifer Aniston.
Which is a shame as the real story would have made a much better story.
Tim Owens was an extremely talented journeyman American musician working in the early Nineties as the Frontman to a Judas Priest tribute band. During this time he took the nickname Ripper from a Judas Priest song which showed off his devastating vocals. In 1996 while the actual Judas Priest were looking round for a new singer to replace Rob Halford, they happened upon a tape of Tim Owens and brought him into the fold. So the singer went from singing in a tribute act to the man out front of the real thing.
After seven years in the Priest including two studio albums, two live albums and a live DVD. It was decided to reunite Halford with his former bandmates to continue Judas Priest’s journey. Leaving Ripper out in the cold. This was certainly not an indictment on his character or singing abilities, but just a financial business matter.
After his tenure in The Priest, Ripper sang with Iced Earth, Beyond Fear and became Lead Singer with Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force. So a busy boy.
But by 2009 it was time to release the debut Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens Solo album. Play My Game.
What an album of immaculate Heavy Metal Music it was too.
Featuring the cream of Hard Rock Guitarists.
Starting Over the aptly titled opening track starts off in stomping, riffing form. Ripper unfurls his throat and shows exactly why he is considered one of the premier Rock vocalists of his or any other generation. The song is a co- write between Ripper and Bob Kulick who also stars on guitar with Rudy Sarzo on Bass and Simon Wright on drums. Not too shabby there.
Second song up is pure heavy metal bluster with a filthy riff leading the way from Craig Goldy. The Ripper is really in his element here. Ripper leads you through the first verses, chorus in fine fettle. Then at 2 minutes and 25 seconds. Ripper let’s rip with a scream that shatters the air as it comes from his very soul, the guitars break forth and heads will bang .
The Cover Up is another stormer this time revealing that Aliens really have landed with prove laid bare in the tapes. Anyway the aliens music obviously like it at great speed as the duel guitars of Jeff Loomis and John Comprix welcomes their new alien fans. The guitar solo leaves you breathless.
Brett Chassen must have nearly come through his drum kit on this one. Ripper a hit in the stars literally.
The distinctive guitar tone of Steve Stevens leads us into Pick Yourself Up. The song has a very strong guitar barrage with Bob Kulick and Mike Callahan who co-wrote with Ripper on this, joining in the fun.
We get a short sharp shake from belter It Is Me next featuring the undoubted talents of Quiet Riots Carlos Cavazo.
No Good Goodbyes is the album’s central track and fits perfectly. Ripper is in excellent form leading from the front, whilst behind him The Kulick Brothers Bruce and Bob rip up their guitars backed by the great Billy Sheehan on Bass and the Animalistic drums of Brett Chassen. Heavy Metal Music at its finest.
A song like that is hard to follow, but The World Is Blind manages admirably. Doug Aldrich stars on lead guitar, adding his trademark shredding. The lyrics have admirable intentions. As the Ripper begs for your attention in the fade out.
To Live Again is a song of epic proportions. With Ripper’s emotions laid bare. Michael ‘The Whip’ Wilton of Queensryche takes the guitar plaudits. David Elliefson takes over laying down a heavy riff picked up from his Megadeth days. This song adds a nice degree of balance to the album.
The Light has such a strong riff and vocal performance it does not suffer from not have the traditional guitar solo. “Keep on walking. “
The title track features Neil Zaza a guitarist more known for his classical stylings, but he gets to enjoy himself here as he splashes his guitar all over the riff, whilst Ripper’s vocals are at their most brutal.
Death Race as the title suggests is another breakaway rocker, literally ripping the seat covers off.
Shadows Are Alive is a fitting finale. If there is such a thing it’s a Power Metal Ballad, solid guitars rip the sky as the drums and bass pound out. Ripper surpasses himself with a stunning vocal his showpiece of the album. Pure power. At the midway point the band break the chains and finish off in almost Black Sabbath style, with Chris Cafferey of Trans-Siberian Orchestra going berserker on the guitar to bring about a rousing conclusion, a fitting conclusion to a very fine album.
Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens is still as active as ever. Touring with his solo band releasing another fine solo album Embattled soon, the Single of the album the title track is already released, also joining old Judas Priest compadre KK Downing in KK’s Priest who also released an album Sermons Of The Sinner in 2021, hopefully there will be another album, and touring soon.
On the strength of this album the Ripper should be a bigger star than he currently is. But not a bad story in this Rock’n’R
Starting Over, featuring Bob Kulick.
Believe, featuring Craig Goldy.
The Cover Up featuring many Aliens 👾 plus Jeff Loomis.
Pick Yourself Up featuring Steve Stevens.
It is Me featuring Carlos Cavazo.
No Good Goodbyes featuring Bruce Kulick.
The World Is Blind featuring Doug Aldrich.
To Live Again featuring Michael Wilton.
Play My Game featuring Neal Zaza.
Death Race featuring John Comprix.
The Shadows Are Alive featuring Chris Caffrey.
Written by Mott The Dog..
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