Tim Ripper Owens, what can you say about the man? Family man… Yeah. Phenomenal singer… Yup! Good songwriter… yeah. And with that said Owens goes out and submits to the legions his first real solo effort. Recruiting the best of the best like bass master Rudy Sarzo, guitarists Bruce and Bob Kulick, guitar whiz Jeff Loomis and the list goes on.
Starting the disc off is a killer track named “Starting Over”, that has tantalizing vibes of DIO and with guitarist Bob Kulick slamming the strings in overdrive and the thunder brought by Sarzo. It’s a can’t miss opener! Kulick doesn’t overshadow the vocals of Owens but man can he play, bringing the slicing sound of Vivian Campbell and silent screams of Eric Clapton. It’s just a fantastic opening song.
Track two “Believe” don’t let up the excitement but has a heavier down tuning drive with the guitars. With the collaboration of Bob Kulick and leads done by Craig Goldie, you can bring the metal horns up! The drumming by Simon Wright is the perfect match with Sarzo as the full sound is evident.
Track three “The Cover Up” has a complete overhaul of musicians with Jeff Loomis mastering the progressive sound of fast-paced mastery. Loomis totally changes the complete texture of Owens’ sound and with the bashing drums of Brett Chassen and bassist James Lomenzo the song reaches a thrash ecstasy.
Jumping to track seven “The World Is Blind” which is one of my favorite tracks with Doug Aldrich on lead guitar and Billy Sheehan on bass. The song reeks of vintage metal with the days of SABBATH during the DIO era shining bright.
Another standout track is “To Live Again”, which has a melodic metal drive with the addition of lead guitar by Michael Wilton (QUEENSRYCHE) and bass of David Ellefson (ex-MEGADETH) making the song standout. Owens’ vocals sing in harmony with the musicians as a metal ballad at times and other times elevating the metal power.
Listening to Owens’ screams remind me of OUTWORLD’s AWOL member Carlos Zema now with VOUGAN, so maybe you should also check VOUGAN out if that’s your type of thing.
This is a hard and heavy to the point CD with heavy down tuning at times, over the top guitarists that are unmatchable and musicianship that is breathtaking but just not a hit maker. Sure I would listen to this again, and with a tune that kicks it above the norm like “Death Race” which has the edge of metal classics and brings “Play My Game” to a higher level but bottom line, Ripper with the seasoned veterans he has on this record; the music is outstanding, but lyrically I was expecting a little more.
Granted there are some killer tunes on the record but if you’re looking for history making metal songs, he’s gonna have to try again. Overall, it’s a solid effort but I came away feeling a little let down.
- Tim Ripper Owens – Vocals
- Bob Kulick – Guitar 1,4,6,8
- Craig Goldy - Lead Guitar 2
- Jeff Loomis – Lead Guitar 3
- Steve Stevens – Lead Guitar 4
- Carlos Cavazo – Lead Guitar 5
- Bruce Kulick – Lead Guitar 6
- Doug Aldrich – Lead Guitar 7
- Michael Wilton – Lead Guitar 8
- Neil Zaza– Lead Guitar 10
- John Comprix – Guitar 11
- Chris Caffery – Guitar 12
- Rudy Sarzo – Bass 1, 2,5,10
- James Lomenzo – Bass 1, 11
- Dennis Hayes – Bass 4
- Billy Sheehan – Bass 6, 7
- David Ellefson – Bass 8
- Tony Franklin – Bass 9
- Marco Mendoza – Bass 12
- Simon Wright – Drums 1, 2, 5, 7, 8, 10, 12
- Brett Chassen – Drums 3, 6, 11
- Ray Luzier – Drums 4
- Bobby Jarzombeck – Drums 9
- Starting Over
- Cover Up
- Pick Yourself Up
- It Is Me
- No Good Goodbyes
- World Is Blind
- To Live Again
- Play My Game
- Death Race
- Shadows Are Alive