Initiated in 2004 and entitled in 2005, Beyond Fear was the new act of former Judas Priest singer Tim Owens. Judas Priest dumped Owens in 2003 following the return of Halford to the English veterans. Owens quickly recruited former band-mates and friends like bassist Dennis Hayes of Winter's Bane (and Seven Witches) and drummer Bobby Jarzombek of Halford fame and recorded a demo. The band played the BW&BK 6-Pack show in Cleveland and signed to SPV later that year. A tour with Jon Oliva’s Pain was also undertaken. The drumming had, in the meanwhile, been taken over by one Eric Elkins. Management was taken over by Wendy Dio.
The band issued its debut in the spring of 2006. Producer Jim Morris recorded the album in Florida. The band also hit Europe with Anthrax. The band was also booked for the Rock Hard Festival in Germany. Following the surprising return of Matt Barlow to Iced Earth, Ripper was again left homeless. The singer soon joined Yngwie Malmsteen and Soulbender.
BEYOND FEAR - same - SPV
Many have probably by now heard of Beyond Fear. The new band of former Judas Priest singer Tim “Ripper” Owens is widely expected with anticipation running high. After all, Owens is also fronting Iced Earth and has already proven his singing ability.
It is with more than a whiff of disappointment and lost opportunity that Beyond Fear, the debut album featuring twelve songs, sounds like a by-the-numbers recording that will be a mere footnote in a few short years.
The album begins with its best or second best song, Scream Machine. This is of the same nature as Judas Priest and is one of the rare moments where Owens actually pushes himself. His vocals hit the high notes here, the melodies and harmonies are patently metal and the front-man re-establishes his Judas Priest credentials. Coming At You has a melody like Forbidden’s Step by Step. The song is embarrassing almost given its repetitive nature. It could have been written during a sound check. Your Time Has Come has some atmosphere and power and is above average here. The drum sound though is too clinical, which happens to be one of the album’s faults. Dreams Come True is slow and another of those songs which could be interpreted as being autobiographical. I Don’t Need This innovates with its multiple vocal tracks! At least the song has plenty of guitars. Words Of Wisdom follows and also has some directive and angry lyrics. Could these last two songs be implicitly aimed at the Priest guys? The album ends with The Faith which, again, is repetitious and could be described as a vocal exercise. The drummer is doing his own thing. The more one listens to the songs, the more it sounds like an affirmation of sorts. How come the song My Last Words don’t end the album?
Beyond Fear could have been better. Instead, Ripper shows that he needs good writers around him to push him, prod him and write memorable tunes. - Anna Tergel