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I'm not even sure where to start on this one...
Without giving you a history lesson; I'll say that I've followed Owens' career with great interest after his departure from Judas Priest. I listened to his work with Iced Earth and Yngwie Malmsteen and felt that neither really allowed him to demonstrate his full capabilities. I had hoped someday that he would get the good sense to just assemble his own band, play to his strengths and kick out some old school screaming heavy metal.
That brings us to this album... After reading that Owens was releasing a solo album with big name guest musicians, many of whom I enjoyed in other bands, I had huge expectations for this record. I thought Ripper was finally off the leash and was going to release something that actually utilized his vocal potential! Unfortunately, I was in for more disappointment.
I was left speechless at the overall lack of heaviness, memorable riffs or anything worth noticing period. The problems began with the first song! I was certain that Ripper Owens was going to open his solo album with something approximating the title track to Painkiller: pounding double bass, hammering pedal tone guitar riffs and higher than high pitched vocals. I mean that's what we all want to hear him do, right? Doesn’t he know that's what he's best at?
Nope, guess not.
Nothing like that to be found here! Nothing like that on the entire album! I can deal with being wrong, I can deal with artists trying something different but this man sang for Judas fucking Priest! These were just generic cheesy assembly line "radio rock" songs; where's my classic speed metal?! I scanned every track on the album for a hidden gem and came away with nothing.
Maybe that initial disappointment made me prejudiced against the rest of the album but everyone I've spoken to seems to have shared in my experience. I'm listening to the album while trying to write this review but the music is so bland and full of cliches that there really isn't much to say... I'm a fan of Ripper but I'm starting to question why he repeatedly fails to hit the target even with some of metal's greatest guitarists behind him...