It is safe to say that one of the hardest-working vocalists in Heavy Metal is Tim "The Ripper" Owens. The Ripper currently fronts KK's Priest, Spirits of Fire, the Three Tremors, and A New Revenge, and now his latest solo venture RIPPER has just released Return to Death Row. The six-song EP is a collaboration with Hatebreed's Jamey Jasta who has done similar ventures with former Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider.
Return of the RIPPER
Return to Death Row is produced by Jamey Jasta. The band is made up of Nick Bellmore (drums), Charlie Bellmore (guitars), and Chris Beaudette (bass). In an interview with Australia's HEAVY, Owens talks about how the project with Jasta came about. "The whole part about Jamey Jasta and I talking about this is he wanted to capture what I did a lot in my early career and what I did with BEYOND FEAR and what I did with [JUDAS PRIEST's] 'Jugulator' [album]. His main part, when he first talked to me, he was, like, 'Man, we've gotta do something to capitalize on what you did on 'Jugulator', 'cause it was brutal and it was great, and the vocals on there.' And that was his big thing."
The end result of this six-song EP perfectly summarizes the sound and attitude that Jasta and Ownes have created. In Jasta's words in an article written by Blabbermouth.net, "Ripper has been one of my favorite voices in metal since [JUDAS PRIEST's] 'Jugulator' arrived 25 years ago. His power, range, and work ethic inspire me daily and I cannot wait for the world to hear the crushing new metal tracks we are creating!"
Return to Death Row
Return to Death Row has a runtime of just under 23 minutes. The first track, "Die While We're Alive" opens with a blistering early Metallica-style thrash intro leading into Ripper's trademark Priestlike scream. The song nicely brings in multiple transitions such as a mid-tempo chorus and a Hardcore/ Metal mix towards the end of the song. "Embattled" has a Judas Priest-styled heavy riff that shreds through the length of the song. The chorus has a touch of melody that is easy to sing along to and band your head to. The riff Charlie Bellmore intertwined with the thrash-style shredding of "The Night (Take it Back) is pure fretwork gold.
A killer bass groove laid down by Chris Taylor lays the foundation for a solid Hard Rock track "Silent Cage." Ripper's vocals keep the track Heavy in nature whereas other singers could have turned this into a power ballad. Charlie delivers yet another blistering guitar solo. "Heroes Dare" showcases Ripper's dominating delivery amongst an occasional scream accentuating the chugging riff. The EP closes out with the title track, "Return to Death Row". This song has just about all of the qualities that Ripper has to offer. Punishing bass, excellent guitar solos, bombastic drum fills, and Owens' trademark vocal delivery along with a slower breakdown give the song added depth.
The production of this EP is well-balanced with the instruments enhancing Owens' vocals throughout. Performances are strong by all of the musicians, including Charlie Bellmore's epic guitar solos, Chris Taylor's monstrous bass, and Nick Bellmore's drumming. Standout tracks are "Embattled" and "Return to Death Row". Jasta and Owens have put together a platter of pure metal goodness.
Tim "The Ripper" Owens is definitely one of this generation's most important Metal voices and this EP proves that. One can only look forward to the full-length album that both Jasta and Owens will be delivering in 2023.
- Die While We're Alive
3. The Night (Take It Back)
4. Silent Cage
5. Heroes Dare
6. Return to Death Row
Tim "The Ripper" Owens - Vocals
Charlie Bellmore - Guitars
Chris Taylor - Bass
Nick Bellmore - Drums
Official website - https://timripperowens.com/
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/timripperowensofficial
Twitter - https://twitter.com/timripperowens
Album Link - https://ffm.to/rrndyex
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/Timripperowensofficial/
Spotify - https://open.spotify.com/album/0oR2QEPpFSB2Lf6Yka3GVb?si=qmC7HA9hQFmlllp9lR5QwA
Bandcamp - https://theripper.bandcamp.com/album/return-to-death-row-2?label=803977938&tab=music
Youtube - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LoxrZeT4uG4
Score 8.5 / 10
Label: Perseverance Media Group
Release date: December 9, 2022
Written by Mark Zagotti – 12/14/2022
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