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Owens, Tim 'Ripper': Play My Game

The first solo album from former Judas Priest/Iced Earth & current Yngwie Malmsteen warbler was always going to be a hit or miss affair. The problem Owens has had in the past is that he has joined established bands with a very definitive style of song writing and writing partnerships going back years. Play my Game has all the elements in place to be a great metal album, big name artists Dave Ellefson, Steve Stevens, Vinnie Appice to name but a few, Check, a signature metal air raid siren vocal, Check, a metal heritage and proven track record, Check, some great metal classics to punch your fists and throw some horns in the air? This is where the checklist skips a tick.

The problem lies in that poor old Tim is a little confused as to what style of metal he'd like to play, is it Power Metal? Groove/Funk Metal? Or just plain Metal? Kicking off with "Starting Over" your attention is grabbed by your short & curly's and gripped by a mighty metal fist, however, after the initial pain threshold is achieved this is where the songs seem to meander along like background music in a supermarket albeit with a loud distorted guitar. There are some great moments on this album, crunching riffs, pure metal vocals and some chest beating choruses. The problem is that there aren't enough memorable songs on here to make you want to give the silver disc another spin time and again. Tim 'Ripper' Owens has delivered a good effort for a debut album things can but improve, he just needs to find that song writing partner that will give him a vehicle for his truly metal voice.


Track Listing

  1. Starting Over
  2. Believe
  3. The Cover Up
  4. Pick Yourself Up
  5. It is Me
  6. No Good Goodbyes
  7. The World is Blind
  8. To Live Again
  9. The Light
  10. Play My Game
  11. Death Race
  12. The Shadows are Alive

Added: July 26th 2009
Reviewer: Mark Davies
Score:
Related Link: Artist Website
Hits: 1366
Language: english

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Owens, Tim 'Ripper': Play My Game
Posted by Ryan Sparks, SoT Staff Writer on 2010-02-09 21:44:42
My Score:

Vocalist Tim 'Riper' Owens has been a very busy man over the past decade. He snagged his dream gig with Judas Priest, admirably filling in and basically keeping the seat warm for seven years until Rob Halfords eventual return. He parlayed that straight into a four year stint with American metal titans Iced Earth before segueing into a new band called Beyond Fear, as well as assuming the singing duties on Yngwie Malmsteen's latest album Perpetual Flame. So what's left for Owens you might ask? Well release a solo album of course, which is exactly what he's done with Play My Game which marks his debut as a bandleader.

Play My Game is an all-star studded affair and after taking one look at the players who signed on for this baby, it's hard not to be impressed, and that's before you've even heard a single note of music. Let's see we have we have bass players Billy Sheehan, Rudy Sarzo, David Ellefson and Tony Franklin. The drums are handled by Simon Wright, Ray Luzier and Bobby Jarzombeck, while the list of six stringers includes Steve Stevens, Doug Aldrich, Craig Goldy and Bob Kulick (yeah the bald guy).

This disc flat out rocks from start to finish as Owens and his crew offer up a dozen tracks of some of the finest straight ahead, mid-tempo, melodic metal, all delivered with Ripper's trademark pipes of steel. Positive power anthems "Believe" and "Pick Yourself Up" should have fists a pumpin' in a matter of seconds. Two of the strongest tracks musically also feature some of Owens' finest work vocally as he threatens to rip you a new asshole on "The World is Blind", which also reveals some fantastic bass playing courtesy of Sheehan and a blazing guitar solo from Aldrich. The other gem here is the title track, which is a brutal in your face number highlighted by Ripper's menacing, possessed vocal delivery amid some searing solo's from another technical guitar wizard, Neil Zaza. Hell the last song "The Shadows Are Alive" is another one that will give you a firm punt up the ass!

The time has definitely arrived for Tim Owens to finally step out of the shadows of his former employers and prove that he can deliver the goods on his own. I can tell you one thing; he's swinging for the fences on each and every one of these twelve tracks. Pick this one up pronto!

(originally reviewed for www.classicrockrevisited.com)



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