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Scheepers
Scheepers

Company: Frontiers
Release: 2011
Genre: Power
Reviewer: EC

  • A full spectrum listen



  • I've followed Ralf Scheepers for a long time now, from the early days with Tyran Pace to Gamma Ray and then the big venture with Primal Fear. I can even remember all of the speculation about the Priest gig when Halford passed the torch, eventually going to Tim Owens. Needless to say I've been very excited about this solo venture from the German, a side-project that normally always shows off a different side of talent. No difference here as Scheepers first solo record is a diverse offering, in no way limiting the screamer to just Teutonic staples but also the ability to step out of the box and become creative with delivery and approach.

    The vocalist enlists some big names for this project, acquiring Achim Kohler (Rage, Primal Fear, Brainstorm) to mix and master and long time partner Mat Sinner to produce. Along with assistance behind the panels is a who's who of metal talent ranging from Victor Smolski (Rage, Mind Odyssey) to Tim Owens (Beyond Fear, ex-Judas Priest). These additions really enhance and promote the record from within, allowing Scheepers to coordinate his talent in a wide variety. The end result makes for a full spectrum listen that takes more than one listen to completely absorb.

    Fans of Scheepers' Primal Fear work with clearly enjoy cuts like "Play With Fire" and "Locked In The Dungeon", both fast paced racers that embrace the "meat & potatoes" dynasty that Scheepers is so well know for. Metal Mike Chlasciak steps in for lead guitar on the latter track, the first collaboration of the two that I know of. Where things really start to become lively is with "The Fall", a huge hard rock number with that Dokken style groove. More 80s fun is injected into "Saints Of The Rock" and the bass heavy "Dynasty", both very well produced numbers that fully elevate Scheepers smooth vocals. Scheepers also takes some liberty with his songwriting, lashing out at internet piracy on the wicked "Cyberfreak" entry. Fans of Primal Fear's more symphonic elements will enjoy "Doomsday", a roaring track that has a Nick Cave styled intro. Fans that were longing for Scheepers to join Priest will cherish "Before The Dawn", a power ballad that recalls "Diamonds And Rust". The dream team collaboration happens on "Remisson Of Sin", an Accept styled anthem that pairs Scheepers with Tim Owens.

    The Bottom Line An excellent solo record that brings the goods to the core fans but also allows some experimentation to create a full spectrum of sounds.



    About this Writer:
    Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has served as senior editor for MaximumMetal.com for nearly 10 years and is the author of the heavy metal book series--Denim & Letters. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia.

    Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
    5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
    4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
    3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
    3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
    2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
    1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
    0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

    Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

    Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

    The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



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    ScheepersScheepers
    2011
    Eric Compton3/4/2011


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