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On disc: Scheepers

Scheepers - Claudia Ehrhardt - 8 stars


(Frontiers Records - 2011)

No need to introduce Ralf Scheepers to metal fans, the frontman of Primal Fear is well known. Fans will know what to expect - heavy / power metal. The songs have been written through the years, but as they didn't fit 100% to Primal Fear were put aside. Musically the songs show references to Primal Fear, Gamma Ray and Judas Priest - but that's no surprise. Ralf Scheepers got a helping hand from his band mates Mat Sinner, Magnus Karlsson and Alex Beyroth. And drummer Snowy Shaw made sure the songs have the right punch. At Before The Dawn he played all instruments, only the guitar solo was done by Victor Smolski.
The kicks off with Locked In The Dungeon which features Metal Mike Chlasciak who is one of the guests on Scheepers. At Remissions Of Sin he teams up with Tim 'Ripper' Owens and it's a true Primal Fear tune with a dash of Priest. The song shows how close they are vocally. The first tracks should please every Primal Fear / Scheepers fan, but with The Fall he shows a different facet. It's a mid-paced tune with a catchy vocal line. Doomsday starts slowly with whispered words and guitar, but then he adds power and speeds up, due to the keyboards the songs is more bombastic. Saints Of Rock is a simple heavy metal tune with a stomping beat and big backings. Very catchy, even if not among my personal favorites... Before The Dawn is probably not the Judas Priest song one expected, but it shows the vocal range of Ralf Scheepers and it's definitely a highlight of Scheepers. A true metal anthem is Dynasty, a heavy rocker with high-pitched screams and powerful vocal parts. Balladesque begins The Pain Of The Accused where Kai Hansen plays guitar. It takes a bit til they head into a mid-pace track, but then it's heavy, riff-based and melodic at a time. Another highlight of Scheepers. Time to speed off! Play With Fire is an up-tempo riff-based metal anthem. A song which would could have been taken off a Primal Fear album.
The closer is a ballad with acoustic guitar and probably something fans haven't expect.... Singer / songwriter style mixed with metal elements - but also offers accordion and banjo.
Well, Ralf Scheepers presents a strong album, but offers some songs which seems to be suitable for Primal Fear and so one wonders why doing a solo album.

8 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


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