Style: Heavy Metal
Release date: 18 February, 2011
Playing time: 52:32

Now this is how I remember Ralf Scheepers; belting out Halford-like falsettos with balls, as he did on the first Primal Fear album. Scheepers' self-titled debut solo album, released through Frontier Records, displays the German's more aggressive metal side compared with the last few Primal Fear releases. There's also defining moments that will remind you of the brilliance he displayed on the first three Gamma Ray albums as well.

The 12 tracks on the album are steeped in a classic heavy metal formula from start to finish - there are no fillers on Scheepers what-so-ever. There are great chantable choruses, melodic hooks and harmonies, killer vocals, orchestral arrangements, excellent guitar leads, precision-like drumming and many special guests.

Primal Fear band mate Matt Sinner plays bass and keyboards on the entire album, while Snowy Shaw handles drum duties. Gamma Ray's Kai Hansen added guitar on "The Pain of the Accused."

The squeak of a dungeon door, followed by a sinister laugh and a terrified scream begins CD opener "Locked in the Dungeon." Scheepers is a dead-on falsetto crushing machine, while Halford's Metal Mike Chlasciak pulls off full-on dive bomb guitar leads, which gets the album off to a fantastic start.

Tim "Ripper" Owens guests on "Remission of Sin" for a balls-out, fierce falsetto duet with Scheepers. It's as if two Rob Halford's are singing to each other. It's just fantastic. The chorus is strong and powerful with a razor sharp riff which commands your attention.

The jaw dropping and untypical Judas Priest cover, "Before the Dawn," is an updated version with cleaner guitar parts, pulled off by Victor Smolski of Rage. Scheepers' vocals are powerful and capture the magic of the original while remaining true and respectful without changing the song too much.

I could go on and on about all the excellent songs on this album, but I would run out of space in doing so. It's definitely worth purchasing to find out for yourself.

This album has it all. It's more varied and diverse than anything Scheepers has done with Primal Fear. His confidence by stepping out of his full-time gig and creating something different has unleashed the beast within him.


01. Locked in the Dungeon
02. Remission of Sin
03. Cyberfreak
04. The Fall
05. Doomsday
06. Saints of The Rock
07. Before the Dawn
08. Back on the Track
09. Dynasty
10. The Pain of the Accused
11. Play with the Fire
12. Compassion

Label: Frontiers Records
Distribution: Target (Denmark)
Reviewed by: Kelley Simms
Date: 5 February, 2011