The forthcoming solo album from PRIMAL FEAR singer Ralf Scheepers is in the very final stages of production. Some very special guests agreed to appear – the list includes guitarists “Metal” Mike Chlasciak (HALFORD), Kai Hansen (GAMMA RAY), Sander Gommans (AFTER FOREVER) and Magnus Karlsson (PRIMAL FEAR, ALLEN/LANDE). Powerhouse American vocalist Tim “Ripper” Owens (YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, JUDAS PRIEST, ICED EARTH) is dueting with Scheepers in the track “Remission Of Sin“, Swedish multi-instrumentalist Snowy Shaw (THERION, DREAM EVIL, KING DIAMOND, DIMMU BORGIR) appears on drums and PRIMAL FEAR’s Mat Sinner is playing bass on the entire LP and produced the album. Achim Koehler is currently in the final stages of the mixing session and will shortly be mastering the production.
Scheepers revealed that his upcoming solo album will include a remake of his song “Saints Of Rock” Scheepers originally recorded with his band TYRAN PACE and a cover version of the JUDAS PRIEST classic “Before The Dawn’. “‘Saints Of Rock’ is gonna be, of course, a little bit more modern and updated than it was [when the original version was recorded] in 1986,” he explained. “I mean, right now we have much more possibilities to make songs sound a little bit more modern, starting with the drum sound and the bass sounds.” He added, “I think ‘Before The Dawn’ pretty much is a straight cover, but the first song I’m playing (nearly) all instruments just a little more orchestral things going on. Vocal-wise, I just added a harmony vocals, plus the two outstanding guitar solos by maestro VICTOR SMOLSKI (RAGE). The album is like a trip through my entire career from hard driven crushing metal, groovy heavy beats, orchestral epic to stripped down basic songs and of course some nice surprises!”
The musical direction of his forthcoming solo CD is more diverse than PRIMAL FEAR, from the hardest to the softest tones. The album was recently presented to the German press and some of the reactions included
“A varied, magic masterpiece! Intensive, passionate and faithful – a terrific singer!” – Markus Wosgien (Rock It!, EMP, Blast!)
“A surprisingly varied and still compact metal-masterpiece, that leaves nothing to be desired!” – Andreas Schöwe (Metal Hammer)
“The vocals and the songwriting are just terrific and you’ve never experienced Ralf Scheepers so relaxed. The album is a hit! Does the world needs a solo album of the Primal Fear singer? Yes, of course!” – Birgit Braeckle (Breakout)
Frontiers plans to release the album in February 2011.
I can’t think of may rock releases in 2010 that I have been looking more forward to than Alter Bridge’s third effort AB III. Alter Bridge’s previous release Blackbird was excellent, and one of my favorite CD’s of 2007. My hopes were high that AB III would be at that same high level. After hearing Myles Kennedy’s fine work on Slash’s CD earlier this year, it only whet my appetite even more to hear some new Alter Bridge music.
AB III has a ton of new music to digest, and chances are, you won’t do it in one sitting. The regular version of the CD has over an hour of music, and the Best Buy Edition , with its two bonus tracks, clocks in at over 70 minutes. With that being said, I believe AB III is more of a grower type of CD, but there are many flashes of brilliance on this disc that will take several spins to fully absorb.
First and Foremost, Myles Kennedy’s vocals on this disc are AWESOME. Kennedy is easily one of the most talented singers in rock today, and his voice shines big on AB III.
The opening song, “Slip To The Void” is a powerful number that may just be one of the heaviest Alter Bridge songs to date. Chances are you have heard this first single off of AB III, “Isolation”, and you already know how heavy this song this. “Isolation” and “Slip To The Void” offer up two great, heavy songs right out of the gate, and set the tone for AB III. This easily Alter Bridge’s heaviest and darkest album to date.
“Ghost of Days Gone By” is much like a spark that turns into a roaring wildfire. At first it seemed that this song was mixed in as a pace breaker for the first two heavy cuts. The song starts slow but builds into yet another heavy number. I have mixed feelings on this tune. I think it could have stood out better without the heavy rocker it morphs into.
“Make It Right” is one of the more catchy songs on AB III. I hope Alter Bridge releases this as a single. It could be a big hit for the band.
“Wonderful Life” shows a different side of Alter Bridge. This is a slower number that showcases the powerful voice of Myles Kennedy. Kennedy shows his impressive range, on this incredible number. This is a well written number that will make even the non Alter Bridge fan say “WOW”! Anyone that has ever been in a relationship will relate to this song.
Some of the other highlights on this album are “Coeur D’alene”, “Life Must Go On”, “Words Darker Than Their Wings”. Both of the bonus tracks, “Zero” and “Home” are pretty solid tunes making the Best Buy version of the disc the best overall value.
I have played AB III heavily over the last couple of weeks, and while it has some great songs, it does not surpass its predecessor Blackbird. It is still a very solid album, and one that Alter Bridge, or Myles Kennedy fans should not miss.
For more information Alter Bridge and to hear songs from AB III please visit the band’s website.
Rating: Out of 10
01. Slip To The Void
03. Ghost Of Days Gone By
04. All Hope Is Gone
05. Still Remains
06. Make It Right
07. Wonderful Life
08. I Know It Hurts
09. Show Me A Sign
11. Breathe Again
12. Coeur D’alene
13. Life Must Go On
14. Words Darker Than Their Wings
15. Zero* (Bonus Track)
16. Home* (Bonus Track)
Alter Bridge is:
Myles Kennedy — lead vocals, rhythm and lead guitar, keyboards
Mark Tremonti — lead and rhythm guitar, backing and lead vocals
Brian Marshall — bass guitar
Scott Phillips — drums, percussion
Check out the brand new video clip from Stone Sour, “Digital (Did You Tell)”. Stone Sour’s new album, Audio Secrecy is available in stores now!