In my opinion, Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens, is one of the most overlooked artists in the entire history of heavy metal. And I believe that, because despite his great work with both Judas Priest and Iced Earth, he has been twice in the situation of being replaced by the first singers of each band that he was working with.
Leaving back the past, “Play My Game” comes to shout that Tim is here and more active than ever. What we have here is the first solo project of ‘Ripper’ which proves -except the fact that he is an awesome vocalist- his ability to write songs. As you probably know he never had the chance to write songs in the past during his career with Malmsteen, Iced Earth and Judas Priest and while in Beyond Fear he was certainly writing, now “Play My Game” is a personal bet for him.
So, going into this album, at first we cannot overtake the artists that are featured in here. To name a few, I think that just the sounding of names such as; Chris Caffery, Dave Ellefson, Jeff Loomis, Vinny Apice, Simon Wright, Marco Mendoza and Michael Wilton are going to leave you speechless!
The album includes 12 tracks, 52 minutes in total, and as ‘Ripper’ said in a recently interview in Metalpaths; “it’s my best album to date and it really rocks!”.
Musically, as you guess, here we have a heavy metal album with the most obvious characteristic being the really heavy guitars.
To my surprise except the tens of artists that featured in the album, “Play My Game” is really well-structured with a fantastic chemistry in each song; from the mid-tempo opener “Starting Over”, to the really heavy a-la Black Sabbath “Believe” and from the amazing “Cover Up” with the great solos that teams Comprix with Nevermore guitarist Jeff Loomis, to the pure metal rocker and closer of the album “The Shadows Are A Live” that features Chris Caffery among with legendary Marco Mendoza and Simon Wright.
The best track in my opinion is the 11th one “Death Race” while the semi-titled “Play My Game” really rocks as well (features John Comprix, Rudy Sarzo, Simon Wright and Neil Zaza featured on this one).
All the above, with the signature of Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens’ amazing voice, that perfectly completes the album.
To sum up, “Play My Game” –above my expectations- is a really great work that serves you classic heavy metal with a very good production and really great musicians featured on it. If you are a fan of heavy metal you should definitely check this out.
Maybe after reading my review, through my “big words”, you would probably think of the new “Painkiller” and the answer is no!. It’s not the “masterpiece” that will conquer the world, but it’s still a really great and remarkable work whose result makes me happy.
Now we are looking forward for the upcoming Beyond Fear album.
|Track List||Line Up|
03.The Cover Up
04.Pick Yourself Up
05.It is Me
06.No Good Goodbyes
07.To Live Again
08.The World is Blind
10.Play My Game
12.The Shadows Are Alive
|Vocals: Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens
Guitars: Bob Kulich, John Comprix, Jeff Loomis, Craig Goldy,
Steve Stevens, Carlos Cavazo, Bruce Kulich, Michael Wilton, Neil Zaza,
Chris Caffery, Doug Aldrich
Bass: Rudy Sarzo, James Lomenzo, Dennis Hayes, Billy Sheehan,
Drums: Simon Wright, Brett Chassen, Ray Luzier, Bobby Jarzombeck