It appeared for a spell in the '90s that the "classic metal singer" -- specifically of the Rob Halford, Bruce Dickinson, and Geoff Tate mold -- was a near extinct beast. But along came Halford disciple Tim "Ripper" Owens, and the floodgates opened once more. Having appeared on releases by Judas Priest and Iced Earth, it wasn't until Owens launched Beyond Fear that he was able to truly take center stage in the songwriting department. Although adamant that Beyond Fear is not just a solo project (he enlists the aid of longtime musician pals), it's Owens' voice that is the main focus throughout Beyond Fear. Expectedly, the material is akin to vintage '80s-era thrash metal; in fact, the album-opening "Scream Machine" sounds quite similar to veteran thrash 'n' scream metallists Overkill. Other standouts that prove Owens is a cut above most modern-day metal shriekers include "Save Me" and "Telling Lies," while on the tranquil "Dreams Come True," Owens does the "metal crooning thang." Owens' legion of admirers will undoubtedly snap up Beyond Fear simply because of his affiliation with the project, but the album should also appeal to fans of thrash metal (heavy on chug-a-lug riffs) in general.
AllMusic Review by Greg Prato