RAGE guitarist Victor Smolski has finished laying down his parts for the forthcoming solo album from PRIMAL FEAR singer Ralf Scheepers. According to a posting on the PRIMAL FEAR web site, Achim Köhler (PRIMAL FEAR, AMON AMARTH, BRAINSTORM) has begun mixing the effort at his Indiscreet Audio Studios in Stuttgart, Germany. Other guests scheduled to appear on the CD include HALFORD guitarist "Metal" Mike Chlasciak (on the songs "Locked In The Dungeon" and "Dynasty"), Swedish guitarist Magnus Karlsson (PRIMAL FEAR, STARBREAKER, LAST TRIBE), powerhouse American vocalist Tim "Ripper" Owens (HAIL!, YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, BEYOND FEAR, JUDAS PRIEST, ICED EARTH; dueting with Scheepers in the track "Remission Of Sin"), Swedish multi-instrumentalist Snowy Shaw (THERION, DREAM EVIL, KING DIAMOND, MERCYFUL FATE, MEMENTO MORI, NOTRE DAME) on drums, Sander Gommans (AFTER FOREVER, HDK) on guitar and PRIMAL FEAR's Mat Sinner playing bass on the entire LP and producing.
In an interview with the "Metalzone" radio show (web site) with Kostas Purevil Kyriakakis and Helena Mihailidou, Scheepers revealed that his upcoming solo album will include two cover versions — "Saints Of Rock" from Scheepers' pre-PRIMAL FEAR band TYRAN PACE and "Before The Dawn' from JUDAS PRIEST. "'Saints Of Rock' is gonna be, of course, a little bit more modern 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 — having a much more distorted sound." He added, "I think 'Before The Dawn' pretty much is a [straight] cover — [there's] just a little more orchestral things going on, I have more strings in the song compared to the JUDAS PRIEST [original]. Back then there wasn't much strings going on. I think they even have a piano [in the original version], which I don't have. I have strings and I have this atmosphere stuff going on. Vocal-wise, I just added a harmony at the last bridge before last chorus, I added a harmony which is not on the original, but that's the basic difference."
In a June 2010 interview with Metal Assault, Scheepers stated about the musical direction of his forthcoming solo CD, "It's more diverse [than PRIMAL FEAR], you can say."
He added, "In the beginning I had those ballads that we couldn't use for PRIMAL FEAR because they might be too mellow, but now we've started to write together on it. Basically, it's my ideas on it, but I have a great team, with Mat and Magnus and some other members — Sander [Gommans], the ex-AFTER FOREVER guitarist, helped me a lot.
"It's a good variety — from the hardest to the softest tones."
PRIMAL FEAR recently released a new live DVD, "16.6 - All Over The World" (recorded in various locations between September and November 2009), and a live CD, aptly titled "Live In The USA". Frontiers Records issued the two products separately and as a limited-edition combo on June 22 in the USA.
Photo below courtesy of PrimalFear.de