Although he deputized as well as anyone could have expected for the absent Rob Halford on two late-'90s Judas Priest albums, vocalist Tim "Ripper" Owens was quite brusquely discarded when the metal gods' reunion plans started falling into place circa 2003. And though his unlikely rags-to-riches story (he'd been plucked from a Priest cover band in the depths of Ohio) had even inspired a terribly kitschy (and not all that accurate) motion picture in the Mark Wahlberg-starring Rock Star, chances were slim that anyone would stick around for the "...and back to rags" portion of Ripper's tale. Except, perhaps, for die-hard heavy metal faithful who, no matter how much they hungered to see a Halford-fronted Priest once again, were grateful for Ripper's years of service and dignified exit, not to mention aware of his incredible talent. Most could tell that his subsequent hook-up with Iced Earth for 2004's The Glorious Burden album was a marriage of convenience, more than anything else, and that an entirely new heavy metal band -- materializing in the shape of Beyond Fear -- was to be his final destination. This began taking shape in early 2005, when Owens started working on new songs with lead guitarist John Comprix and, following the recruitment of rhythm guitarist Dwane Bihary, bassist Dennis Hayes, and drummer Eric Elkins, moved quickly through sessions for a debut album cryptically entitled DTO. Released through SPV in May 2006, the disc not surprisingly featured the same brand of melodic but aggressive, high-caliber heavy metal that Owens had performed with both Priest and his pre-tribute band outfit, Winters Bane, boding well for his continued success -- albeit on a slightly smaller scale for now -- for the Ripper. ~ Eduardo RivadaviaPortions of Content Provided by Rovi Corporation.
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