Former JUDAS PRIEST singer Tim “Ripper” Owens has released the official lyric video for the title track of his new solo EP, “Return To Death Row”. The effort, which will be made available under the RIPPER banner in late October/early November, will include the song “Embattled”, which came out in July. The track, like the rest of the EP, was produced by Jamey Jasta (HATEBREED) and Nick Bellmore (JASTA, DEE SNIDER). Players on the effort, which will contain Owens‘s “heaviest songs yet,” include Nick Bellmore, Charlie Bellmore (DEE SNIDER, ex-TOXIC HOLOCAUST) on guitar, and Chris Beaudette (JASTA, ENTEIRRO) on bass.
Released in May 2009, Owens‘s first solo album, “Play My Game”, landed at position No. 66 on the Top New Artist Albums (Heatseekers) chart, which lists the best-selling albums by new and developing artists, defined as those who have never appeared in the Top 100 of The Billboard 200. The CD was released via SPV/Steamhammer. The offering consisted of around a dozen brand-new tracks that Owens composed himself or together with renowned friends, such as Bob Kulick, Chris Caffery (SAVATAGE, TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA),Mike Callahan (ex-EARSHOT) and John Comprix (BEYOND FEAR, RINGWORM).
Owens is without doubt among the most important metal vocalists of the past 25 years. When he succeeded Rob Halford, joining JUDAS PRIEST in May 1996, the press rubbed their eyes, surprised as well as impressed: Owens had previously been a fairly unknown quantity to international music journalists and only a few new of him from the band WINTERS BANE, but he recorded his first PRIEST album, the Grammy-nominated “Jugulator” (1997) with more aplomb than even insiders had expected. Following successful tours with the British metal legends, the strong studio recording “Demolition” (2001) and the live recordings “Meltdown – 98 Live” (1998) and “Live In London” (2003), and the movie “Rock Star” that was loosely based on Tim‘s experience with JUDAS PRIEST, Halford‘s return put an end to Owens‘s stint with PRIEST.
More or less immediately, he was enlisted by Jon Schaffer to team up with ICED EARTH and sang on “The Glorious Burden” in spring 2004. Three years later, Owens followed suit with the ICED EARTH album “Framing Armageddon (Something Wicked Pt. I)”, which succeeded the self-titled highly praised debut by his own band BEYOND FEAR. Spring 2008 saw Owens move on to join one of the world’s best guitar players Yngwie Malmsteen, debuting with a sensational vocal performance on “Perpetual Flame”.
Owens is currently the front-man of KK’S PRIEST, featuring fellow former JUDAS PRIEST member K.K. Downing.