December 1, 2022

Joe Lynn Turner – Belly of the Beast review

Published by: Music Theories Recordings / Mascot Label Group

Release date: October 28, 2022

Genre: Melodic Har Rock/Metal


List of tracks:

01. Belly of the Beast
02. Black Sun
03. Tortured Soul
04. Stand Up
05. Dark Night of the Soul
06. Tears of Blood
07. Desire
08. Don’t be afraid of the dark
09. Fallen World
10. Live the Dream
11. Requiem

Joe Lynn Turner is a rock legend. The New Jersey native did it all, a true rock survivor. From his time with Ritchie Blackmore in Rainbow, to his time with Yngwie Malmsteen, to his project with his good friend Glenn Hughes in HTP “Hughes Turner Project”, he has a long history of successful music (nearly 47 years in the company), that’s not even to mention a huge catalog of his solo material with notable albums like ‘Holy Man’, ‘Second Hand Life’ and ‘The Usual Suspects’. JLT has nothing left to prove, the longevity of his career and his music has left a lasting legacy built on consistency.

But something in Joe inspired him to make what could possibly be the hardest, heaviest record he’s ever made. Today’s world, inspired by Dark vs Evil lyrical themes, esoteric and philosophical allusions, all play into the highly poignant writing on this record.

Possibly the most impactful record he’s made, thanks to massive production via “Peter Tägtgren (Hypocrisy, PAIN, Lindemann],) the guitars are thick, moody and screaming in your ears, the sound and distortion are huge for a JLT recording. It fully complements the imagery and lyrical theme of the album. Not a team you would have thought of, but damn it works well here.

As we enter the album, the cool organ intro lays the pipeline perfectly in “Black Sun”, with spitfire lyrical words sung with conviction thanks to JLT and his eerie, flawless vocals. The groove beat is majestic, the production is on point and its touch of melody is sprinkled in for good measure. An excellent piece because it stands out as the best on the record. The choruses are epic as hell and the sweet melodic guitar solo is a happy reminder of how a great JLT song is made. Another surefire burner comes via the haunting backing vocals of “Tortured Soul”, a dark, dark groove takes over this one, Joe can sing in just about any style and he does it so well in this build to mid-tempo, great vocals again and powerful guitars make this track stand out on all epic levels.

Photo credit: Agata-Nigrovskaya

The slow pace and melodic undertones of “Dark Night Of The Soul” are another highlight, wait for the high tempo kick and you’ve got another winner. The guitars here are tall and expertly crafted. A poignant lyric in the song left its mark.

“I look back and remember all the things I’ve done
No one can save me, angels will lift me up
Will I burn until the kingdom come”

The frenetic pace of “Don’t Fear The Dark” hints at power metal throughout, just punishing grooves here. JLT is on fire again spitting lyrical magic. While “Fallen World” has even more words of truth at its core, JLT spits hellfire on this track, and the guitars continue to spin with unwavering consistency.

This record really has no comparison, JLT is his best, and his vocals are still a highlight, but the heavy roll in the guitars and drums is Metal-esque. The production is impeccable and the sound is grandiose throughout the disc. There’s no filler here, they all have mature and useful lyrics in every song, which is ultimately JLT’s message to “Wake Up” before Evil consumes. The lyrical onslaught is awesome and frontal, in your face; tell the truth JLT!!! It’s pure shameless Ripping music. Well done Joe!!!

Check out our conversation with JLT here, as he dives deep into “Belly Of The Beast.”

Written by: Shadow Editor

Rating: 9/10

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