Joe Lynn Turner
Belly of the Beast

Label: Music Theories Recordings/Mascot Label Group
Three similar bands: Rainbow/Judas Priest/Statement

Rating: HHHHHHH (3/7)
Recensent: Daniel Källmalm
01. Belly Of The Beast
02. Black Sun
03. Tortured Soul
04. Rise Up
05. Dark Night Of The Soul
06. Tears Of Blood
07. Desire
08. Don’t Fear The Dark
09. Fallen World
10. Living The Dream
11. Requiem

Joe Lynn Turner – vocals
Peter Tägtgren – guitar, bass, programming
Sebastian Tägtgren – drums
Love Magnusson – guitar solo

Rescue You (1985)
Nothing's Changed (1995)
Under Cover (1997)
Hurry Up and Wait (1998)
Under Cover 2 (1999)
Holy Man (2000)
Slam (2001)
JLT (2003)
The Usual Suspects (2005)
Second Hand Life (2007)


Produced by Peter Tägtgren

Released 2022-10-28
Reviewed 2022-12-27



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You know what, Joe says the right things when he states: “It seems like everyone has sold their souls to major corporations. Once people are rich and popular, they become a part of the establishment. Where are the rebels? Who’s going to say, ‘Fuck you! We aren’t going to take this shit?’ I am.” The question is just if he really is the rebel, he never really struck me as a rebellious person. Then again, there is always space for a surprise. If you don’t know Joe Lynn Turner, he has been the singer with Rainbow, Deep Purple, Malmsteen, and done a significant number of solo albums as well. I grew up adoring the Rainbow album Difficult to Cure so I have a very positive view on the singer of that album. But what about this latest solo effort that is a collaboration with metal producer Peter Tägtgren?

It was a surprise to me how heavy it was, could that be the rebellious streak? Soon I realised that it wasn’t as this sounds like any other metal album, it was just that it was Joe Lynn Turner that made it surprising at first as he usually does more melodic stuff. It is a bit of a shame that he sings the way he does, he sounds like any other singer in the metal genre – that magic voice of Difficult to Cure is nowhere to be found. Not that I am saying that he needs to sing that way, he still sounds vital and that is amusing despite the album being your typical metal establishment release with typical lyrical message and so on. There are no surprises here, I think an album shall surprise. With Joe being mostly in more melodic stuff it would seem that he could have offered a fresher perspective not poisoned by millions of years in the metal business but unfortunately, he decided to go down the generic route rather than daring to say fuck you to everything about it.

Not a bad album per se, but not great in any regard. I was a bit excited by the heavy start but it didn’t take long before I realised that it was nothing significant on offer here. Too bad. A bit cowardly, kind of like a soul that has been sold. Still, I cannot say that it is too disappointing considering that I no longer expect anything but dreary music – experience has showed me that a big majority of the albums I get are derivative, generic, uninteresting, and dull. This is one of those, I could really name any three metallers as similar as this sounds just like everything else. Well, perhaps with a slightly more epic twist that probably is down to a preference by Tägtgren, it is something but not anything that changes the fact that Belly of the Beast is a dull album that is about as rebellious as the least rebellious thing you can imagine (can’t think of anything really revolutionary myself as I got so bored listening to this.)

So, he still has vitality and life in his voice, and he still has energy the good Mr. Turner; but he should really take more care to write better songs. Belly of the Beast is one of those generic albums that is fast forgotten that no one will really care about.