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Yngwie Malmsteen - Rising Force CD (album) cover


Yngwie Malmsteen


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3.98 | 117 ratings

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3 stars Yngwie Malmsteen, the Swedish shredder with a scalloped Stratocaster, fused the heavy metal sound with the neoclassical style. Rising Force is loaded with breakneck electric guitar runs. The two songs diminish what this album should have been about throughout: Lead guitar and classical structures in a heavy metal context. As often happens, eccentric and speedy electric guitar work serves as a substitute for compositional excellence on a comprehensive level, but this is perhaps excusable, since (I think) the purpose of this album was to showcase Malmsteen's finesse and style with the guitar. As an album, this is perhaps essential for the aspiring metal guitarist or metal fan in general, but for the general music lover, it may lose its appeal after the novelty of neoclassical shredding has worn off.

"Black Star" A friend handed me a copy of an Yngwie Malmsteen compilation because he wanted me to learn how to play this on the guitar; I don't think I butchered it too badly, given that I had only been playing guitar perhaps two years. He seemed pleased enough. Screaming dual lead guitars provide a neoclassical motif over a steady rhythm; after the lovely acoustic prelude, this is clearly an opportunity to let Malmsteen show his listeners what he could do and in what direction he would be going.

"Far Beyond the Sun" A fuller-bodied sound, with a powerful rhythm section and an organ in the introduction, "Far Beyond the Sun" provides another opportunity for Malmsteen to exhibit his chops, offering rapid bursts of notes throughout.

"Now Your Ships Are Burned" The pummeling rhythm and gritty guitar continue under some unworthy vocals.

"Evil Eye" This fourth piece is one of the more classical structures, often pausing to allow Malmsteen to shred or give one sustained note.

"Icarus' Dream Suite Op.4" The metal madness ceases here, while Malmsteen performs over a somber synthesizer pad. At the second quarter, an evocative acoustic guitar enters, adding an amazing layer to the piece. Midway through, the heaviness returns, occasionally making way for acoustic interludes.

"As Above, So Below" Opening with a thin pipe organ, this is the second of two songs on the album, and again, the vocals don't belong, and this time they come with plenty of screeching.

"Little Savage" Another rapid-fire rhythm provides Malmsteen a final opportunity on this album to practice his scales (even when the background music stops). The drums during the gentler section sound too electronic, even alongside the synthesizer pad.

"Farewell" This acoustic piece, mainly consisting of harmonics and barely under a minute, might have been developed into something more, but given the title, its brevity seems appropriate.

Epignosis | 3/5 |


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