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YNGWIE MALMSTEEN

Prog Related • Sweden


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Yngwie Malmsteen biography
Swedish composer and multi-instrumentalist Yngwie MALMSTEEN is a household name in the music industry, and most anyone with an interest in rock music are well aaware of him. If not due to his music as such then at minimum his reputation. Malmsteen is among the select few artists who have managed to become influential across multiple genres and stylistic expressions. His footprints are most commonly found among artists exploring various kinds of heavy metal however, and as such he is best known for his technical skills and classically inspired guitar playing. The latter which saw rise to a new subgenre most commonly referred to as Neo-Classical Metal, of which Malmsteen is generally regarded as the founder and main inventor. As the name implies, the basic approach of this type of music is to blend compositional details and performance aspects from classical music and heavy metal, to some extent a continuation of what instrumentalists like Ritchie Blackmore did from the late 60's and onwards.

In addition to his general influence as an instrumentalist and musical innovator, Malmsteen's earliest endeavours alongside his backing band Rising Force set the course for the foundation of another genre, namely progressive metal. The almost trademark arrangements dominated by vocalist Jeff Scott Soto, Malmsteen's guitars and Jens Johansson's keyboards have inspired countless artists over the years. While not exceptionally innovative as such, these albums by and large represent a further development of the style Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow thoroughly explored in the 1970's. Malmsteen and his cohorts were instrumental in the development of that approach towards what bands like Symphony X would develop even further a few years later. Due to that, Malmsteen is generally regarded as an instrumental artist in laying down the foundations for what would later develop into progressive metal.

The 1980's were probably Malmsteen's best years from a commercial point of view, as he made a massive impact with his then highly innovative approach. And as the musician who paved the way for a plethora of solo albums issued by guitarists in the various parts of the metal community, his status was high as an inspirator too, and he had sales and popularity to match the status of a true to life icon. The 1990's marked a general decline in the interest of conventional metal, and Malmsteen became one of many artists who suffered from this. He continued making music and sold well...
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Rising ForceRising Force
Import
Fontana Polydor 1990
Audio CD$1.80
$1.44 (used)
TrilogyTrilogy
Fontana Polydor 1990
Audio CD$1.77
$1.04 (used)
Angels of LoveAngels of Love
Rising Force 2009
Audio CD$8.98
$7.67 (used)
Perpetual FlamePerpetual Flame
Rising Force Records 2008
Audio CD$9.73
$8.98 (used)
OdysseyOdyssey
Fontana Polydor 1990
Audio CD$4.56
$1.53 (used)
20th Century Masters: Millennium Collection20th Century Masters: Millennium Collection
Remastered
Polydor / Umgd 2005
Audio CD$1.82
$1.81 (used)
EclipseEclipse
Import
Polydor Records 1990
Audio CD$7.38
$0.55 (used)
RelentlessRelentless
Rising Force Records 2010
Audio CD$14.31
$15.36 (used)
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YNGWIE MALMSTEEN discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

YNGWIE MALMSTEEN top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.15 | 58 ratings
Rising Force
1984
3.46 | 35 ratings
Marching Out
1985
3.47 | 44 ratings
Trilogy
1986
3.43 | 35 ratings
Odyssey
1988
2.61 | 19 ratings
Eclipse
1990
2.80 | 23 ratings
Fire & Ice
1992
2.73 | 14 ratings
The Seventh Sign
1994
3.06 | 17 ratings
Magnum Opus
1995
3.49 | 11 ratings
Inspiration
1996
2.44 | 15 ratings
Facing The Animal
1997
4.06 | 25 ratings
Concerto Suite For Electric Guitar And Orchestra In E Flat Minor Op.1
1998
3.74 | 15 ratings
Alchemy
1999
2.18 | 14 ratings
War To End All Wars
2000
1.80 | 5 ratings
The Genesis
2002
2.34 | 13 ratings
Attack!!
2002
2.56 | 9 ratings
Unleash the Fury
2005
3.09 | 11 ratings
Perpetual Flame
2008
3.17 | 6 ratings
Angels Of Love
2009
2.71 | 7 ratings
Relentless
2010
2.67 | 8 ratings
Spellbound
2012

YNGWIE MALMSTEEN Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.04 | 8 ratings
Trial by Fire: Live in Leningrad
1989
3.25 | 4 ratings
Live!!
1998

YNGWIE MALMSTEEN Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

YNGWIE MALMSTEEN Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.40 | 5 ratings
The Yngwie Malmsteen Collection
1991

YNGWIE MALMSTEEN Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

YNGWIE MALMSTEEN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Marching Out by MALMSTEEN, YNGWIE album cover Studio Album, 1985
3.46 | 35 ratings

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Marching Out
Yngwie Malmsteen Prog Related

Review by Progrussia

4 stars I am surprised there so few reviews of Yngwie Malmsteen here, given that he is instrumental to development of prog metal, especially the type that employs guitar heroics and rapid-fire synths-guitar tradeoffs. He also has an unfair reputation for being about the guitar only. Sure, his egomania is legendary and guitar is front and center of what he does. But he also is at least a good songwriter. His writing maybe not consistent, but many songs have proper structure, good riffs, catchy vocals, good intros and transitions, and of course, blazing solos. A song from this album, Soldier Without Faith, to my mind, is an immortal hard rock classic, and several others not far behind.

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 Spellbound by MALMSTEEN, YNGWIE album cover Studio Album, 2012
2.67 | 8 ratings

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Spellbound
Yngwie Malmsteen Prog Related

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 'Spellbound' - Yngwie Malmsteen (5/10)

When I was 11 or 12, I came upon a copy of Yngwie Malmsteen's debut "Rising Force". I had never heard anything quite like it before, and within a month of being exposed to Malmsteen's music, I went out and got my first guitar. Although neoclassical shred metal is no longer a significant part of my musical vocabulary, it goes without saying that Malmsteen's music has had a huge influence on me, both as a musician and a listener. With that in mind, it's all the more of a disappointment to hear Malmsteen in such a stagnant place with his career. Although there was that concerto he did with a symphonic orchestra some years back, Yngwie has tended to stick close to his comfort zone when it's come to the release of new music. Perhaps even moreso than the rest of his new millennium material, 2012's "Spellbound" shows him reverting almost entirely to the largely instrumental sound he started with on "Rising Force". Although I would normally be thrilled to here more of the sort of music that first had me really appreciate the guitar as an instrument, it would be a fool's hope to think that, after years of relative mediocrity, he would achieve something anywhere as exciting. No; as could be expected, Malmsteen pulls out the same baroque stops that he's used to cruise on throughout his career. Add that to a less-than-impressive production standard, and you have an album that barely squeezes by on the merit of his legendary skill with guitar.

"Spellbound" kicks things off on its strongest note. The title track instantly plants Malmsteen in familiar territory; baroque shred patterns warm up the album as the rhythm section gradually swells. Before long, Malmsteen has made the dive into brushfire guitar soloing, eventually even tossing a recurring melodic idea the listener's way once he's had his fill of assaulting the fretboard. Particularly when it comes to his sweeps, it's instantly clear why Malmsteen has become such an icon in the shred metal world. His guitar tone is distinctive and rich, and there is an organic quality to the performance that is rarely heard in the next- gen shredders. In other words, there's no sense that the recording has been altered in any significant way to make Yngwie sound better than he actually is. Of course, especially at this point in his career, Yngwie's skill with guitar is not in question. Without a doubt, it's the best thing the album has going for it.

Although Yngwie has almost always flown under his own name, "Spellbound" has a certain honour of being a solo effort in the truest sense. On top of guitar, Yngwie performs everything here, including vocals on a few of the tracks. Normally, this would lead to complaints of the album in question being one-sided- of course, this was always the case for Malmsteen. Contrary to what I would have first thought, the backup arrangements are surprisingly well done. Although there's little complexity to anything outside of the guitars, the drums are effectively performed (or programmed?) and the subtle choral synths give an added classical atmosphere. Although his voice is nothing special, he has a decent mid range, well capable of holding a tune. Even more surprising however, is how weak the production itself has been left. Considering Malmsteen's resources and experience, the production feels decidedly hollow and plain. Barring the omnipresent shred, it's as if Malmsteen was on a strict budget here. Even the guitars fall victim to the subpar production; "Majestic 12 Suite" is filled with audible guitar buzz, the likes of which would be just as annoying in a high school garage jam. On a record from one of the greatest guitar legends though? It raises alot of questions.

Barring his baroque shredding, there's a handful of bluesier moments. However, regardless of style, all of "Spellbound" seems to suffer from the cardinal sin of much shred metal: it's a celebration of flash over substance. While "Rising Force" enjoyed excellent compositions that could have stayed afloat regardless of Yngwie's guitar wizardry, whatever writing that went on here is little more than a showcase for his shredding. Thankfully, that shredding is a great thing to behold. Fans of Malmsteen should check it out if they're in the mood for it, but it offers nothing that wasn't already done on the early albums in greater quality.

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 Fire & Ice by MALMSTEEN, YNGWIE album cover Studio Album, 1992
2.80 | 23 ratings

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Fire & Ice
Yngwie Malmsteen Prog Related

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Fire and ice from 1992 is another worthy album from Malmsteen catague, ok is not among their best offers, but still enjoyble to my ears. I'm a moderate fan of his guitar work, and almost all album released over the years has something to offer, at least for me. Is understandable that this album was not so well recived then as today, because almost on every release he ususes his typical guitar signature, sometimes many pieces sound the same only with diffrent voice. Well, Fire and ice has some good moments like Perpetual, Dragonfly, the excellent How many miles to Babylon, the rest are ok nothing more. I like it, Malmsteen is a big influence to many bands like Symphony X, Stratovarius and more and continue to make albums in his own style. 3.5 stars to this one, I like it.

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 Trilogy by MALMSTEEN, YNGWIE album cover Studio Album, 1986
3.47 | 44 ratings

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Trilogy
Yngwie Malmsteen Prog Related

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Third album named Trilogy from this famous guitarist, issued in 1986 is a good towards great hard/heavy rock album, quite typical for that period in this scene but as usual with his quite outstanding guitar skills. Some great moments here like Queen is in love , Magic mirror or the ending track the instrumental Trilogy Suite Op: 5. This is not his best works for sure, I like more Odyssey for instance or Eclipse , but this is quite pleasent most of the time. The speedy guitar parts or the inventive solos and arpegios made by the master make not to be an usual hard rock release from mid to late '80s. Still 3.5 stars for me.

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 Concerto Suite For Electric Guitar And Orchestra In E Flat Minor Op.1 by MALMSTEEN, YNGWIE album cover Studio Album, 1998
4.06 | 25 ratings

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Concerto Suite For Electric Guitar And Orchestra In E Flat Minor Op.1
Yngwie Malmsteen Prog Related

Review by threethousandgt

5 stars My collection of classical music consists of Beethoven, Bach, Stravinsky, Mozart, and Vivaldi; I do not frequently listen to classical music but really enjoy it. Therefore, take whatever I say with a grain of salt considering I'm as far from an expert as can be.

I really enjoy this album. My level of enjoyment is right up there with Beethoven's 6-8 symphonies. Maybe it is simply my unsophisticated taste, but I'd be lying if I said otherwise. Yngwie has some serious talent, but a lot of his material falls flat after Rising Force. Sometimes he is at his best when he isn't constantly shredding.

If you like this album, there's also a good video of him doing a live performance with an orchestra.

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 Marching Out by MALMSTEEN, YNGWIE album cover Studio Album, 1985
3.46 | 35 ratings

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Marching Out
Yngwie Malmsteen Prog Related

Review by the philosopher

3 stars Yngwie Malmsteen is called the fastest guitarist on earth and so -as a guitarist myself- I'd wanted to hear it. As I did expect in this category of guitarvirtuosity - the songstructures are quiet easy so that there's a good basis to make some speed.

The sound of Marching Out is much like Dio's solo recordings; heavy rock/metal songs with sometimes nice guitarintro's. Even the vocalist does remind me to Dio in some of the songs. The vocalist is quiet good actually; the drums and bass are just some background musicians to support the guitarsolo's, which are awesome in some cases.

As is the case in many records about virtuoso's of any kind, there is not a real good balance in songwriting, the different musicians and structure. This is a record made for guitar-lovers - and within that context the music does succeed, but after all this music is quiet standard hardrock/metal and not experimental at all, except in guitarspeed. Still, 3,5 stars.

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 Attack!! by MALMSTEEN, YNGWIE album cover Studio Album, 2002
2.34 | 13 ratings

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Attack!!
Yngwie Malmsteen Prog Related

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

2 stars Baroque and Roll... again

It is hardly a secret that Yngwie Malmsteen worships Rithcie Blackmore and often followed in the latter's footsteps. In the past this resulted in Malmsteen recruiting several ex-Rainbow members including Joe Lynn Turner, Bob Daisley and Cozy Powell. For the present album yet another ex-Rainbow man, Doogie White, joins Malmsteen. White was the lead vocalist on the final Rainbow album Stranger In Us All released in 1995. The rest of the band this time consists of ex-Dream Theater keyboardist Derek Sherinian and Patrick Johansson on drums. The production is much better than on the previous War To End All Wars, but musically there are no surprises here. Don't expect any Dream Theater influences.

The first half or so of this album is actually very good if somewhat predictable Neo-Classical Metal. Had the album held this quality throughout I would have awarded another star, but sadly the quality starts to decrease in the middle of the album. Stronghold and In The Name Of God are decent songs but they offer nothing but more of the same. The standard rocker Mad Dog is the first real low watermark. It sounds like a below average latter day Deep Purple song. Freedom Isn't Free is however the real blunder. Apparently it is Yngwie himself who sings lead on this track, which (if I'm not mistaken) is the first time in his career. This Jimi Hendrix-like rocker is just terrible and terribly out of place. The lyrics are full of clichés and standard lines.

Majestic Blue is a nice instrumental that redeems the album a little bit, but again it is right in the very centre of Malmsteen's comfort zone and thus offers no surprises. Despite a couple of decent numbers towards the end of the album, it never recovers from the weak middle tracks. And with a total running time well over an hour, it becomes tedious towards the end. It would have benefitted considerably from being reduced to about half its length.

For fans and collectors

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 Inspiration by MALMSTEEN, YNGWIE album cover Studio Album, 1996
3.49 | 11 ratings

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Inspiration
Yngwie Malmsteen Prog Related

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars Such inspiration!

Cover albums wouldn't normally interest me much, but this one is quite interesting as it displays the influences on Yngwie Malmsteen so well. Cover versions of songs originally performed by Kansas, Deep Purple, Rainbow, UK, Rush and others are included. The influences of Jimi Hendrix, Ritchie Blackmore and Uli Jon Roth on Malmsteen can simply not be denied and all three are given their deserved tributes here. Blackmore gets the most attention of all with no less than four Deep Purple numbers and one originally by Rainbow. In general the choices are excellent and Prog fans will be delighted to find such songs as UK's In The Dead Of Night and Kansas' Carry On Wayward Son represented. Rainbow's Gates Of Babylon will surely be another favourite with the visitors to this website. Having as many as four Deep Purple cuts is perhaps a bit excessive and the dull Blues rocker Mistreated could easily have been left out as far as I'm concerned. Pictures Of Home, Demon's Eye and Child In Time on the other hand, are excellent selections. All of these songs are very well performed and Malmsteen adds his own touch to several of them.

Scorpion's Sails Of Sharon Charon was the only song I had not heard in its original version before. It features a good riff. Jimi Hendrix' Manic Depression and Rush's Anthem are decent Hard rockers, but is naturally less interesting from a Prog perspective. I think it is too bad that Malmsteen's version of Queen's Keep Yourself Alive was not included on this album.

Overall, this is a good cover album that says a lot about Malmsteen's musical background

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 Inspiration by MALMSTEEN, YNGWIE album cover Studio Album, 1996
3.49 | 11 ratings

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Inspiration
Yngwie Malmsteen Prog Related

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

4 stars 'Inspiration' is definitely one of my favourite Yngwie Malmsteen albums featuring wonderful cover versions of classic rock and some incredible vocals and special guests. It begins with Kansas' classic 'Carry on Wayward Son' with a heavy treatment of the killer riffs and terrific vocals by Jeff Scott Soto, an old fave singer of Malmsteen's from the early years. 'Pictures of Home' is a metal verision of Deep Purple's seminal rocker, with vocals by Joe Lynn Turner who also sings lead on 'Demon's Eye', both excellent covers with inventive reimaginings of the lead breaks. Malmsteen is a shredding genius.

The amazing 'Gates of Babylon' cover of Rainbow's mystical epic, is an outstanding track here, with the majestic style captured and fret melting lead work. Hendrix is a major influence on Malmsteen who according to his website was born the day Jimi died. 'Manic Depression' is one of my favourite Hendrix tracks and it is a joy to hear Malmsteen launch into that riff and scorching fiery lead break. Mark Boals is the vocalist on this and sounds terrific.

'In the Dead of Night' is a slower song covering the UK classic, but memorable for its catchy chorus and keyboards of Johansson. Whitesnake's power blues of 'Mistreated' follows and is absolutely brilliant, the riff, the lead break, and the vocals of Soto are outstanding making this a highlight. It is nice to hear Malmsteen's Rush influences here too with a cover of their 'Anthem' sounding bright and heavy. Scorpions 'Sails of Charon' is another standout track.

The piece de resistance of this album though is the astonishing cover of 'Child in Time' featuring Malmsteen smoking on the lead break. In fact this lead break is utterly ingenious, with super fast arpeggios, hammer ons, speed sweeps, piercing string bends, adagio and even the odd speeded up scale up and down the frets. I have heard this track the most of all on the album, and it is the best cover of the song without a shadow of a doubt. This is one to get hold of to check out Malmsteen at his most ferocious, he simply takes off into the stratosphere on the Fender strat. When the lead break finishes shredding fiercely there is a stunned silence for a few seconds, before the quiet organ returns, and I always draw out a breath of amazement here every time. It is simply breath taking guitar. The song has some wonderful keyboards too from Johansson and Turner's vocals are top notch.

'Inspiration' is a sensational cover album and showcases Malmsteen at his absolute best. It is great too as an introduction to the many bands being covered, many of which I had not heard a lot from when I first got hold of this album. I think Malmsteen has paid generous respect to songs and artists that have inspired him over the years, and he poured out all his energy and adoration towards these artists onto this album to create something very special. 4 stars for the incredible lead guitar and arrangements, and an extra 1/2 star for excellent covers of prog songs.

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 Fire & Ice by MALMSTEEN, YNGWIE album cover Studio Album, 1992
2.80 | 23 ratings

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Fire & Ice
Yngwie Malmsteen Prog Related

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars Yngwie J. Malmsteen is of course a legendary guitarist along with Joe satriani and Steve vai that were all the rage in the 90s. I remember this album well back in the 90s as everyone was getting hold of it and I had it on cassette back then. It is a pleasure to finally get the CD but it is not hard to find in bargain bins so it appears many decided to ditch it. Understandably this is very dated and sounds like the 90s neo-classical period.

There are very poppy moments such as 'Teaser' and overall the Whitesnake style power metal, merged with melodic soft rock. I was into it at the time but have since grown completely out of the style. It is not complex music, apart from the lead breaks by maestro Malmsteen. The prog on this is rather hard to find, though occasionally there are interesting orcestrations such as the intro to 'How Many Miles to Babylon'. This is a definitive highlight of the album. The flute and violin with acoustics is quite enchanting. The problem I always had with Malmsteen's albums is the choice of vocalist. On this occasion Goran Edman is actually quite good, adequate at the least but he is always staying on that typical metal note. He can reach a high falsetto and sounds great on the heavier songs.

The best moments for me are the instrumentals such as 'Perpetual', a standout fast lead solo, 'Leviathan', an atmospheric piece with fret melting lead work, and 'Golden Dawn', an acoustically driven piece. Of all these I prefer 'Leviathan' especially the screaming lead break with the odd time sig and constantly shifting tempo. I remember seeing this on video and being amazed at Malmsteen's ferocity on the Fender. It kind of annoys me how the songs fade as Malmsteen continue to shred, it would be better to finish on a huge power chord.

Malmsteen is a genius guitarist and he shreds brilliantly. The lead breaks are incredible, creative and virtuoso as one might expect having a band named after you. He looks great on stage too, and I always enjoyed when tracks from "Fire and Ice" appeared on concert performances. The liner notes of the CD includes that the album was "dedicated in loving memory to Bjorn Malmsteen" which is a nice touch. A clue to his influences are in the personal thanks as Malmsteen mentions the likes of Erika Malmsteen, J.S.Bach, Antonio Vivaldi, Ludwig Van Beethoven, Jimi Hendrix, H.P.Lovecraft, Enzo Ferrari, Leo Fender, Dinsdale, and Monty Python's Flying Circus. An interesting line up there showing where the music stems from. Indeed the classical influences are prevalent among others. Listen to the intro of 'C'est La Vie' with Malmsteen on sitar for an example of Indian Raga.

There are fast metal moments such as 'No Mercy' with a traditional shredding rhythm, and then an orchestra plays Vivaldi or Bach-ian music for a while till Malmsteen performs a blistering lead break. He loves those high string bends and speed picking sweeps as well as massive hammer ons and arpeggios. The album songs are forgettable, indeed I had to listen to the whole thing to remember a single melody, but at the time of listening it is enjoyable. 'Fire and Ice' is a rather pedestrian hard rock song sounding more like glam. At 2 ½ minutes in though we are treated to a brilliant lead break with ferocious arpeggios and classical inlfuences. It leads to a wah-wah sound for a change and it fades out again.

There is huge diversity on the album such as the speed power metal of 'Forever Is A Long Time' which includes symphonic keyboards by Mats Olausson. Edman sounds great here and the violin section is appropriate to usher is another super fast killer lead solo. He trades of with some equally fast keys too and this is fantastic. Malmsteen loves his ballads and here is no exception with 'I'm My Own Enemy' giving Göran Edman a chance to shine though it lasts for 6 minutes and is hard to sit through. This is perhaps one of those lighters in the air concert moments and Malmsteen can relax on 12 string. The string section is a nice embellishment though. 'All I Want Is Everything' follows, and it is okay but the album is tending to drag a bit at this stage and needs a real kick in the guts to bring it up to standard. After the beauty of the acoustic section it ends with 'Final Curtain'. There is a cool riff to begin and thunder rolls across the heavenly striking violins. The pace is slow but the music is intriguing. The obligatory lead break hammers in once more and she is all over with a thunder clap.

This is a long slog to get through the whole album, especially as it sounds so commercial. It was the album that a lot of my friends had in the 90s and I ended up with it but I rarely played it due to the lack of interest in the neo classical feel, but it is a bit more enjoyable these days with the prog references. Though I admit I won't be returning to this often as there is so much better out there, that leaves this outdated music for dead.

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