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YNGWIE MALMSTEEN

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Yngwie Malmsteen biography
Lars Johan Yngve Lannerbäck - Born June 30, 1963 (Stockholm, Sweden)

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 ...
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YNGWIE MALMSTEEN discography


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

3.97 | 116 ratings
Rising Force
1984
3.58 | 71 ratings
Rising Force: Marching Out
1985
3.58 | 79 ratings
Trilogy
1986
3.46 | 70 ratings
Rising Force: Odyssey
1988
2.75 | 35 ratings
Eclipse
1990
2.89 | 39 ratings
Fire & Ice
1992
2.97 | 32 ratings
The Seventh Sign
1994
3.15 | 29 ratings
Magnum Opus
1995
3.48 | 28 ratings
Inspiration
1996
2.69 | 30 ratings
Facing The Animal
1997
4.03 | 42 ratings
Concerto Suite for Electric Guitar and Orchestra in E Flat Minor Op. 1
1998
3.70 | 28 ratings
Rising Force: Alchemy
1999
2.28 | 28 ratings
Rising Force: War To End All Wars
2000
2.14 | 14 ratings
The Genesis
2002
2.36 | 25 ratings
Rising Force: Attack !!
2002
2.75 | 20 ratings
Rising Force: Unleash The Fury
2005
3.04 | 25 ratings
Rising Force: Perpetual Flame
2008
2.75 | 16 ratings
Angels Of Love
2009
2.56 | 18 ratings
Relentless
2010
2.55 | 19 ratings
Rising Force: Spellbound
2012
3.57 | 7 ratings
World On Fire
2016
3.40 | 5 ratings
Blue Lightning
2019

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

3.17 | 17 ratings
Trial by Fire: Live in Leningrad
1989
3.11 | 9 ratings
Live!!
1998
3.00 | 2 ratings
Concerto Suite for Electric Guitar and Orchestra in E Flat Minor
2002

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

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

3.25 | 8 ratings
The Yngwie Malmsteen Collection
1991

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

YNGWIE MALMSTEEN Reviews


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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
4.03 | 42 ratings

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Concerto Suite for Electric Guitar and Orchestra in E Flat Minor Op. 1
Yngwie Malmsteen Prog Related

Review by Mark-P

4 stars I always think that this album, which is a concerto with Yngwie plays electric guitar as soloist, accompanied by Czech Philharmonic orchestra - is kind of his long term ambitions or even dream. Unlike the other well known blending of rock and classical genres like Deep Purple's Concerto for Group and Orchestra or Rick Wakeman's Journey to the Centre of the Earth, Yngwie plays all the soloist part, with mainly electric guitar (there are 2 tracks with acoustic guitar) with orchestration.

It will be more appropriate to have an overall feel of the concerto, rather than review each of the tracks. I think YJM did a great work in building the entire composition. From grand opening, slower movement between faster ones and the great staging to the ending. YJM uses many phrases from his song catalogue and arranges them to fit in particular movement in the composition. Some of well known pieces are from 'Icarus Dream' (1984 Rising Force), 'Eclipse' and 'Demon Driver' (1990 Eclipse) and 'Liar' (1986 Trilogy).

There are many remarkable moments in the concerto. The opening of the concerto 'Icarus Dream Fanfare' is a glorious start. Yngwie strips down the 'adagio in G-minor' part and uses the middle part as the fanfare (what a nice twist). The end part 'Presto Vivace' and 'Finale' are among best and most passionate part of the concerto.

This is a unique, great album from a guitar virtuoso. A showcase to not only his playing technique but also capability in composing an orchestration that unifies the heavy metal and classical music.

 Rising Force by MALMSTEEN, YNGWIE album cover Studio Album, 1984
3.97 | 116 ratings

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Rising Force
Yngwie Malmsteen Prog Related

Review by Mark-P

5 stars What a nice surprise to see Y.J.Malmsteen listed in the PA artists. YJM is always be one of my guitar heroes and among musicians who formed my musical taste. I followed and dug a lot his works, particularly first five albums, which I think represent his finest musical works. This first album 'Rising Force' is among a few that I would agree for being listed in progressive rock catalogue. It is kind of birth of new genre, some call it neo-classical rock, and is often cited as one of best guitar shredder albums. It was nominated at 1986 Grammy for Best Rock Instrumental Performance but unfortunately did not get the award.

In this album, I see YJM guitar works similar to what Jon Lord or Keith Emerson had been doing with keyboards. They composed great symphonic rock and often make an intense reference to classical music. The guitar sound is so thick and heavy, yet his fast picking technique (including sweep-picked arpeggio) is very clean and soulful. This is his best sound for me.

There are at least three tracks that shall be considered as quintessential YJM works. 'Black Star' which is a great opening track of the album is the first one. The short acoustics guitar intro has become a well known passage that frequently performed in his concert. This composition has a steady backing track, but does not attenuate the brilliance of the melodic guitar solos. The guitar overdubs create a beautiful harmony throughout the song. For many, this song shows Blackmore's influence. The second track 'Far Beyond the Sun' is another Yngwie's signature song. This composition has faster pace and complex structure from striking intro, use of several anthemic licks and conclusive classical-style ending. 'Icarus' Dream Suite Op.4' is a really beautiful composition that use Albinoni's 'Adagio in G minor' as the main intro theme. Yngwie's interpretation of this composition is so soulful (part of it because of the wide vibrato he masterfully uses) yet still maintain its heavy metal flavour. Yngwie use a lot of acoustic guitar in this song, mostly as backing guitar, but also solo in the interlude. I love this track so much. Many great musicians (e.g Kansas, Pink Floyd, Angra) use the story of Icarus for their song theme (at least make a reference in the lyric) but I feel that Yngwie interpretation is one of the best that truly musicalizes the story of Icarus. This song has been modified several times for his show, from being used as opening for 'Far Beyond the Sun' (in 'Trial by Fire') to a full orchestra arrangement entitled 'Icarus Dream Fanfare' (in 'Concerto Suite for Electric Guitar and Orchestra'). Those are to me three amongst YJM best works.

The third track 'Now Your Ships Are Burned' has an exciting fast-picking riffs in Phrygian scale. Barriemore Barlow plays a great drums, a lot of unconventional fills and complex rhythm while play along with guitar riffs. 'Evil Eye' uses an adaptation from Johann Krieger's 'Bourree' for its intro (first half with acoustic and second half with electric guitar). Great guitar and keyboard conversation (or more likely battle) in the end of the song.

'As Above, So Below' opens with sound of pipe organ that is quickly countered by heavy riffs. Jeff Scott Soto voice is so amazing, with a perfect high pitches. Yngwie uses his signature fast picking arpeggio. 'Little Savage' is another track with complex arrangement, with several changes in the key, and also moods. The slow guitar solo part in the middle of the song is so evocative ? listen to it, there is big chance that you would imagine yourself to be able to play that phrases. This song is a showcase of how fast Yngwie is when it comes to shred, arpeggios or even riffs. 'Farewell' is a short acoustic guitar pieces, with theme similar to 'Black Star' intro, but with a lot more of harmonic notes. Not to much to say, but the very natural yet beautiful sound from the nylon string is worth mentioned.

One of great instrumental (well .. almost) album in rock history. Progressive ? I would say yes! The songs are well arranged and each has its unique pattern, twist and complexity ? not to mention the classical influence.

Yngwie was at his best in song writing and creativity (he was 21 when releasing this album). None of his later works outshines this album in the musicality. The accompanying musicians also play great roles. Jeff Scott Soto voice and Jens Johansson keyboard works are perfect band mate. They remain with Yngwie for the second album. Barriemore Barlow (long term drummer of Jethro Tull) also contributes well in building unusual structures for a heavy metal album. In the prog-related genre, I give this album 5 stars.

 Rising Force by MALMSTEEN, YNGWIE album cover Studio Album, 1984
3.97 | 116 ratings

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Rising Force
Yngwie Malmsteen Prog Related

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars It's rare that you can point to a specific artist and album and say that here, right at that moment, is where a particular musical subgenre got its start, but you absolutely can with neoclassical metal - Yngwie Malmsteen's Rising Force album is patient zero for this high-technicality, classical-influenced, guitar-worshipping brand of metal.

This style has been derided from time to time as being nothing more than empty technical showboating, exacerbated by the fact that whereas progressive metal (which also gets accused of such showboating from time to time) at least tends to put a spotlight on a range of different instrumentalists, your typical neoclassical metal act is essentially a virtuoso guitarist and a group of backing musicians who are there to help the guitarist look good. Whether or not you consider that stereotype to be an outrageous slur on the scene or a perceptive assessment of some of its trends, you can't say that Malmsteen hasn't contributed to that image just a little, repeating his formula over sufficient albums that it's become an overworked, tired-out cliche.

It would be unfair, however, to tarnish this excellent debut album with that brush. The difference between this and so much of Malmsteen's subsequent discography is that, as a result of coming out first, it wasn't laden down with the expectations people had placed on Malmsteen's work. The general compositional approach hadn't yet ossified into a formula from which albums could be churned out by rote, and Malmsteen hadn't yet fallen into the trap of pandering more and more to fan expectations and believing more and more in his own hype, until his music became an overwrought caricature of itself.

Instead, what you get here is some dynamite classically-influenced heavy metal, building on a foundation reminiscent of early Queen (especially when Jeff Scott Soto's vocals come in) and adding intricate classically-inspired guitar work from Malmsteen himself. The end result is an electrifying performance which not only provides an exceptional showcase for Malmsteen's guitar skills, but is also a downright entertaining album in its own right. Don't hold Malmsteen's late-career turkeys against him and listen with an open mind.

 Rising Force by MALMSTEEN, YNGWIE album cover Studio Album, 1984
3.97 | 116 ratings

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Rising Force
Yngwie Malmsteen Prog Related

Review by Dark Nazgul

4 stars Baroque And Roll

"Yngwie Malmsteen's Rising Force" first album reveals to the world the talent of the great Swedish guitarist (which was already noted with his previous band named "Alcatrazz"). Although the album is credited to Rising Force, the project is solely owned by Malmsteen, who writes all the songs, also played the bass guitar, and relegates the other musicians, which are very good technically, to the role of supporting actors.

The best songs are the instrumental ones where Malmsteen can show his prodigious guitar technique as, for example, in the classic Far Beyond The Sun, the summa of his virtuosity. Black Star and Evil Eye are great song too. Despite some nice passages, As Above, So Below and Now Your Ships Are Burned are ranked one step below because of anything but memorable voice of the singer Jeff Scott Soto and questionable "viking" lyrics. Icarus Dream Suite Op.4 is my favorite song, and one of the absolute top of Malmsteen's career, with a prodigious performance of the famous Albinoni's "Adagio".

Many people know Yngwie's style and not at all like it: a furious guitar technique with an extensive use of scales played at stratospheric speeds, and a strange mixture of heavy metal and classical baroque. Not always the music that Malmsteen has produced turned out to be at the height of his virtuosity, but at least on this album (and also in the surprising "Concerto Suite for Electric Guitar And Orchestra") the results are gratifying. Although intended only for lovers of heavy metal and guitar, in its genre "Yngwie Malmsteen's Rising Force" is a successful album. Too bad that in the future almost never the Swedish guitarist will make music of this quality. No doubt, this is not a prog album. My final rating is 7/10 and 3,5 stars. Well, I'll give at the end four stars because it is a very innovative album in the heavy metal genre.

Final rating: 7/10.

Best song: Icarus Dream Suite Op.4

 Rising Force: Marching Out by MALMSTEEN, YNGWIE album cover Studio Album, 1985
3.58 | 71 ratings

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Rising Force: 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.
 Rising Force: Spellbound by MALMSTEEN, YNGWIE album cover Studio Album, 2012
2.55 | 19 ratings

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Rising Force: 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.

 Fire & Ice by MALMSTEEN, YNGWIE album cover Studio Album, 1992
2.89 | 39 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.
 Trilogy by MALMSTEEN, YNGWIE album cover Studio Album, 1986
3.58 | 79 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.
 Concerto Suite for Electric Guitar and Orchestra in E Flat Minor Op. 1 by MALMSTEEN, YNGWIE album cover Studio Album, 1998
4.03 | 42 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.

 Rising Force: Marching Out by MALMSTEEN, YNGWIE album cover Studio Album, 1985
3.58 | 71 ratings

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Rising Force: 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.

Thanks to windhawk for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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