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Yngwie Malmsteen - Rising Force: War To End All Wars CD (album) cover


Yngwie Malmsteen


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2.31 | 29 ratings

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Symphonic Team
2 stars Arpeggios from hell!

Following only one year after the surprisingly good (and surprisingly progressive) Alchemy album, War To End All Wars was a bit of a disappointment. Despite having the very same band backing him up on both albums, the present one falls far behind its predecessor. One of its main deficiencies is immediately noticeable; namely, the annoying production. The sound is muddled and weird and somehow the recording comes across as not too professional. This is really a pity as the material is not bad even if the songs are generally shorter and less memorable compared to what could be found on the previous album. One reason could be that it was released only one year after Alchemy and as such it was perhaps a bit rushed? Another problem is that the running time is over an hour and hearing the whole album in one go can be a bit trying on the ear, especially given the subpar production. I'm sure that this album would have benefitted from being somewhat shorter than it is and given more time to work on it and higher production values, this could have been a better album. Still, it is not bad as it stands and features some good moments that save it from utter "doom".

This album starts out well enough with a couple of good songs but after that, however, it tends to feel like more of the same with only some happy exceptions. Straightforward rockers like Bad Reputation, Catch 22 and Wild One are just by-the-numbers and somewhat dull. In general, I feel that while Alchemy was a return to Neo-Classical Metal (with some progressive touches), War To End All Wars is more towards traditional Heavy Metal and Power Metal with only occasional detours into the Neo-Classical style that made Malmsteen's best albums so great. Arpeggios From Hell, Prelude and Instrumental Institution are pleasant Neo-Classical instrumentals and Miracle Of Life (not the Yes song of the same name) is a nice "power ballad" with a good vocal performance from Mark Boals and some tasteful acoustic guitar lines. Nothing too special though, but it gives a much needed variation to the album as a whole. Tarot is another good song that reminds somewhat of Ronnie James Dio-era Rainbow.

A decent album with some good moments, but one that I would recommend for fans and collectors primarily

SouthSideoftheSky | 2/5 |


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