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Malmsteen's, Yngwie, Rising Force: Unleash the Fury

Here we have another year, and another album from Swedish guitar legend Yngwie Malmsteen. The virtuoso has released over 20 albums since bursting on the scene in the early 1980's, and Unleash the Fury sees the guitarist treading similar ground yet sounding a bit more focused than he has in a few years. There's a whopping 18 tunes on this latest CD, four of which are instrumentals, and there is plenty of guitar pyrotechnics and meaty metal anthems to go around.

Former Rainbow vocalist Doogie White is on board once again after making a strong showing on the recent Attack!! album, and his Mark Boals-meets-Jeff Scott Soto-meets-Joe Lynn Turner styled vocals fits perfectly within Yngwie's neo-classsical medieval metal rockers. He shines on the passionate "Winds of War (Invasion)", which also features a ripping extended solo from Malmsteen, and the opening mayhem of "Locked & Loaded", where his husky vocals soar above the chugging riffs and intricate rhythms. Drummer Patrick Johansson pummels his kit on the rampaging power metal piece "Beauty and the Beast", while the churning and heavy "Cherokee Warrior" is one of the most melodic pieces on the CD, and features a great lead vocal from Yngwie himself. Check out his intense blues solo on this one drenched in wah-wah....very nice. For some clever doomy metal, there's the brontosaurus stomp of "Revelation (Drinking With the Devil)", featuring some neat keyboard work and heavy riffs. Reminders of the classic "I Am a Viking" from the Marching Out album can be heard on the excellent "The Hunt", noteworthy for some killer fretwork and powerful vocals from White. 'Russian Roulette" has some neat stop/start guitar lines that reminded me of Uli Roth from his days in the Scorpions, and the title track is a decent symphonic rocker with lots of vocal layers that really work well.

The instrumentals are of course a treat. "Fuguetta" is a little acoustic guitar ditty that shows the dexterity of Mr. Malmsteen quite nicely, however it's over before you can pull your jaw up from the floor. Joakim Svalberg adds some majestic keyboards to create atmosphere under Yngwie's soaring arpeggios on "Guardian Angel", while the guitarist lets fly some agile fireworks over a brutally complex prog-metal rhythm on "Magic and Mayhem". If you dig his more classical oriented stuff, "Paraphrase" will be right up your alley.

Of course, seeing as there are 18 songs here, there's bound to be a few clunkers, such as the "been there, done that" snooze-fest "Crown of Thorns", the nu-metal "The Bogeyman", and the pointless "Let the Good Times Roll", a song that is simply an excuse for a red hot guitar solo. It's tunes like this that sometimes give Malmsteen a bad rap, as it has melodies that just don't work, rhythms that just meander, but yet a ripping guitar solo, of course. My suggestion to Yngwie-keep your releases to 12 or 13 tracks maximum, this way you can fit your best vocal pieces and throw in a few instrumentals. 18 songs is a lot for an album these days, and overall, Unleash the Fury is a strong release, but has way too much material. A few of these songs should have never made the final track list, and there's nothing here that's at all groundbreaking. However, there's still plenty to recommend, and as always the guitar playing speaks for itself.

Track Listing
1. Locked And Loaded
2. Revolution
3. Crackin' The Whip
4. Winds of War (Invasion)
5. Crown Of Thorns
6. BogeyMan
7. Beauty And A Beast
8. Fuguetta (Instrumental)
9. Cherokee Warrior
10. Guardian Angel (Instrumental)
11. Let The Good Times Roll
12. Revelation (Drinking With The Devil)
13. Magic And Mayhem (Instrumental)
14. Exile
15. The Hunt
16. Russian Roulette
17. Unleash The Fury
18. Paraphrase (Instrumental)

Added: September 3rd 2005
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Yngwie Malmsteen Website
Hits: 4066
Language: english

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Malmsteen's, Yngwie, Rising Force: Unleash the Fury
Posted by Ken Pierce, SoT Staff Writer on 2005-09-03 20:59:56
My Score:

Yngwie Malmsteen is clearly a legend in the guitar world and with very good reason. His level of play has never faltered and with Rising Force he has released perhaps his finest work to date as far as Heavy Metal goes. Unleash The Fury comes to us care of Spitfire Records home to other Metal luminaries such as Twisted Sister and Overkill and this release is truly loaded from top to bottom. A guitar players fantasy comes true on this release for it contains a full 18 tracks, truly taking advantage of the time allowed on a CD medium. No such thing as a 30 minute CD release from Yngwie (a welcome change I admit from the norm).Solid Metal content that brings me back to the early days of his playing and a foursome of instrumentals that will please fans of his classical metal styling and musical education. All across the scope of the CD, Yngwie's playing reminds you of why he has achieved the acclaim he has received for so many years. His fluid solos make it sound so easy, but in truth the execution of this is borderline genius. He has gotten better as time has marched on, and this will be some 21 years of Malmsteen as a solo artist (older fans might recall he was in Alcatrazz and Steeler at one time in his youth). The production on the CD is stellar also, and believe it or not you will find all instruments of equal mix. Malmsteen does not overshadow the members of his band instead choosing to let them compliment his work and that's how it should be.

I mentioned many tracks took me back, and when listening to "The Hunt" and "Magic & Mayhem" I might as well been listening to Marching Out for they sounded just like the famous record. Not copies of course but good enough to be on this record that was an industry ground breaker. The players joining Mr. Malmsteen are Dougie White - Vocals, Patrick Johansson - Drums, Joakim Svalberg – Keyboards. This incarnation of Rising Force is perhaps among the finest in years. Fans who still lament for Jeff Scott Soto's material should be suitably impressed at the work that Dougie White does on the piece. "Locked & Loaded" is a great intro piece and quickly sets up the pace of the CD. Regarding the drumming side; Patrick Johansson has played with Yngwie for so long that he appears to be an extension of what gets done on the guitar. This statement is most apparent in songs like "Let The Good Times Roll" (which is another favorite of mine). "Cherokee Warrior" will give fans the chance to hear Yngwie sing lead as well. The instrumentals of "Fuguetta" and "Paraphrase" touch upon the classical music influences that Malmsteen has long showcased in a variety of fashions over the course of his career and albums.

With 18 tunes making up the CD, it is a little difficult for the reviewer to lock into more than a handful of points. Yet given the fact that the CD is so strong overall, it will appeal to Yngwie fans both new and old and that is the best way to define it.

Malmsteen's, Yngwie, Rising Force: Unleash the Fury
Posted by Mike Blackburn, SoT Staff Writer on 2005-08-14 12:24:36
My Score:

It was with a great deal of trepidation that I cracked open this tome containing eighteen… yes EIGHTEEN slices of YJM. I am one of those that honestly believed that YJM blew his bolt after having released first Alcatrazz No Parole… and then the first Rising Force. In effect, he had already slain us with a fiery bombastic virtuoso display of fret burning never before seen, both in a power euro-rock vein (on No Parole) as well as the instrumental arena with the issue of Black Star etc on the first Rising Force. There really was very little room for improvement on those two CD's and so YJM was left with only the option to evolve, expand and grow, something he has regrettably refused to do over the years. In my opinion, with the exception of Inspiration which was very interesting because we got to hear YJM's take on other peoples tunes , i.e. GOOD tunes, and about half of the Concerto album which was quite interesting, YJM has written, since say the Trilogy album enough good material for about an album and a half. With that in mind, eighteen tracks are TOO many for anything but a greatest hits compilation. This new release opens auspiciously enough with a crisp gurgling tune "Locked n Loaded" featuring perhaps Doogie White's best vocal effort yet with YJM. Things however become very redundant in a hurry. Most of the other tunes sounded like what has come before, either in the riff or in the solos. I wish YJM would raise the action on his Ovation acoustic. On the acoustic instrumentals here as well as live with G3, the jangly buzzing tone out of that Ovation does not become the delicate Bach fuguettes he is playing. I get better acoustic sound out of my cheapie acoustics than YJM does! Cherokee Warrior is another very interesting tune. Once you get past YJM's gruff lead vocals, the solo sections are measured triple tracked flights of fancy into the realm of Hendrixian and Marino like lore. Yngwie, I beg to disagree with you. Less is definitely more as regards your output and playing. It is time now for you to evolve and broaden the horizons using your immense talent to flavor other more ambitious musical styles. Despite your insistence to the contrary, you have sleepwalked through another neo-classical release. Yawn.

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