The Metal Files

My Life. My Music. Your Voyeurism.

My Life With Yngwie Malmsteen

with one comment

I first heard this guy when Rising Force came out in 1984. After hearing this and reading stuff in Metal Edge and Circus magazines, I picked up Steeler and the first Alcatrazz as fast as I could. My friends and I were amazed at what this guy was able to do on guitar. It was mind-numbing and no one else at the time could hang with him. To date, I still consider Yngwie as my favorite player ever and believe he is one of the best ever living or dead.

So on with the show…

Rising Force – 1984
This album has a perfect mix of instrumentals and vocal songs. Jeff Scott Soto is such a powerful singer and was just a perfect fit for this style of music. There is not a stinker in the bunch.

Marching Out – 1985
Holy hell. As noted in the Scorpions review, the first 3 Yngwie’s also had the cream colored Polydor/Polygram tape cases. I’m one of the few, it seems, that likes this album over Rising Force. Mainly because of the addition of more vocal songs, not to mention the addition of Anders Johansson. This is one of those albums that I play over and over anytime it hits the CD player. I was never a fan of I Am A Viking but it doesn’t detract from the rating I’m gonna give this one. It’s a perfect album.

Trilogy – 1986
Mark who? When I first heard it, I hated it. I hated it for years and years. The thin production, Boals’ wimpy vocals. Yeah, the solos and riffs were there, the production and vocals really killed it for me. I think I went about 10-15 years without listening to this and finally bought it on CD a few years ago. I was blown away by it. I still don’t think it’s as good as Marching Out, but it’s damned good overall. Dark Ages is probably the weakest track on it (Viking pt 2 anyone?). I saw this tour when he opened for Triumph and got a really nice surprise when Soto came out instead of Boals. It was a great night. Jens Johansson is a deity.

Odyssey – 1988
Ahhhhh…I was finishing up my senior year in high school when this came out. I had read in the mags that Joe Lynn Turner was doing the vocals and was excited about it…afterall, Bent Out of Shape is my fave Rainbow album. So I see the first video before I heard the album…Heaven Tonight. D’oh. Dude. C’mon. OK, I understand trying to write the hits for MTV and radio, but this was a bit too cheese for me. Over the years I have grown to appreciate it, but it’s still wimpy. I’m not a fan of the instrumentals on this one and generally skip them but songs like Riot in the Dungeons, Dreaming, Faster than the Speed of Light, Crystal Ball etc. Great stuff even though his style lightened up quite a bit. I also saw this tour with Lita Ford opening up. Another great night.

Eclipse – 1990
Exit the Johansson Brothers. Damn! Enter horrible production and some pretty weak songs. Enter the upswing of Yngwie’s cocaine habit. I think with better production these songs would have been a bit better. Goran Edman’s vocals were really really thin as well. I do like Motherless Child, Judas, Demon Driver and What Do You Want. The rest was just average stuff.

Fire and Ice – 1992
WTF? The only song I can recall off the top of my head is Teaser. [PUKE]. I saw this tour as well and what a letdown. The bass, keyboards, rhythm guitars and all main and backing vocals were prerecorded. I kid you not. I was sort of crushed to see my favorite guitarist resort to such tactics. He was getting pretty hefty at this point too. I think he may have finished 2 bottles of wine while on stage. It was just awful.

The Seventh Sign – 1994
Enter Mike Vescera. I was completely excited to see him in Yngwie’s band because I am a HUGE Obsession fan. Well, I was let down a bit when I hear the album. The whole thing seemed to be written out of Mike’s range and he sounded strained through the whole thing. Never Die and Pyramid of Cheops are the highlights for me. I also saw this tour and got to the venue early to hopefully meet Mike (and possibly Yngwie). I knocked on the bus door and the tour manager said, before I could say anything, “Yngwie’s not seeing fans.” I said, “Cool, I’m here to see Vescera anyway.” After listening to the manager say that Mike was busy blah blah blah I saw him on the bus and just started shouting “Obsession! Scarred for Life! Marshall Law!” Mike came to the front quickly, moved the manager out of the way and hung outside with me for about a half hour. He freaked out when he saw my Obsession and Loudness vinyl and freaked out more when I told him about seeing Obsession back in the 80s. (Long story behind that one that I knw he’d remember…and he did!). Good times. Weak album.

Magnum Opus – 1995
Ugh, dude…Vengeance and Fire in the Sky are the only tracks that I can listen to. Mike sounded terrible (again).

Facing the Animal – 1997
Holy crap, Yng. Four in a row? I really wanted to hear this one because Cozy Powell drummed on it, but it couldn’t help it. Crappy production and poor songwriting killed it.

Concerto Suite – 1998
OK…for years I wanted Yngwie to release an acoustic classical album and I guess this is as close as I was going to get to hearing that. It’s pretty good overall, but I would have preferred him playing on a nylon stringed guitar along with the symphony.

Alchemy -1999
Re-enter Mark Boals. When I heard he was coming back, I was not amused at all. Then I bought the CD. Damn. DAMN! This album kicks my ass every time I hear it. For me it was a return to classic form for Yngwie. It’s a long one at 70+ minutes, but it’s great. Mark Boals sounds incredible when he has decent production backing him up. Highly recommended.

War to End All Wars – 2000
Bore to End All Bores. Not even Boals could help this one. Another let down. I wanted to like this one but it just didn’t happen. I did see the tour with Lizzy Borden opening up. Met Yngwie at a meet and greet that day and he was a jerkoff.
1/10 for Prophet of Doom.

Attack!! – 2002

Unleash the Fury – 2005
Surprisingly, this is a really good album. Doogie White’s vocals are really strong and the album is pretty consistent, just a bit too long. I also saw this tour. The day he rolled into town, he and his drummer came into the record store that I worked Sundays in. Yngwie freaked out at all of the Blackmore stuff we had on DVD and bought all of it. He invited me to sound check and of course I accepted. I got to hang out with him quite a bit that day and was blown away by how nice he was. The whole band was cool. His tour manager was a douchebag though. After the show he thanked me and the store owner a dozen times for the DVDs and for making his “return to Virginia” a better experience than last time…not sure what happened last time.

Perpetual Flame – 2008
This album has terrible production although I do hear some licks from Yngwie that I have either never heard from him or haven’t heard him do in a long time. Owens’ vocals are so enhanced that it’s almost painful to listen to. While there are a few catchy tunes, this album falls flat. Yngwie, get Tsangerides to produce your next one. He made Alchemy sound brilliant!

I think I may have seen Yngwie live one or 2 other times…it all gets a tad hazy.

Written by The Metal Files

December 27, 2008 at 12:02 pm

One Response

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Okay, I will try to be serious and not get too sick over discussing this person.I heard the debut shortly after it’s release and liked it alright. Marching out was okay too, but not a whole lot different. Trilogy turned my stomach, I thought it was a real mess. I remember liking Odyssey and thinking that Yngwie did a good job in keeping things under control and concentrating more on building the songs instead of just going off on solos. I have not heard that album in a long time though. Then the next few albums were just more self-indulgent rubbish. I have not bothered with anything he has done in the last decade. I just have not interest. Okay, he’s fast but he lacks emotion and restraint. He did save that Steeler album though because his playing was solid, but Ron Keel sounded like a cat getting it’s tail stepped on.

    Metal Mark

    December 30, 2008 at 2:28 pm

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: