YNGIE MALMSTEEN - Unleash The Fury
Yngwie Malmsteen has always been more of a diva than a normal human person. When he's not busy playing the rock star, it may as well happen that he threatens to kill a woman who poured some water on him, allegedly because she was overhearing homophobic remarks coming from the Swedish guitar virtuoso. This shows already that Yngwie does anything just to get in the media.
Having followed his career over the year only vaguely, I know that he is one hell of a guitarist, but Unleash The Fury, his new album with Cornerstone's Dougie White on vocals, should be proof enough that Yngwie doesn't need all that bad PR. Of course critics have often blamed him in the past of putting form over content, but when you are such a gifted musician, why shouldn't you show of your skills?
As a matter of fact, my only problem with Unleash The Fury is its exaggerated length. If Yngwie had left one third of the songs in the drawer for future use, the album would have been a lot more compact. The way it is now, we have twelve songs with Dougie White on vocals, two where Yngwie adds his own surprisingly muscular voice and four instrumentals, two of which are short Bach interpretations.
The songs all more or less follow the same structure: neo-classical heavy metal played a rather fast pace, with Yngwie doing all the guitar and bass work. The solos are necessarily over-the-top speed orgies with arpeggios aplenty, but even the rhythm guitar needs to fill every chord with at least one surprise. If you focus on the song, you might not even notice, but those who want to enjoy Yngwie's masturbatory art will get definite satisfaction.
A lot of labels are releasing neo-classical bands right now, but Yngwie shows us without a doubt where it all came from. Of course this is not as groundbreaking as what he did in the mid-Eighties, but Yngwie is astonishingly in shape, lost a lot of pounds, and when he is not trying to kill women, he's playing actually above-average metal. By the way this has been released as a Rising Force album, but with Yngwie taking all the credits for himself (even those of the Bach pieces... what an ego the man has!) and his name being actually bigger on the cover than the band's name, we might as well consider it an Yngwie Malmsteen album.