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After experiencing some commercial success with his 1988 album “Odyssey”, Malmsteen decides to take that mainstream edge to his music up a notch (or several) on his 1990 effort “Eclipse”, which would prove to be his last album on Polygram before being unceremoniously dumped.
And to be honest, it’s not hard to see why. This album is typical of Malmsteen’s mid-career work in the sense that it’s too solo orientated to really cater to the mainstream and yet at the same time too commercial to really cater to the dedicated metal fan base. Which isn’t to say that it’s a bad album as such. It isn’t. It's just not very good.
The album kicks off with “Making Love” which is undoubtedly an excellent song whichever way you look at it. Great vocal from new frontman Goran Edman and excellent lead work from Yngwie all the way through. Surprised this one wasn’t a hit.
The next track “Bedroom Eyes” is lacking. Just very cheesy in a bad way, and lacks any power.
“Save Your Love” is a nice ballad that I have a real soft spot for. Awesome solo here too which really adds to the power of the song, accentuated by a very good vocal performance from Edman again.
“Motherless Child” is dross. Ridiculous lyrics here, and no structure to the song whatsoever. Cheesy to the nth degree to boot. Bleuch.
“Devil In Disguise” is okay and so is “Judas”. Nothing special, just passable Malmsteen standards.
“What Do You Want” features a nice keyboard intro from Mats Olausson which leads into a nice riff from Yngwie Malmsteen but unfortunately the song gets repetitive from there and disappoints.
“Demon Driver” is a fun little song, with more solid keyboard work that complements Yngwie’s soloing very well. Again, nothing special though.
“Faultline” is up next. Nice heavy riff that runs through the song and good work from Edman and Olausson on vocals, but a lack of deviation in the pace of the song makes this far more boring than it should have been.
“See You In Hell” follows and is another average offering, and “Eclipse” finishes up the album standing up well as one of Malmsteen’s better latter day instrumentals.
To close, I will say that a lot of the material on this album does have the potential to be a lot better than it is. You just get the feeling that if Malmsteen swallowed his pride and got a good, proven songwriter in to help him out, the uneven songwriting and over-emphasis on soloing could be reigned in and would allow for some far more interesting song structures.
Like that would ever happen though. Malmsteen is too stubborn and that’s his downfall. That’s why this is getting just above half marks. Could do better.