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This album is Yngwie's best album. But why? It's recognizably Yngwie... fast solos, keyboards, acoustic shredding, usually cheesy songwriting, requisite poppy song or two -- but it's also recognizably different. Done with taste, as some might say. You'll get a few surprises, but nothing you haven't heard on Seventh Sign. So what's the difference, then?
Yngwie hasn't toned it down. Rather, Yngwie has let loose. With a genuine defiance of everything else, Yngwie has kicked everything else (and his own playing) up a notch, and adding an air of unpredictability to his formerly stale playing, and made a genuine album. Even the poppy songs are done with taste. But he counters that with several ass kicker songs (Vengeance, Time Will Tell, Overture #213124124124, Fire in the Sky, to name a few), which are heavier and done with better taste than anything else Yngwie has done before.
Usually, in previous Yngwie albums (and newer ones) I could never force myself to give them good reviews. In Rising Force, it was the unending wankery, in Marching Out, songs like Caught in the Middle and Don't Let it End were done competently enough, but still were boring. In Trilogy, every song was just too cheesy to really be taken seriously. In Odyssey you had to hear Yngwie bow to the pressure of record companies in making songs like Heaven Tonight, Now is the Time, Crystal Ball, and Dreamin', which reeked of hair metal. Ugh.
This time, Yngwie is just going for the jugular, aiming to knock the listener down with the fury and power of his music. Whereas before the classical nature could be seen as wankery, in this album, it's done tastefully, darker than previous albums.
Get this album, it's probably the classic and quintessential Yngwie album. It's where he finally said "fuck all" to trends and decided to stay true to his roots and to metal. It's nearly everything good about Yngwie and almost nothing bad. Nonetheless, there are places he can improve. I docked 3 points because a couple songs went on a bit longer than it felt they should've, so that gives a 97. And this album deserves every point of that 97.