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Yngwie Owens? - 80%

Flamos, November 4th, 2008

We all know Yngwie Malmsteen is a great guitar player, he's proved that. His last album "Unleash the Fury" was a bit of a disappointment to many of his fans. The lead singer Doogie White was let go, so Malmsteen needed to find a replacement. Well, he found a good one. Ex-Iced Earth front man Tim "Ripper" Owens was announced to perform on his upcoming album. "Perpetual Flame" has been unleashed; does it deliver what fans have wanted?

Well, yes, it does. This is a very solid record. Tim's voice is amazing here, this works perfectly. The opener "Death Dealer" proves that. A cool riff from Malmsteen starts the song, which leads to Owens piercing voice destroying the microphone. The song is well written with nice lyrics and a great solo delivered by Malmsteen. I find it funny that for once, Malmsteen isn't the best thing on this album, Owens is. Which leads to my next point. We all know Malmsteen is a great player, hell, a fantastic one. So do we really need the three instrumentals? Does he have to prove that point again? At least half of the album wasn't just pure instrumentals. You have an amazing singer; use him! This is an easy thing to ignore, because the songs themselves are good. Yugwie's playing is as good as ever. Patrik Johansson is a good drummer, who of course is completely ignored. He defiantly deserves credit for his good performance. Bjorn Englen's bass playing is also performed well, and it's surprisingly loud on this record. It doesn't drown anything, but it's actually noticeable, which is surprising. The instrumentals here aren't anything you'll find surprising. Just Malmsteen doing his everyday shredding, it's a cool listen at first but it becomes dull over time. The songs with Ripper singing on them are quite a joy. I say that because Malmsteen provides his vocals on the song "Magic City," which is far from magical. The riff itself is boring and his vocals are stale. Nevertheless it isn't a horrible song. "Four Horseman (Of the Apocalypse), "Priest of the Unholy," and "Damnation Game" is all really interesting songs with amazing talent.

I must say I'm not really surprised this was good. I mean, Tim Owens shines here; it's quite amazing how he can switch from band to band and mold with their sound. Yngwie's playing is as solid as ever, no matter what you're opinion of him is. If you're a follower of Tim Owens, you should check this out. It's a good listen. To all the Malmsteen fans this is another solid record to add to your collection.