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With the ousting of Doogie White from Yngwie Malmsteen's Rising Force, in came Tim "The Ripper" Owens who was just booted from Iced Earth. With his latest album, Tim injects new life with Yngwie as there is some very strong song writing on here and always mesmerizing guitar playing from Yngwie, but The Ripper adds dimension to which has been missing from the Rising Force for awhile.
The first thing noticeable is how strong The Ripper's voice is. Letting out a fierce scream and having a strong, controlled vocal delivery in the fast paced "Death Dealer." This album also has a power metal feel to it. There are big, momentous chorouses with Owens usually belting out high notes and showcasing his vocal talent.
Yngwie Malmsteen has an utter great performance on this album. His playing on this album seems to be more controlled. He isn't just totally wanking it, as his solos are well defined and they are not overlong to short. Songs like "Red Devil," "Four Horseman (Of the Apocalypse)," and "Eleventh Hour" exemplify this point. He even shows his vocal ability on "Magic City", which is a slow, melodic guitar performance Yngwie. It's nothing spectacular, but it's a bit enjoyable.
Not everything is great on here however as there are a couple of songs that just plain stink. "Damnation Game" has a riff similiar to "I'll See the Light Tonight". I think Yngwie can be a little more original than that as when I immediately heard the song come on, that's what it sounded like. It wasn't even disguised as something else. It seems like he just pasted new lyrics to the song and gave it a new title. There is a worthless ballad on here called "Live to Fight (Another Day)" which is dull and has no inspiration.
On the other hand, the instrumentals on here are great. There is no blind guitar playing to be found surprisingly, but stylized guitar parts featured as there is a nice balance of melody and speed found on them. "Four Horseman (Of the Apocalypse) just might be the best song on here because it utilizes the talents on here perfectly and the pounding guitar riff allows The Ripper's voice to shine and then picking up in the solo.
All in all, this album is definitly worth picking up. Tim Owens never seems to be trying to hard on this album as he fits right in fusing great voice control and delivering a performance that amps this album. Yngwie still plays awesome as always and it is defitnitly worth picking up. Buy it. Like it. Love it.