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Yngwie has lost his fire - 69%

The_Ghoul, August 9th, 2008

Yngwie has a signature sound, no doubt. In fact, I'd say that he's got the neoclassical sound down to a T. Going further, I'd say he invented it. For some reason, it seems to have sounded better on past albums. There's something missing from this that seems to prevent it from achieving greatness.

In my opinion, Yngwie lost all freshness and relevance by the time Facing the Animal was released. Alchemy was fated to gather dust for this reason, and War to End All Wars is no different. By now, this is basically Yngwie doing what Yngwie does and Mark Boals wailing as Mark Boals has done ever since he lost his voice (I swear his performance was fucktons better on Trilogy). The thing is, at this late point in his career, Yngwie really can't afford to sound this generic. This is the time he should be innovating, as he did on Fire and Ice through Magnum Opus. This isn't the time he should be going back to the sound he had in the 80's, the reason being, quite simply this is not the 80's. As much as I would like more artists to embrace the olskool metal sound, I do not like nostalgia albums made by dinosaurs from the 80's. Unfortunately, that's all this is. Why listen to a fascimile made by musicians who are past their prime when you can just as easily pop in Trilogy or Marching Out?

Another problem is the production. Yngwie tries to add to the olskool vibe by roughening up the production. The thing is, we know he's capable of more, and the production comes across as uneven and lazy, instead of being thought out but ultimately amateur. It really kills the music, much in a way that a 40 some odd year old man who's suffering a mid-life crisis looks incredibly dorky blasting music in his new jeep wearing baggy pants and a backwards cap. In essence, this is what this is; it's Yngwie realizing that he's past his prime, and trying to recapture the glory days of old. Unfortunately, those days are long gone, and he can never recapture the power and majesty of the 4 original rising force albums, whether or not he adds the (pretty much meaningless) addendum of Rising Force to the albums. The only way forward, at this point, is to branch out and innovate, and to grow as an artist. Unfortunately, there's a fat chance of that happening.

The music is pretty easy to describe. If you've heard more than one Yngwie album, you know what this sounds like. If you've heard any of his recent material, you definitely know what this sounds like. If you have every of the albums prior to this, then there's DEFINITELY no reason to get this, because you've heard it already, done much more passionately, performed much better, and with much better vibes. You got your slow songs, you got your fast songs, you got your in between songs, and none of them really deviate from the Yngwie Malmsteen formula. The songwriting isn't terrible, and is actually quite alright, but the thing is, you've heard it already, and by default, done with a lot more originality and freshness. This time, he's just going through the motions, and the result is a rather bland album that is definitely not worth getting. Get the 4 original Rising Force albums if you want blazing neoclassical metal, and get Fire and Ice through Magnum Opus if you want innovation. There's no point, nevertheless, in getting War to End All Wars.