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Yngwie takes a backseat (but still kicks ass!) - 82%

VoiceofHell, November 9th, 2008

This album, the recorded debut of both Ron Keel and Yngwie Malmsteen, is truly a quality album. It's not going to be the best album of either of their catalogues, but it's solid melodic metal and hard rock that does not dissappoint.

One of the more interesting parts of how the record is constructed is where Yngwie is placed in the grand scheme of the album. The man, though being truly a six-string legend even here, seems a little bit unsure of himself and human. The riffs of the album of are fairly simplistic but very effective. They aren't the Yngwie fret-fests that we would come to expect from the man three or four years down the line, but is instead Yngwie truly playing WITH his band members, instead of in front of them. Having said that, the solos present are still top-notch and definitely in the man's signature style (More hard rock than classical though). The exception is the first three minutes of "Hot On Your Heels" which is a massive solo that is first played with what sounds like a spanish guitar and then moves to electric. Those three minutes wouldn't have sounded at all out of place on "Rising Force". Classic fret-burning.

Also, Ron Keel is very much in front and very much... human. his voice is far from perfect but that gives the delivery a certain campy, truly 80's metal charm. The lyrics are cliched cheese in it's best possible form and the delivery just makes it hat much more fun. Ron would be much more mature as a vocalist by the time he would release "Lay Down The Law", but here his lack of maturity gives the record both a sense of urgency and a sense of fun.

Rik Fox and Mark Edwards both od a solid job in the rythm section, keeping the whole enterprise together and cohesive. Fox truly proves how much he would come to deserve his later posting in the legendary W.A.S.P.

Ultimately, if you like urgent, catchy, fun 80's metal, you can't go wrong with this one. Highly Recommended.

Best cuts: Backseat Driver, On The Rox, Down To The Wire