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From Guitar Sonatas to Songs. - 100%

hells_unicorn, September 14th, 2006

Yngwie took a different route from the amazing yet highly inaccessable debut and opted to write an album with more songs and less instrumentals. The results are completely amazing, and although both albums got the same score, I prefer this one a little bit to the debut. We have all the right elements that make a great mid-80s metal act, drawing lyrically from the dark subjects touched upon in the NWOBHM, though the music is still far more complex.

Jeff Scott Soto gives the vocal performance of a lifetime on here, pushing the limits of how far a natural male voice can soar, and still maintaining the rough edged rock style that was present on the debut album. "I'll See the Light Tonight" and "Soldier without faith" represent two of probably the most amazing and simultaneously impossible to recreate singing feats ever put forth by a metal band. Although I love his work with Axel Rudi Pell, this is by far my favorite album with him as singer.

The guitar solos are equally as complex and magical as before, but their time length and overall structure have been balanced out a bit more, making them easier to remember after few listens. Such tracks as "I am a Viking" and "I'll See the Light Tonight" have melodic themes that can be easily recognized, despite being highly complex and fast.

The instrumentals on here consist of "Overture 1383" and "Marching Out", both of which are dramatically shorter than those on the first album. The former has alot of tempo and textural changes, as well as a very catchy, yet somewhat cliche melody line during the solo section. The latter is pretty steady rocker with a good deal of amazing guitar work, and works well as a closer.

There are essentially no bad songs or filler on here, although some songs are so amazing that you find yourself wanting to skip back to listen again, or skip over a couple of the less amazing songs to get to them. I usually am able to listen to an album straight through the first time, but this one was an exception as I found myself wanting to listen "I'll see the light tonight" and "Soldier without faith" over and over.

In conclusion, this album is a bit more accessable than the first one, so I can recommend it to fans of traditional metal and power metal a bit more enthusiastically. Fans of Symphony X, Rhapsody, Dark Moor, Helloween, Adagio, and Stratovarius can all find something of their own favorite bands in this album. But again, if you have some odd disapproval for music that is complex or that has melody, stick to the noise that you listen to and spare us your insignificant opinions about Yngwie's ego or his soloing style, NOBODY CARES!!!