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Yngwie puts out another one - 85%

The_Ghoul, November 30th, 2007

As a reviewer for Heavenly's "Sign of the Winner" said, there's nothing wrong with taking a formula and applying it with success. Sure, it might seem dated rather quickly, but the fact that Yngwie really didn't do anything new didn't detract from Trilogy or Marching Out and it sure doesn't detract from this release. Sure, there are a couple upbeat and slightly sugary rockers (Heaven Tonight, Now is the Time), but there are also some fast paced cookers (Rising Force, Faster Than the Speed of Light) and we also have two damn good instrumentals that conjure up images of Yngwie erupting with power from playing his arpeggios slightly TOO fast.

One thing is for sure, and that is Joe Lynn Turner can fucking SING. This man has lungs, and while his speaking voice is rather low compared to others such as Jeff Scott Soto and Mark Boals, he can still belt out those high notes with raunchy gruffness. I have no complaints in the vocal department. Yngwie, despite having some drama around the time of this album, still puts out a memorable performance, and does some mind bending solos in "Bite the Bullet" and "Faster Than the Speed of Light", though every song has an incredible solo; those songs just had MORE incredible guitar solos.

The content here is SONGS, not suites, not trilogies, not opii, not instrumentals, but songs, and damn catchy songs. As I said before, if you can take a formula, and use it well to fill an album with catchy songs, then there's no reason we should hold it against you. No matter how much fans will fellate the self titled debut Rising Force, I'll tell you this: I remember many more songs from this album than from Rising Force. Every song on here is easily memorable and you will find yourself humming these songs. They display a variety of moods, from the downbeat (Dreamin') to the mystical (Crystal Ball) to the straight up medieval (Riot in the Dungeon). But they're all consistently good.

This album gets a lot of flak from so called "true" Yngwie fans as being overly commercial. Maybe so, but not at the expense of artistic integrity, technicality and listenability. These songs are 100% solid, even the cheezy as hell "Heaven Tonight". Don't let anybody tell you otherwise.