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He Came to Shred - 86%

MEGANICK89, November 7th, 2008

Just as the Overkill song says, Yngwie Malmsteen emerged onto the musical world and wowed the world with his shredding of the guitar. The virtuoso that he was, he set out to show the world how good he was and his debut is a showcase of that with all the numbers being instrumentals except two with short vocal parts provided by Jeff Scott Soto.

The tracks mostly consist of Yngwie showing his ability with some riffage then going into the shredding and playing numerous arpeggios. Sometimes he does some acoustic playing, like on "Black Star." He also does some more melodic parts like on "Icarus Dream Suite" which features an awesome middle interlude that grabs the listener and is just amazing. "Evil Eye" has a particulary neat intro followed by a pounding guitar riff that emerges and well put together. This is one of the highlights on here.

Yngwie is a neoclassical shredder and it shows. His influences consist of a bunch of classical composers as well as Ritchie Blackmore. It can be found throughout all of the album and at times it is great, but at other times it just feels out of place. Like in "Now Your Ships are Burned" there is a fierce riffage and vocals and then it drifts into some mindless wankery and then goes back into vocals. Another example is "Far Beyond the Sun" where Yngwie is following the drum beat and riffiing then giving a little lead, but then just turns into wankery again with the keyboard coming into play.

Speaking of the keyboard, this happens to be a problem on this release. It has this obnoxious sound when it goes into dueling solo with Yngwie and totally detracts from the overall tone and feel of the album. It is definitly a minus on the album, but would luckily be rectified on later releases.

A couple other highlights found on this is album is "Little Savage" which features an addictive creeping, fast riff then it slows down and Yngwie delivers a beautiful lead and then picks up again. The above mentioned "Black Star" also is a great track featuring the acoustic guitar in the intro and then a controlled, running playing by Yngwie that sets the tone for what is to be heard on the album.

This is a must have for anyone who loves hearing great guitar playing and Yngwie is truly a master of his craft. He would only continue to get better in later releases, but just beware of the awful sounding keyboard. So stop reading this and go buy this now!