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Unleash the Excrement - 20%

DethMaiden, July 17th, 2006

Yngwie Malmsteen fans are fairly zealous. They aren't as bad as the Dream Theater fans who insist that their band reinvent music every time they take a shit, but they're still pretty bad. They don't understand that there's a difference between technical capability and good songwriting.

I won't dispute the fact that Yngwie Malmsteen is a great guitarist, in fact, he's probably one of the greatest ones the world has ever seen. But for the life of him, he can't channel this skill into anything productive. His "epics" are rambling, his lightspeed instrumentals are anticlimactic, and his shorter songs with vocals are generally laughable.

I don't even really like his allegedly classic records like RISING FORCE, but this one really crosses the line. The cover art looks like he did the thing on his home PC, and the sound quality proves the fact. Seriously, whoever let this out at the label needs to be fired. The songwriting is obviously not focused on whatsoever, because eighteen tracks were "unleashed" (ah, the endless puns) and none of them are as memorable as any other. I guess Cherokee Warrior is kind of cool, but the vocals completely ruin it.

And let's focus on vocals for a moment, shall we? Yngwie is infamous for hiring okay vocalists and making them semi-stars in the world of metal. Rainbow-wannabe Doogie White, almost formerly of Iron Maiden, sings quite badly and with many cliched rock star-isms like "alright", "oh yeah", and "come on". Yuck, don't bother.

Yngwie says he's primarily inspired by Nicolo Paganini, but he didn't read the man's music closely enough. Paganini is still remembered, loved, and paid tribute to in many concert halls the world over. No one will hear the word "Yngwie" again after he finally hangs up his scalloped Strat. For all the speedy neoclassical runs and fat-man tongue-flails, Yngwie always ends up right where he started.