Yngwie Malmsteen - Rising Force review
01. Black Star
02. Far Beyond The Sun
03. Now Your Ships Are Burned
04. Evil Eye
05. Icarus' Dream Suite Op:4
06. As Above, So Below
07. Little Savage
In the early years of metal, while it was still rooted in Blues/Hard-rock, there were many influential guitarists such as Jimmy Hendrix, Ritchie Blackmore, Glenn Tipton, etc. These guys are credited for shaping the metal scene throughout all its years and formations, but nothing could prepare the music-listening world for Malmsteen. At first Yngwie never really took to guitar or any other musical instrument. It wasn't until the age of 7, when his musical idol Jimmy Hendrix died, that he realized he wanted to play guitar. Now his style was really something to behold, a mix of the flamboyant playing of his idols with classical which he had learned through his sister. Throughout the years he played with many bands from school, perfected his craft, joined Alcatrazz and really made a name for himself and his unique style. After all this, he had realized that he could reach his vision only by doing it on his own, going solo.
"Rising Force" came out of nowhere; in '84 there was just nothing like it, and I mean NOTHING. I have been listening to this album on and off for the past year and it has really taken me a long time to grasp it entirely. I have been on an opinion rollercoaster with this album, but now I have finally decided that I have enjoyed it.
The music goes through a lot of emotions and atmospheres to say the least. It begins with the somewhat over-hyped "Black Star" which is dark and very captivating, just inviting you, pulling you, and grasping you in to indulge yourself in this very trance-like atmosphere. With "Far Beyond the Sun" it quickly changes moods to a more up-beat and fast setting. There are a lot of keyboard/guitar exchanges on here to delight even the most die-hard Rhapsody and CoB fans out there. The next song on our list is the first non-instrumental on the album; "Now Your Ships are Burned" is very aggressive with a lot of guitar masturbation. Now enters the vocalist Jeff Scott Soto who is just perfect for this song with his anger-filled vocals. What really bothers me is how this song is seldom (or never for that matter) played live, it is probably the highlight of the album. "Evil Eye" is the most intriguing instrumental you will find anywhere, it blends acoustic guitars with electric very nicely and it is one of those songs that burrows itself deep inside your brain and forces itself to be repeated constantly, which is really not surprising at all. Then the long, complex and epic "Icarus Dream Suite Opus 5" is really something that cannot be explained by someone like me (sorry) so you really have to hear it for yourself to fully grasp its emotion completely.
Now I will not continue explaining each song on this album, but I will now move on to the impact it had on music. You will hear a lot of "Metalists" proclaiming "Rising Force" to be nothing but overrated and over-hyped shredding as a whole, but, I kid you not, this IS the holy grail of neo-classical. Ritchie Blackmore just opened the doggie-door to the idea of combining classical with metal; Malmsteen tore down the dam walls with this album. Since then, there have been so many cheap knock-offs that have really brought neo-classical into a negative spot-light, but those people do not fully understand classical like Yngwie does. Because of those "Metalists" that have criticized the album the way they did, there have actually been a lot of metal-heads that have not heard this album. Everyone that I have shown this album to that like melodic metal/classical/ or any form of rock
have all said the same thing…"Amazing!"
If you have not had the pleasure of experiencing this album, I suggest that you put it in to your collection as soon as humanly possible. It is truly essential to any enthusiast of melodic metal out there, that's for sure.
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