|Yngwie Malmsteen's Rising Force Perpetual Flame||Rising Force Records|
I seem to have a love hate relationship going on with Yngwie. He remains an iconic figure in the guitar playing world, his speed and ability still mesmerizing a legion of fans and I respect that unquestionably.|
There are some albums I swear by (Rising Force, Marching Out, Odyssey, Attack) and some I am less enamored with (War To End All Wars, Unleash The Fury, Facing The Animal).
After the massive kick in the pants Yngwie was delivered by fans following the abysmal War To End All Wars he delivered big time on Attack. Unleash The Fury saw a less impressive set of tunes turned in (but you have to love the title and Yngwie's sense of humor); this time we have some good songs on Perpetual Flame, but a disappointing sound quality.
The production is not as bad as War To End All Wars, but it does deliver varying quality throughout. You think someone with such a massive focus on guitars, would nail the best tone possible for his records.
And new singer Tim Owens is a curious selection. Yngwie has always paired up with fine vocalists and this is still the case with "Ripper", but he shines as a true metal vocalist, and I have always found Yngwie to be a hard rock artist.
I don't think the vocals are a natural fit on this album. We all know Yngwie writes all the songs and the vocalist is just a hired gun, but in most cases they try and blend into the album as best they can. I don't hear that here.
And what is with the opening track? Tim's vocals sound as if they were recorded with him phoning them in from Gibraltar. It improves after that thankfully. Live To Fight is amongst Yngwie's most menacing tunes and you can't fault Yngwie the guitar player.
If I close myself off to the vocals and concentrate on the riffery, then finer soloing you will not find anywhere.
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