Awhile ago, I was searching for a good guitarist to listen to, one whose songs were mostly instrumental, because as a guitarist myself, I wanted to hear someone who had seized complete control of the instrument. Yngwie J Malmsteen has done exactly that.
A few months ago, a friend of mine had shown me a video of Yngwie playing Evil
Eye live in the early '80s, and I was absolutely blown away at how fast this guy could play. He not only played fast but with amazing accuracy.
I started listening to this album with high expectations, which were met fairly quickly and were greatly surpassed. He blends obviously classically- influenced passages with speed metal, in an unimaginable way. But Yngwie is not the only highly skilled musician on this album. His keyboardist Jens Johannsen (who now plays with Stratovarius
, I might add) is equally amazing, as you can hear on his duelling solos with Yngwie on Far Beyond the Sun
Eye. The drummer is Barriemore Barlow, an amazing drummer who used to play with Jethro Tull in the '70s, and who is very fast and skilled. Jeff Scott Soto
, the singer is also very talented in the two songs that feature vocals As Above, So Below and Now Your Ships Are Burned
and he has an incredible range.
The song Black Star is a ballad which is excellently well done and was apparently written by a fourteen-year-old Malmsteen. The intro is a simple classical guitar passage. The song Far Beyond the Sun
is probably Yngwie's most popular piece. It was also supposedly written by Yngwie as a teenager. Evil
Eye is another song which features a classical guitar and is a fast piece that Yngwie performed with Alcatrazz
, a band Yngwie played with before he started his solo career.
All in all, this is a pretty awesome album, which will appeal to all people who enjoy guitar-oriented music, especially people who also enjoy classical music because like I said above, Malmsteen is very fond of classical music, and often incorporates it into his music. This album has also influenced a generation of shredders and is definitely an instant classic.