Review: Yngwie J. Malmsteen's "Rising Force" an Excellent Neoclassical Rock Album
The Rising Force front album cover
Why this first Rising Force album is so significant
There are musical artists that once they come onto the music scene their impact upon it is so great that they leave a legacy that is hard to match. Swedish born guitarist Yngwie J. Malmsteen is one such example of a person that has done this. His career goes all the way back to the 1970s. He has been a part of hard rock and heavy metal scene in five different decades. His longevity is really amazing. I guess that he is the kind of person that just wants to keep on playing music. His debut album Rising Force is a neoclassical masterpiece. Released in 1984, this album is a mostly instrumental album that features music of the highest quality. This is also the first album of the Rising Force series. The album and especially albums after this all have the common theme of lineup changes. No lineup is ever stable when it comes to Yngwie. The songs on here are so well-written that they have a beauty that is hard to explain.
Who Performs on the Rising Force Album?
The album features famous rock singer Jeff Scott Soto on vocals who is known for his time spent with Swedish hard rock band Talisman. The album also features keyboardist Jens Johansson, brother of drummer Anders Johansson. He shows his brilliance in this album particularly on track 6. That song is called “As Above, So Below.” That song begins with a nice keyboard introduction before going into the song with some vocals. At the two and a half minute mark of the song, there is a nice interlude and a nice solo for sure. The other song on this album with vocals is “Now Your Ships Are Burned.”
A Photo of the Musician Yngwie J. Malmsteen in Barcelona in 2008
Rising Force: a brief album review
However, the best song on the album might well be “Far Beyond the Sun.” This song starts with the keyboard before it goes into an all-out guitar playing fest. The speed and brilliance of the guitars is really shown in this song. This is especially true for about over a minute that Yngwie really shows his technical brilliance and skill. He plays the notes with such precision that you are excited to the point of being in awe. You wonder how it is possible for a human being to play the guitar so fast and so well. Yngwie really shows what an amazing talent he is. The song “Evil Eye” starts with some beautiful acoustic guitar. It is a nice song. Black Star is also one of the best songs ever written. That song has power, passion, and beauty all mixed into one. The last track on the album is a short instrumental called “Farewell.” It is like the beginning of the first song except it is recorded at a different octave. Little Savage is another song that is worthy of mention here due to its elegance, beauty, and passion. It feels like you are falling in love someone when you hear this song. I feel so excited and full of energy whenever I hear this one. Jens Johansson of course adds some magic to this song with his keyboard playing.
Best song on the album Rising Force
What is the best song on this first Rising Force album?
Rising Force is an album that can be called a timeless classic
Rising Force is an album that is 39 minutes long and even though it is over 33 years old, this is an album that has stood the test of time and it will always be a classic for heavy metal fans for years to come. This release will never get old especially for the avid guitar player. This album is recommended for anyone that loves neoclassical rock with brilliant musicianship. This album receives a perfect 10 out of 10 and it is a flawless piece of work. This may be Yngwie J. Malmsteen’s finest hour among his 1980's releases. You must have this one in your CD collection. It is a true masterpiece of a CD. Yngwie Malmsteen has given inspiration to artists such as Jason Becker. He has done so much for the music scene and should be on anyone's list of the top ten most skilled rock and heavy metal guitarists.
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© 2016 Ara Vahanian