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Review: Yngwie J. Malmsteen's Rising Force Odyssey

Updated on January 5, 2018
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Ara is currently an Accounting student at Glendale Community College in Glendale. CA. His main goal in life is the enjoyment of it.

The Album Is Good but It Has Bad Production

Yngwie J. Malmsteen entered the end of the 1980’s being in top musical shape. His 1988 album called Odyssey is another good musical work. However, the production is muddy and for this reason it is not his best musical work of the decade. Even so, it is still a good job by this Swedish neoclassical musician. In fact, the production for this album is so muddy that we will have to deduct lots of points from the final score. Production is one of the most important aspects of any musical work. Fluid and solid production makes an album more smooth and listenable.

Who Sings on the Album?

Filling the vocal parts for this album is Joe Lynn Turner replacing Mark Boals who had done the vocals for the Trilogy album. The first song called Rising Force is about a person that feels a powerful, rising force that is gaining strength. He searches his soul and he finds something else inside of it. When the lightning strikes in the night, he is not the same person any longer.

The Song Called Now Is the Time

The Absence of Mark Boals Is Clearly Felt on This Album

The song called Hold On is about love once again. Sometimes he wonders who this person is. He feels close to her but in reality they have drifted too far apart. He deals with lonely days which fill him with sorrow. The next song called Heaven Tonight is about two lovers wishing that the night can last forever. It feels like paradise for them and for them it feels heavenly. Joe Lynn Turner is a powerful and competent vocalist, However, I miss the pitch and power of someone like Mark Boals and it shows here. Without Mark Boals or Jeff Scott Soto, Yngwie’s music just doesn’t feel the same and the songs don’t sound as good. On this album there are four very solid songs. These songs are Déjà Vu, Now Is the Time, Faster Than the Speed of Light, and the instrumental Krakatau.

How Is the Rest of the Album Odyssey?

There were so many notable rock and metal albums released in 1988 that we could refer to this year as a kind of golden age for rock and heavy metal. One other notable rock album released in 1988 is Danzig’s Danzig album. Is this album better than that one? It is hard to say but one thing is for sure: Yngwie sure knows how to play instrumental songs. There is a short one called Bite the Bullet which leads into the song called Riot in the Dungeons. Riot in the Dungeons is a song about prisoners trying to break free from their captivity because in the mind of one of them, if he stands still he risks death in the dungeon. The bad production continues in the song Déjà Vu as Yngwie tries to speed things up by making it a fast picking hard rock song. Meanwhile, Joe Lynn Turner’s vocals seem to be drowned out in the music. The song Now Is the Time has Joe Lynn Turner’s best vocal performance of the album as he says: “oh now is the time, feeling your heart so close to mine.” The song is another love song as usual. The song is about someone feeling that now is the time for him to express his love for his lover. Joe Lynn Turner starts the song with a shout of “ow” and yeah. The song Faster Than the Speed of Light is a song about someone stepping into a dream machine that flies very fast so he has to hang on very tight. This is a very technologically advanced machine. The riffing is very memorable and Yngwie really makes it stand out in this song. The album ends with two more instrumental songs Krakatau and Memories. Memories is just a little over a minute long. Krakatau starts in such a way that it reminds me of the first Rising Force album. The final score for Odyssey will be 80 out of 100 points thus making it Yngwie’s weakest album of the 1980’s. Krakatau has a part in it that would be the foundation for the song Voodoo in 1995.

Pros for the album Odyssey

  • The power of Joe Lynn Turner’s vocals
  • The song Faster Than the Speed of Light (the riffs)
  • The drumming
  • Yngwie’s last two instrumentals in the album

The song called Krakatau

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The Song Called Faster Than the Speed of Light

Crystal Ball the Weakest Song in the Album

The weakest song in this album is the one called Crystal Ball. After sounding like a symphonic 1980’s pop song, the song gets heavier and Joe Lynn Turner’s loud voice dominates. The song is about having dreams that are kept a secret and locked away. The only way to get access to these dreams is to have a guide reach out to you and show you the way to these unrevealed dreams. It is also in some of these dreams that our future may be revealed.

© 2017 Ara Vahanian

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