Yngwie Malmsteen

2010, Rising Force Records
Heavy Metal

Il Paganini dell'heavy metal ci regala un album ricchissimo di note come sempre.
Review by Alessandra Leoni - Publish on: 23/11/10

"Relentless" is the brand new work by the legendary and praised Swedish guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen. The first thing I couldn't help to notice is how well this adjective matched with the virtuous artist, both in his approach to the guitar and in his great and explosive personality. Always joined at the hip with his chosen instrument, he constantly turns out notes, like a machine gun, trying to improve himself album after album. It's no surprise if people call him "Paganini of Heavy Metal". Is that because Paganini never repeated his tricks, so our dear Yngwie is never boring? We'll patiently find whether it's true or not.

As you very well know, Malmsteen's style is very rich and elaborated, defined by a sequence of notes played rapidly with an unique control and precision. That's his trademark: like it or not, is out of doubt that he is absolutely a great musician. Even if it's possible that you may not like him or getting bored by his style. In his latest work, it's obvious that you won't miss parts where his virtuosity reaches his best. In more than sixty minutes, our artist creates epic moments and full of speed, just like in "Into Valhalla", a good track surrounded by striking background choirs, that accompany the artist's trusty guitar. Another feature that didn't fade away is the continuous reference to classic music. I often had the impression of having already heard this or that phrasing which was once played with a harpsichord or with a violin. At this stage the song "Adagio B Flat Minor Variation" is absolutely inevitable. It seems like making a tribute to classic music with an adagio reinterpreted with rock/metal sounds is a habit of technical guitarists. A very nice song with surreal and a bit distorted atmospheres is for sure the song "Knight Of The Vasa Order", that impressed me for its majesty, but for its effected sounds as well.

However, we need to say that even if "Renteless" had been dedicated to instrumental tracks and virtuosity only, it would have been full of rhetorical moments and self celebrations - that if you know this guy are not missing - . Thanks to the collaboration with the talented Tim "Ripper" Owens, in more than just a track you can breathe more heavy metal atmospheres, like in the catch song "Critical Mass", or in the wonderful "Enemy Within" with that Kyrie Eleison choir that gives an epic and solemn taste. In this album our Yngwie is able to take out a great alchemy with the rest of the musicians, and still remains the unquestioned main character in his work, he highlights the good qualities of the American vocalist who gives prove of this. I'm saying it honestly: the track "Blinded" reminded me how well Ripper Owens was fitting with Judas Priest, in place of Rob Halford - even if I'm very fond of the Metal God.

To sum up, there isn't much to say about the eighteenth album by the great Malmsteen. Fortunately, it's a very well balanced job, between virtuosity, less distracting moments and the parts singed by Tim Ripper Owens, it's able to give us a good punchy and energetic heavy metal sound. There's nothing absolutely new or shocking in his style, but it's a great pleasure to hear from his side still a great passion for his music and guitar. Even if, let me say so, he's a bit repetitive at times.

01. Overture
02. Critical Mass
03. Shot Across The Bow
04. Look At You Now
05. Relentless
06. Enemy Within
07. Knight Of The Vasa Order
08. Caged Animal
09. Into Valhalla
10. Tide Of Desire
11. Adagio B Flat Minor Variation
12. Axe To Grind
13. Blinded
14. Cross To Bear
15. Arpeggios From Hell [Bonus Track]

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