Review Summary: The Seventh Sign is one of my favorites from Yngwie and one of my favorite Neo-Classical albums of all time. Strong songs definitely make up for a few of those weaker ones. Most of the weaker ones, to note, are actually not really songs, just solos. Enjoy
Yngwie Malmsteen is today hailed as one of the most virtuoso guitarists of all time, supported by a chain of great neo-classical and classical albums. The Seventh Sign does little to break that chain, and is definitely one of my favorite albums by the ever so egotistical Malmsteen.
Yngwie is one of my favorite guitarists but until recently, I realized that I didn't know a whole lot of his music after Eclipse. I actually found this album because I found the different sound of Fire And Ice refreshing from the older (but still equally good) Yngwie recordings. This lead to me finding The Seventh Sign.
The album's lead off track, Never Die, is in my opinion one of the strongest songs on the entire album. It begins with a typical Yngwie shred session and kicks into a simple (for him) but solid beat with a charged double pedal beat coming from Mike Terrana. The song is lacking very little and is complimented with Michael Vescera's piercing vocals.
I Don't Know is definitely one of the most unique song on the album in the sense that it is one of the only song with the same upbeat and jazzy tempo it has. Overall the song is more than decent decent, even though the lyrical work is a bit random (at least apparent to me). The bridge into the solo gives the song some nice flavor and the solo is one of the more cool ones on the record.
Meant To Be is one of the ballads on the record that is not comparable to the rest, in the sense that it isn't as bland and is enjoyable to listen to. The melody is basic as the vocals and the guitars are pretty much in rhythm the whole time. It is an overall decent song in comparison to the rest of the slower songs.
In reference to the ballads forementioned: Forever One, Brothers, and Prisoner of Your Love. Forever One is mostly acoustic or clean although it goes heavy for a small portion here or there. Overall a pretty bland song with typical lyrics, but it is worth listening to a few times, and still a good track. Prisoner of Your Love is also very typical like "Forever One", and gets very boring after the first few times, but is again, about a 3/5 for me. Brothers is an instrumental featuring about 4 minutes of nothing special. A definite filler and although it is definitely right up Yngwie's alley, it is very boring (in fact, I have barely ever finished the whole thing, if I let it go more than a quarter of the way in), and my least favorite on the entire record, and generally one I skip. This is also with Sorrow, which is a 2 minute acoustic song, which is mildly entertaining but nothing worth listening to. It is however, not necessarily meant to be a full length song, and more of just a break from the rest of the album.
Bad Blood is a swingy track with a great feel to it. The drum line is very solid and the verse is featuring a bass/drum with vocals part with some little fills from Malmsteen. The vocals are great and it all meshes very well.
Hairtrigger and Crash and Burn are both great tracks, although I favor Hairtrigger a little more. They both have the same driving metal kind of feel to them, but "Crash" just gets a little annoying to listen to if you really aren't in the mood. Hairtrigger has a good length to it, not too drawn out, not too short.
Pyramid of Cheops starts off very slow and really does drag on a lot but it is a very cool song and unique on this album for its shere simplicity and its heaviness, which really isn't matched in the rest of the album. An overall decent track, 4/5
Angel in Heat is a fairly good song, although a little of a rip off of I Don't Know is definitiely apparent. It is an average track with a pretty cool guitar tone that isn't common in the rest of the record: 3.5/5
The Seventh Sign is my other favorite track off of the album. The first 45 seconds is a classical intro that explodes into a great riff with solid drums and bass, with complimenting vocals. Excellent dynamics and great show of lyrical ability. The song is about 6-7 minutes long but because of the way it is structured, it doesn't tire out half way through.
Yngwie's guitar playing.
Michael Vescera's voice, best singer since Soto
Mike Terrana's drums,
The Seventh Sign
Yngwie's guitar playing (in reference to some of the out of place overdrawn filler solos)
Ballads are a little too similar and typical
Still one of my favorite Yngwie albums, totally worth checking out.
Note: Live at the Budokan 1994 was the Seventh Sign tour......