3 of 3 thought this review was well writtenOdyssey
was released in 1989 and defined as the most commercial of all albums Yngwie J. Malmsteen's name has been attached to, and not without reason. It isn't commercial in the sense that it's full of ballads - although, there are a few in saying that - it's just that in the recent success of bands like Motley Crue, PolyGram had put a lot of Pressure on Yngwie's Rising Force to make a record that would appeal to millions and sell accordingly.
A choir sounds in the background and the drums begin to hammer onwards. Rising Force
doesn't sound commercial, it's far from a ballad, yet the vocals are catchy and addictive. The solo, as always, is rapid and makes for pure shred.
is where it gets difficult. In a way, it sounds like another 80's ballad with a further bridle of excitement from the centre stage virtuoso. It's not as furious or even exciting as Rising Force
, but it makes for a good listen nevertheless.
After 6 other albums with his name on the cover, it's ironic that it would have to be under the pressure of record executives to finally have a single released. Heaven Tonight
isn't a marketable track completely weighing in at over 4 minutes in length. Although saying that, the lack of solos, screaming vocals and reverberant drumming may sound more like the band on the verge of reality TV and commercial radio stations… That may be a little harsh.
Another ballad to continue Odyseey
. Yet more virtuosic and enjoyable (in the sense that the melody isn't sacrificed in power), the constant additions of soft songs are making this album more tedious in the long-run. Dreaming (Tell Me)
is nothing too special a side from the acoustic wizardry.
Something for the die-hard Malmsteen fans. Bite the Bullet
is a minute and a half instrumental. Anyone who like the classic ten notes a second strat wielding that Yngwie is famous for will see this is a breath of fresh air against the previous three tracks.
Riot in the Dungeons
starts with an orotund of instrumentals and as the first minute passes by, the winsome vocals enter and refuse to leave your head until you listen again.
A stomp-along rhythm takes Déjà vu
at the beginning. It may not perhaps qualify as 'easy listening', but the chorus is enthralling and almost operatic.
Before the third minute of the song come to ahead, Yngwie takes up one of the most intense solos of the album and turns into a cool, electric rock riff and the chorus fires up again.
begins with a delayed crying solo and a soft, mesmerising song begins here. Just like anything by Yngwie - or anything music-related - it's all down to preferences. Unlike most of the songs here, the guitars don't take the limelight; it's the vocals that sound out. May be I should be ashamed for thinking Joe Lynn Turner worked well in domination of this track, and may be I should be a shamed for thinking something so soft should work in Yngwie's favour, but I like what I heard.
What we have next is another more ballad, less balls with a solo. Although at this point I have been impressed with what I've heard, I can't shake off the feeling that commercialism was a mistake in the long-run, despite how it may have affected sales.
Now is the Time
isn't a particularly bad song, but the lyrics sound fake and the instrumentals sound vacant. The upside is the melody, in which Rising Force have made something very endearing. Not a strong moment for the band, but it worked for the moment it was made.
ends with a few instrumentals, a Vengeance
-style song rages on with the passion in which it's written. Of course the lyrics come off as cheesy, but the lyrics have never seemed to be that imperative - especially with such hard hitting percussion and feral lead work.
is masterful as any song you can name from this album. At first look it feels as though there's an essence of thrash metal from this instrumental. By the second minute, there's a short acoustic part, well-toned, in a vibrant and glassy movement.
Then on comes another manic solo, beginning with what sounds like a horse's cry made from the fretboard and the true shredding commences.
Around the fourth minute, Malmsteen's classical influences become open to the elements and the song then fades out after 6 minutes with the riff ongoing.
is a Spanish piece not much longer than a minute and a nice way to finish the album, although not particularly memorable.
At the time, this marked Yngwie Malmsteen's commercial success at the expense of what could have been a timeless album. Yngwie fans will have to give this album a listen at the risk of enjoyment or disappointment. Anyway, wouldn't you prefer to see him live anyway?
: Rising Force
, Faster than the Speed of Light