Yngwie Malmsteen
Odyssey


4.0
excellent

Review

by sunsinger USER (16 Reviews)
August 25th, 2005 | 15 replies


Release Date: 1989 | Tracklist


Odyssey 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.

Hold On 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.

Crystal Ball 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.

Before Odyssey 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.

Krakatau 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.

Memories 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?

Best Tracks: Rising Force, Faster than the Speed of Light, Krakatau.



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user ratings (92)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Priestmetal
August 25th 2005


542 Comments


Every Yngwie Malmsteen song ive heard sounds exactly the same. A super shred fest with a few metal riffs and a hint of baroque. Its cool but after a while it gets old.
Pretty good review.

Belvedere
August 26th 2005


19 Comments


Great review. I never heard any of these paticular songs by Yngwie Malmsteen, but I've heard others. All I do is drop my jaw whenever he does his wicked solo's. All I think is that i wish I could do that...

tele_death
August 27th 2005


27 Comments


Nice review, Yngwie is one of the greatest guitar players I've ever heard.

Cousin_Ed
November 20th 2005


17 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

m/ EPIC!!!

Ace_of_Bass2112
November 20th 2005


257 Comments


[quote=Priestmetal] Every Yngwie Malmsteen song ive heard sounds exactly the same. A super shred fest with a few metal riffs and a hint of baroque. Its cool but after a while it gets old.
Pretty good review. [/quote]

my views exactly. I saw him at the G3 show with satriani and vai. when the were doing the jam it always seemd like he was trying to out do them


Priestmetal
November 20th 2005


542 Comments


I think Yngwie is incredible not for his guitar playing but for the:"You've unleashed the ffffucking fury" insident.

To Ace of Bass: Great minds think alike.

razorsedge
November 21st 2005


41 Comments


awsome review ya and malmsteen is amazing. Alittle off topic but does anyone no where i can get the full tab for binge and grab by buckethead.

Diabulus in musica
January 19th 2006


485 Comments


i really dont like the songs from this guy...except asylum 1, 2, 3 and vengeance

Thor
January 19th 2006


10202 Comments


While Yngwie is damn good at guitar, I can't stand to listen to him. His songs just bore me to death.

Drunken Viking
March 17th 2006


1023 Comments


Yeah he is a great technical player, but it's all a shred fest with no substance. It's ok for
about 1 song, then it starts to get really annoying, like wow, he can play every note on
the guitar twice!This Message Edited On 03.17.06

Bfhurricane
March 17th 2006


6197 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This can get annoying, though I find that theres a decent variety of Yngwie's playing ability and how he uses it. I can see why things get boring and repetitive on this album, but I always throw in a little Malmsteen every time i listen to music for a long period of time. And I know this has nothing to do with the album itself, but i cant get over how sick this guy is at guitar. I find Michael Angelo Batio might be the only other guitarist ive heard better than him though im still not sure about that

Drunken Viking
March 18th 2006


1023 Comments


I'd say there are better guitarists, playing guitar isn't about speed or technicality, it's also about knowing when not to play. For example Dimebag Darrell, if he wanted Pantera could've been a shredfest from start to finish, but he focused on playing rythm parts and how a song as a whole sounded, not just his guitar. That's what makes a good guitar player.

TheFlightOfTheNazgul
November 21st 2008


55 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

the solo at deja vu is fucking great... masterpiece... i can't stop listening to it!!!

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
March 1st 2010


21411 Comments


Great review, i think thsi is probabably the malmsteen album i listen to the the most. I think that's because it has better songs as Joe Lynn Turner has written all the lyrics instead of malmsteen, who isn't the greatest songwriter in the world by any stretch of the imagination.

Ire
June 28th 2013


41820 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

rising wag

sweepedyswweeeep




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