Yngwie Malmsteen
Fire & Ice


3.0
good

Review

by johnny of the Well USER (39 Reviews)
November 29th, 2011 | 13 replies


Release Date: 1992 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Patches of brilliance eclipsed by slices of meaningless shred and cheesy vocals

Yngwie Malmsteen is an interesting character; at his best he can be brilliant, mesmerising and even genius – if you doubt this, then listen to Black Star immediately – but at his worst he can throw out some of the most forgettable songs that you are ever likely to hear; so dispassionate and cheesy that they can be mistaken for Dragonforce. Sadly, that’s what he did for the best part of Fire and Ice, in which he takes the focus off the neoclassical elements of his sound and injects some glam-infused hard rock. However, don’t ignore it completely because there are quite a few hidden gems here.

The album kicks off with Perpetual, which is easily the best song on the album. Malmsteen’s instrumentals always have some kind of special quality, and this is no exception. Perpetual is one of the most kickass songs that I’ve ever heard in my life, thanks to a mean bassline that sounds both menacing and dramatic, mystical guitar/keyboard interplay that is incredibly impressive to listen to and so much tension and suspense that you have to ask yourself why Yngwie thought that hiring Goran Edman as a vocalist would add any more drama to his sound than it already has. This is my joint favourite Malmsteen song, alongside Black Star, and is essential if you appreciate tasteful shred.

Unfortunately, the album immediately goes downhill; Dragonfly is groovy for a few minutes and then one of the album’s main flaws presents itself. Goran Edman’s voice is fantastic; he can hit all the right notes and annunciate the lyrics perfectly, since he sings very clearly. The only problem is that for 90% of the album, his vocals fail to fit in with the music; his voice simply does not suit most of Yngwie’s compositions. Admittedly, it is quite hard to imagine a vocalist that would fit in here (personally, I imagine a more dramatic version of David Lee Roth, but that’s just my opinion), but one thing’s for certain – Goran Edman is not the right vocalist for the album.

There are quite a few of painful moments in the album, but special mention has to be given to the laughable attempt of glam rock that is Teaser, the forgettable No Mercy, which is completely average apart from the orchestral interlude and Forever Is A Long Time, which is about as silly as its title. The majority of the songs have virtually no replay value, since even when they do succeed in sounding good, most of them just give the listener an urge to go and listen to Van Halen instead. An example of this is All I Want Is Everything, which mimics their sound shamelessly and even goes as far as to include similar lyrics to what Eddie might write;

“Come on woman, just give me a touch
You gotta know I'm not asking too much”

However, it’s not all bad. There are three songs on this album that are genuinely mindblowing (and, coincidentally, they all retain Yngwie’s neoclassical aspects more than the other songs). The first of these is the aforementioned Perpetual, of which I can say no more. The second is C’est la Vie, which brims with power, mystery and epicness. The sitar intro sets the scene perfectly for the simple chords that come in and take the listener on a ride through musical vistas of open skies and green countryside. Goran sounds perfectly at home in this song and Yngwie’s solo is a spectacular display of musicianship. As well as this, the palm-muted chords played throughout give the song a crunchy edge that makes it catchy and gives it much-needed replay value; this song is an incredible experience.

The third main highlight is the stunning title track. Yngwie shreds here more than any other song on the album, but does so without killing choking the life out of the song, and he still deploys tasteful riffs and licks throughout. Goran has his finest hour and the drums add to the upbeat nature perfectly. This is also one of the most neoclassical songs on the album, and is a great place to start if you are getting into the genre. Other highlights include the emotive (but still slightly forgettable) I’m My Own Enemy, the closer Final Curtain, which takes the drama of the album a step further and ends it very nicely, the serious Cry No More and the dark instrumental Leviathan which is slightly inconsistent but still a very enjoyable listen.

So, although a lot of it was average or worse, the high points of Fire and Ice marked it out as a solid album when compared to the utter crap that Yngwie would later produce. However, do not buy this if you are interested in Yngwie Malmsteen; his early work (especially Rising Force) is far superior to this. Download the best tracks, but only but the whole thing for completion’s sake.

The Fire

Great solos
The top 3 songs are all amazing
Cool artwork

The Ice

Too much glam influence; not enough neoclassical elements
WAY too much filler
Far too long; if this was around 40 minutes, it would be far more enjoyable

Top Five Tracks

1. Perpetual
2. Fire and Ice
3. C’est la Vie
4. Cry No More
5. Final Curtain



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user ratings (64)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Gyromania
November 29th 2011


15791 Comments


I cannot stand Malmsteen; his music is the very definition of 'showy'. Decent review, but there are some unnecessary descriptors here.

Digging: Lantlos - .neon

The7thVermicide
November 29th 2011


925 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I love the music of this guy , but sometimes his songs could get really really cheesy .

Good review men

TheNotrap
November 29th 2011


8108 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Probably the worst album of his classic era, however Fire & Ice still has good moments.

One of the most influential guitarists of his generation.

Digging: Threshold - For The Journey

MO
November 29th 2011


18769 Comments


gonna side with gyro, I find every single one of his songs sound identical, same tone, same solos, just bland

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
November 29th 2011


6147 Comments


His debut album, on the other hand, is great.

So is his second.

After those two though, song writing blandness and mediocrity prevail in his work, for the most part...

Digging: Raven Throne - ???????? ?????????

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
November 29th 2011


20742 Comments


I find I enjoy all of his first 4 albums to some extent even though his style of guitar playing isn't ususally my cup of tea. Then again I am a big fan of cheesy 80's metal.

Digging: Townes Van Zandt - Townes Van Zandt

The7thVermicide
November 29th 2011


925 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'm a hardcore fan of 80's cheesy metal and cheesy power metal ,lol

bloc
November 29th 2011


34872 Comments


Yeah, the vocals are a real turnoff on this album.

I still love the intro to the title track though.

Lakes.
November 29th 2011


27958 Comments


lol, i remember listening to this once.
cheesy and lulzy in the best way possible.

Digging: Weezer - Everything Will Be Alright in the End

Awesomesauce
November 29th 2011


1084 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

The very definition of boring talent.

toxin.
November 29th 2011


12496 Comments


Funny, in yesterday's House M.D., House said "but ability isn't always enough. just ask Yngwie Malmsteen"



qwe3
November 30th 2011


21362 Comments


this guys fucking awful

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
November 30th 2011


50455 Comments


He's a doucher


Digging: Viper the Rapper - You'll Cowards Don't Even Smoke Crack



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