Yngwie Malmsteen
Rising Force


4.5
superb

Review

by KJ USER (32 Reviews)
July 19th, 2012 | 38 replies | 1,719 views


Release Date: 1984 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A landmark record that paved the way for the shredders of today.

6 of 6 thought this review was well written

After Yngwie Malmsteen sent out demos from his homeland of Sweden at age 18, he took the industry by storm and within just a couple years was already the guitar-world equivalent of Michael Jordan or Wayne Gretzky. He was that damn good. Malmsteen fused Classical music with metal to create something that was off-the-wall and miles ahead of what everyone else was doing. While most axe-wielders were busy working their way through basic phrygian and the pentatonic scales like a fly stuck in molasses, Yngwie was thrashing the entire fretboard with frightening efficiency. It floored classically-trained musicians and mainstream rockers alike. This lightning-fast complex playing revolutionized the way people thought about guitar, much in the same way that Hendrix and Eddie Van Halen did in prior decades. Malmsteen’s 1984 debut Rising Force shocked the guitar world and left skilled players everywhere scrambling for answers on how to catch up with this Swede.

At this time, Malmsteen was the embodiment of Rock n’ Roll; he was wild, he was arrogant, he was flashy, he loved sports cars and women, and no one could compete with him when he first showed up on the circuit. He was the pinnacle of guitar playing. I once read a comment on a video where Malmsteen was performing live and the stage was filled with fog, where a user commented, “that’s actually smoke from his strings burning out.” Nothing could describe this album more accurately in such few words. Malmsteen’s style of shredding mixed with gaudy bends and vibrato makes for an auditory spectacle that is still impressive today. Nearly thirty years later, Yngwie still has the chops to compete with the young fire-pissers of 2012.

The majority of Rising Force is instrumental, with the exceptions of “Now Your Ships Are Burned” and “As Above, So Below” which feature Jeff Scott Soto on vocals; Soto’s vocals aren’t great, but again the focus of the album is Malmsteen, so that fault is entirely negligible. Approximately ¾ of the album is performed with a slightly-driven guitar tone typical for the 80’s, while the other ¼ is made up classical and acoustic guitar work. There is also some analog synthesizer work in a few sections along the way that provide additional depth to the songs.

While some continue to hold great disdain towards the virtuoso and his extreme style, Malmsteen’s legacy speaks for itself; without Malmsteen‘s trailblazing, players like Vinnie Moore, Jason Becker, Marty Friedman, and Steve Vai probably wouldn’t have released their legendary albums in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s (that were heavily influenced by Malmsteen). Furthermore, heavy metal and skillful guitar playing wouldn’t be where it is today without Malmsteen and the men who quickly followed suit, which is why Rising Force is such a landmark work in the genre.

Rising Force isn’t about what a superb songwriter Malmsteen is; it’s a testament to human ingenuity and the progressive thinkers who push to new heights by refusing to adhere to mediocre status quos. Rising Force is about smashing through the boundaries of guitar playing for the advancement of music. Frankly, when the negative folks put aside their preconceived notions and listen to the album with an open mind, they may see that it in fact has plenty of memorable riffs & melodies to go along with the technicality. Love him or hate him, Malmsteen’s importance to the evolution of guitar playing and the metal genre is unquestionable.

Recommended tracks:
-Icarus’ Dream Suite Opus 4
-Black Star
-Evil Eye



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Comments:Add a Comment 
KjSwantko
July 19th 2012



8724 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Still loving jamming this from time to time.

rockandmetaljunkie
July 19th 2012



3302 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great, this one needed a fresh new review.
Have a pos my friend.

KjSwantko
July 19th 2012



8724 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Merci beaucoup

rockandmetaljunkie
July 19th 2012



3302 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Before adding the Classical genre in his page, I always wondered if the Power Metal genre needed to be
removed. What do you think ?

CaptainDooRight
July 19th 2012



26554 Comments


came through auto pos, didn't even read yet

skin tight white pants shredding crowd of 10k

Digging: Deniro Farrar - The Patriarch II

rockandmetaljunkie
July 19th 2012



3302 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Also, Yngwie uses the Dominant Phrygian a lot in his playing. He abused the scale in this record. Do you know if he has ever used any other scales in the next albums ?

CaptainDooRight
July 19th 2012



26554 Comments


harmonic a minor

KjSwantko
July 19th 2012



8724 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yngwie does everything; he's incredibly knowledgeable on theory and such. When I said that in the review my point was just that many guitarists are rudimentary and they can't really stray outside of basic phryg and pent, wheras Yngwie is flying all over the place with minimal effort.

But yeah I'm not even sure why Yngwie has the Power Metal classification; the Classical tag definitely belongs before that.

rockandmetaljunkie
July 19th 2012



3302 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

@Captain

Yeah, I know he uses that scale, but I always felt that these 2 scales share an identical sentiment. A lot of guitarists like to combine these 2, along with the diminished scale.
What I meant was, if he uses another completely different scale.

KjSwantko
July 19th 2012



8724 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I know harmonic minors, phrygian, and diminisheds are his bread and butter but I'm sure you could finds tons of less common stuff for metal if you went through his discog. I can't name something specific because I personally haven't learned much Yngwie but I'm pretty sure if you carefully looked you could find more.

KjSwantko
July 19th 2012



8724 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Also what I was trying to convey is Yngwie is no Zakk Wylde for example, who will take pentatonic and do the absolute most basic and boring stuff with it. Yngwie plays chromatically a lot too but he's still creative and adds in extra notes, changing rhythms, sweeps, string skips etc to make it interesting.

rockandmetaljunkie
July 19th 2012



3302 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Changed the order of the genres in his page. Hopefully the mods will seal the change.

bloc
July 19th 2012



34500 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Black Star rules. Rest is passable for me.

Digging: He Is Legend - I Am Hollywood

TheNotrap
July 19th 2012



7821 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

This work is all about being in the right place at the right time.
Songs like Black Star or Far Beyond the Sun will never be repeated again.

Masterpiece.

Good work Kj, have a pos.

KjSwantko
July 19th 2012



8724 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Agreed; "Black Star" is probably the single greatest instrumental shred song ever. A True classic.

TheNotrap
July 19th 2012



7821 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

This album was an absolute breakthrough.

John Petrucci, Vinnie Moore, Tony MacAlpine, Chris Impellitteri, Paul Gilbert, Jason Becker, Chris Broderick, Marty Friedman, Jeff Loomis, bla bla bla, bla bla bla and even all power metal acts of the 90's are Malmsteen rip-offs.

TheNotrap
July 19th 2012



7821 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

To me this is damn obvious. Just listen to the album.

KjSwantko
July 19th 2012



8724 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Right. The people who complain how he wanks and just shreds have such tunnel vision that its painful to even listen to them. Malmsteen has significantly influenced virtually every great Rock and Metal guitarist since.

CaptainDooRight
July 19th 2012



26554 Comments


This is his best album and one of the few if not any that displays his emotional abilitys at best. Yeah he uses a lot of notes but I once read a while ago that his tries to mimic the violin in a lot of his playing as well and he really brought a unique style of playing to the guitar world whether he moves you or not

KjSwantko
July 19th 2012



8724 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Right Capt; Yngwie has a ton of great songs with plenty of feel & emotion, but the problem is if you were to search him on youtube what tends to come up is mostly videos of him just melting strings, so people exaggerate about what he is and isn't capable of. People that take the time to listen to a lot of his discog know he's a solid overall guitarist.



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