Birth Of The Sun
This album is probably one of the most unusual and yet inspiring albums ever released. Unusual, because although being released in 2002, the music on this album was actually composed twenty years previous. Inspiring because this album includes some of the best heavy guitar orientated yet classically influenced music that this world has ever seen.
Rising Force at the time were:
- Ywngie Malmsteen – Guitars, vocals
- Marcel Jacob – Bass, backing vocals,
- Zepp Urgard - Drums
The reason I even picked this album up in the first place was because the lead guitarist and vocalist was Ywngie J. Malmsteen, definitely one of the best guitarists in the world today. He is also the main composer on this album and all this music was composed and recorded when Ywngie was only seventeen! The other two members of the band being only sixteen at the time means that ‘Rising Force’ has made better music in just their mid-teens than many musicians hope to achieve in their whole lives.
The group met in Sweden and by 1980 had scraped together six songs to make an album. The material on this album can be split into two groups. In the first group there is ‘Merlin’s Castle’, ‘Suite Opus III’ and ‘Voodoo Nights’, which were written before bassist Marcel Jacob joined the group. In this group, parts and themes of the songs have been re-used in Ywngie’s solo career (with the arpeggio solo from ‘Merlin’s Castle’ at around 2:15 being used in the song ‘Rising Force’ in the ‘Odyssey’ album, I just love that solo!) In the second group there is ‘Dying Man’, ‘Birth Of The Sun’ and ‘Speed And Action’ with which bassist Marcel Jacob helped compose. From this group these songs have not been used again in Ywngie’s Career.
1. Merlin’s Castle (4:53) – 4.5/5
2. Birth Of The Sun (9:25) – 4/5
3. Speed And Action (3:48) – 4.5/5
4. Dying Man – (8:46) – 3/5
5. Suite Opus III (12:55) – 3.5/5
6. Voodoo Nights (8:38) – 4.5/5
What I Liked About The Album
Well first of all, the guitar playing is insane, with special highlights in ‘Merlin’s Castle’, ‘Speed And Action’ and ‘Voodoo Nights’. The drums and bass are good, nothing insane or special but overall they fit very well with the songs and don’t bring them down in any way.
What I Disliked About The Album
In my opinion I think that some of the songs go on for a bit long, for example ‘Suite Opus III’, the first and last few minutes of the song are just filler and it gets rather repetitive and boring to listen to.
Another bad point from this album is the singing. Ywngie is a fantastic guitarist but unfortunately for him he wasn’t exactly gifted with singing talent. The vocals in ‘Dying Man’ especially are just painful at some points and his voice sounds very bland, boring and lifeless.
- Merlin’s Castle
- Voodoo Nights
- Speed And Action
Overall, an excellent album to listen to if you’re a guitarist, or if you’re just into neo-classical rock. That’s why I give this album a 4/5.
Note: Please give your comments and constructive criticism.