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Yngwie Malmsteen - Magnum Opus CD (album) cover

MAGNUM OPUS

Yngwie Malmsteen

 

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3.17 | 27 ratings

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SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
3 stars Hardly his "magnum opus", but a return with "vengeance"

The discography of Yngwie Malmsteen is an uneven one, alternating between works that are surprisingly strong and works that almost perfectly lives up to his bad reputation! Magnum Opus is one of the good ones and clearly better than the previous Seventh Sign. The worst Pop/Hair Metal excesses of some previous albums are thankfully largely absent here and he once again concentrates on the Neo-Classical Metal that made him famous. There is also a Power Metal influence in some songs with strong melodies. The vocals are once again handled by Michael Vescera who is one of the best vocalists Malmsteen ever had. On keyboards we have Mats Olausson who provides a tasteful symphonic backdrop on many of the songs, the flashy keyboard solos of Jens Johansson are however sadly a thing of the past.

The album opens with a Vengeance (literally!) and continues with some highly melodic and almost catchy songs. The material is not as strong as the best from the Fire & Ice album, but Magnum Opus is a bit more consistent overall than that album. The best tracks come mostly in the second half of the album beginning with the excellent, strongly Neo-Classical instrumental Overture 1622 and continues with the semi-progressive Voodoo featuring one of the heaviest guitar riffs in Malmsteen's career. Time Will Tell reminds of Pyramid Of Cheops from Seventh Sign in that it features Yngwie on Sitar and a strong vocal by Vescera, but it is not as good as the great Pyramid Of Cheops. Fire In The Sky is a typical Malmsteen number that could have come from Trilogy or Marching Out. It is hardly groundbreaking stuff, but very likable after all. Had this album offered more of the same I'm sure that I would have begun to tire of it at this point, but wisely the album does not outstay its welcome and settles for a shorter running time than usual. The album ends with a great instrumental piece called Dawn that leaves me with a good feeling about the album.

Different versions feature different bonus tracks, mine has a bonus track called Tournament which is another instrumental.

A good, but non-essential one

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |

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