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Yngwie Malmsteen - Facing The Animal CD (album) cover


Yngwie Malmsteen


Prog Related

2.65 | 27 ratings

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Symphonic Team
2 stars Cozy

Not long before his untimely death, drummer extraordinaire Cozy Powell participated in the making of this album by Yngwie Malmsteen. Powell is one of my favourite drummers and his distinctive drum sound is present here to great effect. While it was in many ways fitting for Powell to add Malmsteen to the long list of world class guitarists whom he had worked with over the years (a list that includes Ritchie Blackmore, Brian May, Toni Iommi, Glenn Tipton, Gary Moore among many others, not to mention his collaboration with Keith Emerson and Greg Lake in a short- lived special version of ELP), the present album is far from Cozy's better achievements. And it is also far from Malmsteen's better achievements. Still, the two great musical personalities manage to make a decent Hard Rock album in Facing The Animal. Though, one would have hoped for something a lot more exciting given the two men's respective Prog (related) credentials. Vocals are this time handled by Mats Leven who does a good job. Mats Olausson is once again providing keyboards, but he is not allowed much space in the sound.

The opening number Braveheart is a great song with a suitably Celtic melody. This is for me the best song of the album. The title track is good enough as is My Resurrection, but the rest is rather unremarkable. There is even a bit of an embarrassment in the slightly cheesy power ballad Alone In Paradise. Far from Malmsteen's worst moments though. The progressive and Classical influences are not very strong on this album, and there is more Hard Rock/Blues Rock/traditional Heavy Metal than there is Neo-Classical Metal or anything Prog related. Albums like Fire & Ice, Magnum Opus and, especially, Alchemy, hold more interest for the members of this site than Facing The Animal. When we think of Malmsteen as a major inspiration for Prog Metal bands like Symphony X it is certainly not to this album that we will be referring. Apart from the very good Braveheart and Cozy Powell's drumming, there is nothing new or special about this album. It is not bad as such, but we have heard it all before too many times.

Recommended only for fans and collectors

SouthSideoftheSky | 2/5 |


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