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YNGWIE MALMSTEEN

Prog Related • Sweden


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Yngwie Malmsteen biography
Swedish composer and multi-instrumentalist Yngwie MALMSTEEN is a household name in the music industry, and most anyone with an interest in rock music are well aaware of him. If not due to his music as such then at minimum his reputation. Malmsteen is among the select few artists who have managed to become influential across multiple genres and stylistic expressions. His footprints are most commonly found among artists exploring various kinds of heavy metal however, and as such he is best known for his technical skills and classically inspired guitar playing. The latter which saw rise to a new subgenre most commonly referred to as Neo-Classical Metal, of which Malmsteen is generally regarded as the founder and main inventor. As the name implies, the basic approach of this type of music is to blend compositional details and performance aspects from classical music and heavy metal, to some extent a continuation of what instrumentalists like Ritchie Blackmore did from the late 60's and onwards.

In addition to his general influence as an instrumentalist and musical innovator, Malmsteen's earliest endeavours alongside his backing band Rising Force set the course for the foundation of another genre, namely progressive metal. The almost trademark arrangements dominated by vocalist Jeff Scott Soto, Malmsteen's guitars and Jens Johansson's keyboards have inspired countless artists over the years. While not exceptionally innovative as such, these albums by and large represent a further development of the style Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow thoroughly explored in the 1970's. Malmsteen and his cohorts were instrumental in the development of that approach towards what bands like Symphony X would develop even further a few years later. Due to that, Malmsteen is generally regarded as an instrumental artist in laying down the foundations for what would later develop into progressive metal.

The 1980's were probably Malmsteen's best years from a commercial point of view, as he made a massive impact with his then highly innovative approach. And as the musician who paved the way for a plethora of solo albums issued by guitarists in the various parts of the metal community, his status was high as an inspirator too, and he had sales and popularity to match the status of a true to life icon. The 1990's marked a general decline in the interest of conventional metal, and Malmsteen became one of many artists who suffered from this. He continued making music and sold well...
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Rising ForceRising Force
Republic 1988
$4.32
$1.40 (used)
TrilogyTrilogy
Republic 1989
$4.31
$2.08 (used)
Perpetual FlamePerpetual Flame
Rising Force Records 2008
$7.85 (used)
Millennium Collection - 20th Century MastersMillennium Collection - 20th Century Masters
Remastered
Polydor 2005
$9.69
$1.39 (used)
Trial By Fire: Live in LeningradTrial By Fire: Live in Leningrad
Universal I.S. 1989
$12.15
$4.12 (used)
Fire & IceFire & Ice
Elektra Records 1995
$5.33
$3.62 (used)
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YNGWIE MALMSTEEN discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

YNGWIE MALMSTEEN top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.01 | 102 ratings
Rising Force
1984
3.56 | 60 ratings
Marching Out
1985
3.54 | 67 ratings
Trilogy
1986
3.44 | 60 ratings
Odyssey
1988
2.73 | 32 ratings
Eclipse
1990
2.88 | 36 ratings
Fire & Ice
1992
2.94 | 28 ratings
The Seventh Sign
1994
3.19 | 28 ratings
Magnum Opus
1995
3.50 | 24 ratings
Inspiration
1996
2.65 | 27 ratings
Facing The Animal
1997
4.05 | 38 ratings
Concerto Suite For Electric Guitar And Orchestra In E Flat Minor Op.1
1998
3.76 | 26 ratings
Alchemy
1999
2.31 | 26 ratings
War To End All Wars
2000
2.08 | 13 ratings
The Genesis
2002
2.39 | 22 ratings
Attack!!
2002
2.59 | 17 ratings
Unleash the Fury
2005
3.09 | 23 ratings
Perpetual Flame
2008
2.80 | 15 ratings
Angels Of Love
2009
2.56 | 16 ratings
Relentless
2010
2.58 | 17 ratings
Spellbound
2012
3.40 | 5 ratings
World On Fire
2016

YNGWIE MALMSTEEN Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.14 | 16 ratings
Trial by Fire: Live in Leningrad
1989
3.00 | 8 ratings
Live!!
1998
3.00 | 2 ratings
Concerto Suite for Electric Guitar and Orchestra in E Flat Minor
2002

YNGWIE MALMSTEEN Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

YNGWIE MALMSTEEN Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.14 | 7 ratings
The Yngwie Malmsteen Collection
1991

YNGWIE MALMSTEEN Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

YNGWIE MALMSTEEN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Rising Force by MALMSTEEN, YNGWIE album cover Studio Album, 1984
4.01 | 102 ratings

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Rising Force
Yngwie Malmsteen Prog Related

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars It's rare that you can point to a specific artist and album and say that here, right at that moment, is where a particular musical subgenre got its start, but you absolutely can with neoclassical metal - Yngwie Malmsteen's Rising Force album is patient zero for this high-technicality, classical-influenced, guitar-worshipping brand of metal.

This style has been derided from time to time as being nothing more than empty technical showboating, exacerbated by the fact that whereas progressive metal (which also gets accused of such showboating from time to time) at least tends to put a spotlight on a range of different instrumentalists, your typical neoclassical metal act is essentially a virtuoso guitarist and a group of backing musicians who are there to help the guitarist look good. Whether or not you consider that stereotype to be an outrageous slur on the scene or a perceptive assessment of some of its trends, you can't say that Malmsteen hasn't contributed to that image just a little, repeating his formula over sufficient albums that it's become an overworked, tired-out cliche.

It would be unfair, however, to tarnish this excellent debut album with that brush. The difference between this and so much of Malmsteen's subsequent discography is that, as a result of coming out first, it wasn't laden down with the expectations people had placed on Malmsteen's work. The general compositional approach hadn't yet ossified into a formula from which albums could be churned out by rote, and Malmsteen hadn't yet fallen into the trap of pandering more and more to fan expectations and believing more and more in his own hype, until his music became an overwrought caricature of itself.

Instead, what you get here is some dynamite classically-influenced heavy metal, building on a foundation reminiscent of early Queen (especially when Jeff Scott Soto's vocals come in) and adding intricate classically-inspired guitar work from Malmsteen himself. The end result is an electrifying performance which not only provides an exceptional showcase for Malmsteen's guitar skills, but is also a downright entertaining album in its own right. Don't hold Malmsteen's late-career turkeys against him and listen with an open mind.

 Rising Force by MALMSTEEN, YNGWIE album cover Studio Album, 1984
4.01 | 102 ratings

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Rising Force
Yngwie Malmsteen Prog Related

Review by Dark Nazgul

4 stars Baroque And Roll

"Yngwie Malmsteen's Rising Force" first album reveals to the world the talent of the great Swedish guitarist (which was already noted with his previous band named "Alcatrazz"). Although the album is credited to Rising Force, the project is solely owned by Malmsteen, who writes all the songs, also played the bass guitar, and relegates the other musicians, which are very good technically, to the role of supporting actors.

The best songs are the instrumental ones where Malmsteen can show his prodigious guitar technique as, for example, in the classic Far Beyond The Sun, the summa of his virtuosity. Black Star and Evil Eye are great song too. Despite some nice passages, As Above, So Below and Now Your Ships Are Burned are ranked one step below because of anything but memorable voice of the singer Jeff Scott Soto and questionable "viking" lyrics. Icarus Dream Suite Op.4 is my favorite song, and one of the absolute top of Malmsteen's career, with a prodigious performance of the famous Albinoni's "Adagio".

Many people know Yngwie's style and not at all like it: a furious guitar technique with an extensive use of scales played at stratospheric speeds, and a strange mixture of heavy metal and classical baroque. Not always the music that Malmsteen has produced turned out to be at the height of his virtuosity, but at least on this album (and also in the surprising "Concerto Suite for Electric Guitar And Orchestra") the results are gratifying. Although intended only for lovers of heavy metal and guitar, in its genre "Yngwie Malmsteen's Rising Force" is a successful album. Too bad that in the future almost never the Swedish guitarist will make music of this quality. No doubt, this is not a prog album. My final rating is 7/10 and 3,5 stars. Well, I'll give at the end four stars because it is a very innovative album in the heavy metal genre.

Final rating: 7/10.

Best song: Icarus Dream Suite Op.4

 Marching Out by MALMSTEEN, YNGWIE album cover Studio Album, 1985
3.56 | 60 ratings

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Marching Out
Yngwie Malmsteen Prog Related

Review by Progrussia

4 stars I am surprised there so few reviews of Yngwie Malmsteen here, given that he is instrumental to development of prog metal, especially the type that employs guitar heroics and rapid-fire synths-guitar tradeoffs. He also has an unfair reputation for being about the guitar only. Sure, his egomania is legendary and guitar is front and center of what he does. But he also is at least a good songwriter. His writing maybe not consistent, but many songs have proper structure, good riffs, catchy vocals, good intros and transitions, and of course, blazing solos. A song from this album, Soldier Without Faith, to my mind, is an immortal hard rock classic, and several others not far behind.
 Spellbound by MALMSTEEN, YNGWIE album cover Studio Album, 2012
2.58 | 17 ratings

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Spellbound
Yngwie Malmsteen Prog Related

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 'Spellbound' - Yngwie Malmsteen (5/10)

When I was 11 or 12, I came upon a copy of Yngwie Malmsteen's debut "Rising Force". I had never heard anything quite like it before, and within a month of being exposed to Malmsteen's music, I went out and got my first guitar. Although neoclassical shred metal is no longer a significant part of my musical vocabulary, it goes without saying that Malmsteen's music has had a huge influence on me, both as a musician and a listener. With that in mind, it's all the more of a disappointment to hear Malmsteen in such a stagnant place with his career. Although there was that concerto he did with a symphonic orchestra some years back, Yngwie has tended to stick close to his comfort zone when it's come to the release of new music. Perhaps even moreso than the rest of his new millennium material, 2012's "Spellbound" shows him reverting almost entirely to the largely instrumental sound he started with on "Rising Force". Although I would normally be thrilled to here more of the sort of music that first had me really appreciate the guitar as an instrument, it would be a fool's hope to think that, after years of relative mediocrity, he would achieve something anywhere as exciting. No; as could be expected, Malmsteen pulls out the same baroque stops that he's used to cruise on throughout his career. Add that to a less-than-impressive production standard, and you have an album that barely squeezes by on the merit of his legendary skill with guitar.

"Spellbound" kicks things off on its strongest note. The title track instantly plants Malmsteen in familiar territory; baroque shred patterns warm up the album as the rhythm section gradually swells. Before long, Malmsteen has made the dive into brushfire guitar soloing, eventually even tossing a recurring melodic idea the listener's way once he's had his fill of assaulting the fretboard. Particularly when it comes to his sweeps, it's instantly clear why Malmsteen has become such an icon in the shred metal world. His guitar tone is distinctive and rich, and there is an organic quality to the performance that is rarely heard in the next- gen shredders. In other words, there's no sense that the recording has been altered in any significant way to make Yngwie sound better than he actually is. Of course, especially at this point in his career, Yngwie's skill with guitar is not in question. Without a doubt, it's the best thing the album has going for it.

Although Yngwie has almost always flown under his own name, "Spellbound" has a certain honour of being a solo effort in the truest sense. On top of guitar, Yngwie performs everything here, including vocals on a few of the tracks. Normally, this would lead to complaints of the album in question being one-sided- of course, this was always the case for Malmsteen. Contrary to what I would have first thought, the backup arrangements are surprisingly well done. Although there's little complexity to anything outside of the guitars, the drums are effectively performed (or programmed?) and the subtle choral synths give an added classical atmosphere. Although his voice is nothing special, he has a decent mid range, well capable of holding a tune. Even more surprising however, is how weak the production itself has been left. Considering Malmsteen's resources and experience, the production feels decidedly hollow and plain. Barring the omnipresent shred, it's as if Malmsteen was on a strict budget here. Even the guitars fall victim to the subpar production; "Majestic 12 Suite" is filled with audible guitar buzz, the likes of which would be just as annoying in a high school garage jam. On a record from one of the greatest guitar legends though? It raises alot of questions.

Barring his baroque shredding, there's a handful of bluesier moments. However, regardless of style, all of "Spellbound" seems to suffer from the cardinal sin of much shred metal: it's a celebration of flash over substance. While "Rising Force" enjoyed excellent compositions that could have stayed afloat regardless of Yngwie's guitar wizardry, whatever writing that went on here is little more than a showcase for his shredding. Thankfully, that shredding is a great thing to behold. Fans of Malmsteen should check it out if they're in the mood for it, but it offers nothing that wasn't already done on the early albums in greater quality.

 Fire & Ice by MALMSTEEN, YNGWIE album cover Studio Album, 1992
2.88 | 36 ratings

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Fire & Ice
Yngwie Malmsteen Prog Related

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Fire and ice from 1992 is another worthy album from Malmsteen catague, ok is not among their best offers, but still enjoyble to my ears. I'm a moderate fan of his guitar work, and almost all album released over the years has something to offer, at least for me. Is understandable that this album was not so well recived then as today, because almost on every release he ususes his typical guitar signature, sometimes many pieces sound the same only with diffrent voice. Well, Fire and ice has some good moments like Perpetual, Dragonfly, the excellent How many miles to Babylon, the rest are ok nothing more. I like it, Malmsteen is a big influence to many bands like Symphony X, Stratovarius and more and continue to make albums in his own style. 3.5 stars to this one, I like it.
 Trilogy by MALMSTEEN, YNGWIE album cover Studio Album, 1986
3.54 | 67 ratings

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Trilogy
Yngwie Malmsteen Prog Related

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Third album named Trilogy from this famous guitarist, issued in 1986 is a good towards great hard/heavy rock album, quite typical for that period in this scene but as usual with his quite outstanding guitar skills. Some great moments here like Queen is in love , Magic mirror or the ending track the instrumental Trilogy Suite Op: 5. This is not his best works for sure, I like more Odyssey for instance or Eclipse , but this is quite pleasent most of the time. The speedy guitar parts or the inventive solos and arpegios made by the master make not to be an usual hard rock release from mid to late '80s. Still 3.5 stars for me.
 Concerto Suite For Electric Guitar And Orchestra In E Flat Minor Op.1 by MALMSTEEN, YNGWIE album cover Studio Album, 1998
4.05 | 38 ratings

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Concerto Suite For Electric Guitar And Orchestra In E Flat Minor Op.1
Yngwie Malmsteen Prog Related

Review by threethousandgt

5 stars My collection of classical music consists of Beethoven, Bach, Stravinsky, Mozart, and Vivaldi; I do not frequently listen to classical music but really enjoy it. Therefore, take whatever I say with a grain of salt considering I'm as far from an expert as can be.

I really enjoy this album. My level of enjoyment is right up there with Beethoven's 6-8 symphonies. Maybe it is simply my unsophisticated taste, but I'd be lying if I said otherwise. Yngwie has some serious talent, but a lot of his material falls flat after Rising Force. Sometimes he is at his best when he isn't constantly shredding.

If you like this album, there's also a good video of him doing a live performance with an orchestra.

 Marching Out by MALMSTEEN, YNGWIE album cover Studio Album, 1985
3.56 | 60 ratings

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Marching Out
Yngwie Malmsteen Prog Related

Review by the philosopher

3 stars Yngwie Malmsteen is called the fastest guitarist on earth and so -as a guitarist myself- I'd wanted to hear it. As I did expect in this category of guitarvirtuosity - the songstructures are quiet easy so that there's a good basis to make some speed.

The sound of Marching Out is much like Dio's solo recordings; heavy rock/metal songs with sometimes nice guitarintro's. Even the vocalist does remind me to Dio in some of the songs. The vocalist is quiet good actually; the drums and bass are just some background musicians to support the guitarsolo's, which are awesome in some cases.

As is the case in many records about virtuoso's of any kind, there is not a real good balance in songwriting, the different musicians and structure. This is a record made for guitar-lovers - and within that context the music does succeed, but after all this music is quiet standard hardrock/metal and not experimental at all, except in guitarspeed. Still, 3,5 stars.

 Attack!! by MALMSTEEN, YNGWIE album cover Studio Album, 2002
2.39 | 22 ratings

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Attack!!
Yngwie Malmsteen Prog Related

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

2 stars Baroque and Roll... again

It is hardly a secret that Yngwie Malmsteen worships Rithcie Blackmore and often followed in the latter's footsteps. In the past this resulted in Malmsteen recruiting several ex-Rainbow members including Joe Lynn Turner, Bob Daisley and Cozy Powell. For the present album yet another ex-Rainbow man, Doogie White, joins Malmsteen. White was the lead vocalist on the final Rainbow album Stranger In Us All released in 1995. The rest of the band this time consists of ex-Dream Theater keyboardist Derek Sherinian and Patrick Johansson on drums. The production is much better than on the previous War To End All Wars, but musically there are no surprises here. Don't expect any Dream Theater influences.

The first half or so of this album is actually very good if somewhat predictable Neo-Classical Metal. Had the album held this quality throughout I would have awarded another star, but sadly the quality starts to decrease in the middle of the album. Stronghold and In The Name Of God are decent songs but they offer nothing but more of the same. The standard rocker Mad Dog is the first real low watermark. It sounds like a below average latter day Deep Purple song. Freedom Isn't Free is however the real blunder. Apparently it is Yngwie himself who sings lead on this track, which (if I'm not mistaken) is the first time in his career. This Jimi Hendrix-like rocker is just terrible and terribly out of place. The lyrics are full of clichés and standard lines.

Majestic Blue is a nice instrumental that redeems the album a little bit, but again it is right in the very centre of Malmsteen's comfort zone and thus offers no surprises. Despite a couple of decent numbers towards the end of the album, it never recovers from the weak middle tracks. And with a total running time well over an hour, it becomes tedious towards the end. It would have benefitted considerably from being reduced to about half its length.

For fans and collectors

 Inspiration by MALMSTEEN, YNGWIE album cover Studio Album, 1996
3.50 | 24 ratings

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Inspiration
Yngwie Malmsteen Prog Related

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars Such inspiration!

Cover albums wouldn't normally interest me much, but this one is quite interesting as it displays the influences on Yngwie Malmsteen so well. Cover versions of songs originally performed by Kansas, Deep Purple, Rainbow, UK, Rush and others are included. The influences of Jimi Hendrix, Ritchie Blackmore and Uli Jon Roth on Malmsteen can simply not be denied and all three are given their deserved tributes here. Blackmore gets the most attention of all with no less than four Deep Purple numbers and one originally by Rainbow. In general the choices are excellent and Prog fans will be delighted to find such songs as UK's In The Dead Of Night and Kansas' Carry On Wayward Son represented. Rainbow's Gates Of Babylon will surely be another favourite with the visitors to this website. Having as many as four Deep Purple cuts is perhaps a bit excessive and the dull Blues rocker Mistreated could easily have been left out as far as I'm concerned. Pictures Of Home, Demon's Eye and Child In Time on the other hand, are excellent selections. All of these songs are very well performed and Malmsteen adds his own touch to several of them.

Scorpion's Sails Of Sharon Charon was the only song I had not heard in its original version before. It features a good riff. Jimi Hendrix' Manic Depression and Rush's Anthem are decent Hard rockers, but is naturally less interesting from a Prog perspective. I think it is too bad that Malmsteen's version of Queen's Keep Yourself Alive was not included on this album.

Overall, this is a good cover album that says a lot about Malmsteen's musical background

Thanks to windhawk for the artist addition.

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