Company: Rising Force Records Release: 2009 Genre: Traditional Reviewer: Brad Caplan
A nice effort at something a little different
For Yngwie, is less actually more? While he is known for his scales and arpeggios that are fast as lightning, perhaps a change of pace was exactly what he (we?) needed. Even his most ardent fans have to admit that some of his songs, and in fact some of his albums have been a bit over the top and at times unstable. This semi acoustic set is a departure and a welcome one to this listener's ears. While the songs and melodies on the new Malmsteen release are not new, the approach is.
The arrangements are all instrumental and are basically acoustic, almost new age in style. Long time fans will recognize the melodies and should like these arrangements. While it might be difficult for this music to find its way to fans of other genres (Adult Contemporary, New Age, etc.), this album would not be out of place. As long as it's Yngwie Malmsteen and the sound of his guitar, it's still "metal" to me.
According to the press release, "'Angels Of Love' is the instrumental version of the best Yngwie Malmsteen love songs played on acoustic guitar and keyboards only. It is a masterpiece showing the tender, delicate version of his classic songs which will appeal to all adult consumers who are into romantic/new age and instrumental songs as well as Yngwie Malmsteen fans and rock music fans alike." This is a fair description, but you will hear some electric guitar layers thrown in there - check out the electric lines in the title track "Angels of Love". This is probably my favorite track on the album. It starts with a choral arrangement in the background that is both melodic and a bit haunting.
I am not going to provide a track by track analysis because if you are an Yngwie fan, you already know these songs. This will either be a great way to hear some of your favorite Malmsteen ballads or you simply won't like it. If you ask people to name the best New Age artist whose first name begins with Y, you would probably get "Yanni" (or Yo Yo Ma?). Maybe in a few years we would get the answer YNGWIE. This album will be a nice diversion in the same way he enjoyed making his Concerto Suites and Symphonies. His album release from last year (Perpetual Flame) is classic Yngwie shred metal and I am guessing his next album will be more of the same. Enjoy this for what it is.
Bottom line, this is a nice effort at something a little different and is certainly worth $10 if you are even a mild Yngwie fan. The music was arranged and produced by Yngwie Malmsteen. He also plays almost all the instruments including acoustic guitar, electric guitar, steel guitar, classical guitar, cello, keyboards, guitar synthesizer - pretty impressive as he would say so himself.
Track Listing (including the album where the original track can be found): 1. Forever One (from the album "The Seventh Sign") 2. Like An Angel (from the album "Facing the Animal") 3. Crying (from the album "Trilogy") 4. Brothers (from the album "The Seventh Sign") 5. Memories (from the album "Odyssey") 6. Save Our Love (from the album "Eclipse") 7. Ocean Sonata 8. Miracle of Life (from the album "War To End All Wars") 9. Sorrow (from the album "The Seventh Sign") 10. Prelude to April (from the album "Concerto Suite for Electric Guitar")
About this Writer: Brad Caplan // Brad Caplan lives in Charlotte, NC after spending many years in Dallas, TX (originally from Pittsburgh, PA). Brad has spent most of his life accumulating albums, seeing live shows and talking about music to anyone who would listen. He played trumpet for 10 years and has become very proficent at air guitar. Brad has written album reviews and year end lists for MaximumMetal.com and his social network.
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