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Yngwie Malmsteen - Unleash The Fury - 2005 - Universal/Spitfire

Track Listing
1. Locked And Loaded
2. Revolution
3. Crackin’ The Whip
4. Winds of War (Invasion)
5. Crown Of Thorns
6. BogeyMan
7. Beauty And A Beast
8. Fuguetta (Instrumental)
9. Cherokee Warrior
10. Guardian Angel
11. Let The Good Times Roll
12. Revelation (Drinking With The Devil)
13. Magic And Mayhem
14. Exile
15. The Hunt
16. Russian Roulette
17. Unleash The Fury
18. Paraphrase
Those who frequent this page know that I was not very impressed with Yngwie Malmsteen’s last album, "Attack!!". As much as I have always admired the Swedish shredder’s work, that album suffered from a distinct lack of fresh inspiration, in my humble opinion. "Attack!!", in fact, confirmed for me the conviction long held by Yngwie’s detractors that the man had become a redundant artistic self-parody.

Thus it was with considerable trepidation that I removed the shrink wrap on the luxuriously packaged Japanese edition of "Unleash The Fury". And while I generally believe that old truism about judging a book (or CD) by its cover, the embossed sleeve and big fold-out booklet enclosed proved appropriate for this album, which I found surprisingly robust and satisfying. Sure, the speedy opening cut “Locked and Loaded” is pretty much devoid of finesse or dynamic, and Dougie White’s vocal style is once again ridiculously self-serious. And yes, “Revolution” is only somewhat better in this regard. But with eighteen tracks, clocking in at a generous 72 minutes, there is still plenty to chew on here, and much of the rest ranges from fine to delectable, thank you very much.

For those of you who love neoclassical metal guitar, but feel that Mr. Malmsteen has been stuck in a rut as of late, let me assure you that Yngwie and Co. use the album’s generous length to try on a few different hats, many of which fit quite comfortably. “Winds of War” is slow, majestic and elegant in the grand tradition of Rainbow, Silver Mountain and of course, Malmsteen himself. “Cracking The Whip” and the throbbing, bass-driven “The Bogeyman” are gloriously successful attempts at simple, hard groove-based rock, with deft fretwork throughout. “Magic and Mayhem” is an aptly titled and gloriously over the top instrumental workout in the tradition of Yngwie’s best shred-fests. At the other end of the spectrum, “Fuguetta” and the blandly-titled “Paraphrase” are superbly inspired variations on music by Johann Sebastian Bach. Yngwie even repeats one of the cooler moves from his last album by taking the mic for a nifty, traditional blues-based semi-ballad called “Cherokee Warrior.” As is often the case with long albums, there is unfortunately some filler, in the form of “Crown of Thorns” and “Beauty and the Beast.” But again, with so much music on offer, and so many different ideas being tried, there is thankfully plenty of stuff here that sticks.

It was with a heavy heart that I gave Malmsteen’s last effort a less than glowing review. So, while "Unleash The Fury" is not godlike, it is a vast improvement over "Attack!!" on almost all fronts, particularly songwriting and production. Maybe Yngwie realized in retrospect that all was not right with that unfortunate album- I don’t know. In any case, "Unleash The Fury" is a small, but significant and welcome step in the right direction. And while I don’t believe in rating based on song quantity, the generous helping of music enclosed, plus the enhanced CD portion (with lessons!) goes a long way toward assuring good value for money. On top of that, the album is finally available outside of Japan, with the worldwide release apparently including most of the same goodies. Treasure ahoy, shred heads!

Rating: 7.7


--Vinaya 08.06.05
About this Writer:
Vinaya Saksena // Vinaya is either a writer who dabbles in guitar playing, or a guitar player who dabbles in writing. A Maximum Metal staffer since 2004, he has also served as a reporter for several newspapers in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Although his obsession with music is such that it does not allow time for much else by way of hobbies, he also enjoys traveling, trivia, photography, British comedy and the occasional A-Team re-run.

Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: YNGWIE MALMSTEEN
CD
TITLE BAND
DOR
REVIEWER DATE
Angels of LoveYngwie Malmsteen
2009
Brad Caplan5/5/2009
Attack!!Yngwie Malmsteen
2003
Vinaya Saksena5/6/2004
Unleash The FuryYngwie Malmsteen
2005
Vinaya Saksena8/17/2005
Unleash The FuryYngwie Malmsteen
2005
MetalKnight8/13/2005


ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: YNGWIE MALMSTEEN
TITLE BAND
DOR
REVIEWER DATE
RelentlessYngwie Malmsteen
2010
Chris Kincaid3/22/2011


ALL INTERVIEWS FOR: YNGWIE MALMSTEEN
INTERVIEW BAND INTERVIEWER DATE
Yngwie MalmsteenYngwie MalmsteenKim Thore2/8/2011


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