Yngwie Malmsteen Spellbound 2012

In my mind, Yngwie Malmsteen’s last significant album is Alchemy. And that was back in 1999. That is, all the albums beyond this point seems sub standard, musically and production,  to his previous achievement. The criteria is, albums up to Alchemy are still have a “proper” neo-classical originality that defined Yngwie stand on the genre. Then start from War to End All Wars, everything sounds just like a repetition. It’s still ok actually, because in Yngwie Malmsteen team, we almost always get the second frontman that lift up the album when Yngwie himself can’t make it. Starts from singers, Mark Boals, Tim “Ripper” Owen, and Doggie White which provided historical recording to the 2000s era. Not only that, keyboardist Derek Sherinian (Attack! , Perpetual Flame), and Opeth’s Joakim Svalberg (Unleashed the Fury) are actually a big names that saves some of the balls. Just to say, that beside Yngwie’s musically deadlock , there are still left room for fans to enjoy. Now, here the things…. Our  Yngwie is back. We have the new album here, Spellbound out December 2012. Some good news, but straightforward, this album is not yet a comeback. Even worse, now the elements I mentioned before is half gone. There is no “proper” singer for this album. Tim Ripper was reportedly can’t attended the recording session for some reason. What’s now is an album that majority an instrumental tracks, and with Yngwie Malmsteen himself filling the vocal, something he had done before.

The first two tracks are instrumental, which is always a “good news” for those who just enjoy his legendary neo classical licks. Spellbound come with one of Yngwie most memorable keyboard riff in decade. Then come High Compression Fugue, which is .. a fugue of two guitar melody line overlapping musically. Nice one on these. Let Sleeping Dog Lie (or whatever the proper title meant too) is blues thing. Yngwie always fond of blues and his style is actually original to Jimi Hendrix era, although the blues man will dropping jaws complain his over done in speed and licks. And the virtuoso himself providing the blues vocal. On the instrumental songs, Iron Blues is stand out. It’s spare us from the jungle of neo classical licks we too familiar with. Majestic 12 Suite, is a long suite characteristic with Baroque and orchestration. Poisoned Minds is the heaviest track close to what we familiar in trilogy era, with a needed of high pitch screamer to fully the singing duty. Requiem For The Lost Souls is actually fit to end this album, as we still looking for miracle to bring back our lost neo-classical idol.

What needed is a riff as easy as what done by millions of Yngwie copy cat. Then a suitable vocalist to finish the line. As simple as that. Instead, Spellbound is the another continuation of self-done band. Even a musicians as good as himself can’t fix this alone, as it goes for decade long now. This album serves as parade of neo classical guitar instrumental showcase, if you disciples of hell belly shred, this got elements to enjoy.

Metalharem class: ******* seven stars out of ten

Yngwie Malmsteen – Spellbound 2012
1. Spellbound
2. High Compression Fugue
3. Let Sleeping Dog Lie
4. Repent
5. Majestic 12 Suite 1, 2 & 3
6. Electric Duet
7. Nasca Lines
8. Poisoned Minds
9. God Of War
10. Iron Blues
11. Turbo Amadeus
12. From A Thousand Cuts
13. Requiem For The Lost Souls  
Yngwie J. Malmsteen -Lead Guitar / Bass / Keyboards / Lead Vocals
Record Label: Rising Force Records

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