Malmsteen, Yngwie - Attack!

Year of Release: 2002
Label: SPV
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 00:00:00

Ok, I just know I'm going to get in trouble for this one. Most people I know have a definite stance on the Maestro ? either love him or hate him. I, however, both love and hate his work. How? Simple. I'm a great fan of neoclassical playing, of which Yngwie is the definitive master, and his instrumental pieces and solos are works of art (and of course, those who hate bombastic guitar wankery will immediately disagree). But his vocal pieces just don't do it for me, and as far as I'm concerned as soon as he tries to put a voice line over the music, it turns to trash (and lo, I hear the sound of a thousand Yngwie fans deserting me).

He's not the only neoclassical artist I feel this way about, but he is perhaps the one on which I'm the most polarised. This has held true for everything I've heard of his, and has not changed with Attack!! His music is geared towards creative and breathtaking instrumentalism, but the vocals turn it into something ponderous, pretentious, even forced. The lyrics here are also pretty banal, which probably has a lot to do with it ? not the worst I've ever heard, but they detract terribly from the skill of his playing. He also favours a pompous style of vocalising (provided here by the powerful Dougie White) which doesn't do anything for me either. For this album, I'll give the example of "Ship Of Fools;" the toccata-like intro is bliss, but all too soon the voice cuts in and ... bleagh. "Mad Dog" is another one where the blazing intensity of his solos are spoilt by awful lyrics and overdone vocals.

By contrast, I totally love "Baroque And Roll" and "Majestic Blue," both ? unsurprisingly ? all instrumental. The third instrumental, "Air," is less to my tastes, but that's also unsurprising, as it's a guitar rendition of Bach's ?Air On A G String" which I heartily dislike in its original form. So no fault of Yngwie's there. For the rest, it's really a matter of finding the ones where the music balances out the singing; ones like "Valley Of Kings" and "In The Name Of God" are probably to be avoided as being overly cumbersome, and "Freedom Isn't Free" is just too wanky. "Rise Up" and "Attack!" are pretty good, almost power metal, and "Touch The Sky" is also worth the time.

I expect to be thoroughly flayed from both sides for this fence-sitting position, but that's my opinion and I'm sticking to it. I could live without owning this, despite the good moments that are present, but if Yngwie releases an instrumental album I'll be all over it like a shot. Until then, I'm no fan.

Similar to: Steve Vai, Andre Andersen, Chris Impellitteri

[This review originally appeared November 2003 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]

Razor Eater (3:27) / Rise Up (4:33) / Valley Of The Kings (5:43) / Ship Of Fools (4:16) / Attack! (4:25) / Baroque 'N Roll (5:56) / Stronghold (4:18) / Mad Dog (3:24) / In The Name Of God (3:38) / Freedom Isn't Free (4:08) / Majestic Blue (6:03) / Valhalla (6:44) / Touch The Sky (5:02) / Ironclad (4:58) / Air (2:35)

Doogie White - vocals
Yngwie Malmsteen - guitars
Derek Sherinian - keyboards
Patrik Johansson - drums

Rising Force (1984)
Marching Out (1985)
Trilogy (1986)
Odyssey (1988)
Trial By Fire - Live In Leningrad (1989)
Eclipse (1990)
The Yngwie Malmsteen Collection (1991)
Fire And Ice (1992)
The Collection (1992)
The Seventh Sign (1994)
I Can't Wait (1994)
Power And Glory (1994)
Magnum Opus (1995)
Inspiration (1996)
Facing The Animal (1997)
Yngwie Malmsteen Live!! (1998)
Yngwie Johann Malmsteen: Concerto Suite For Electric Guitar And Orchestra In E Flat Min (1998)
Alchemy (1999)
Young Person's Guide To The Classics, Vol. 1 (2000)
Young Person's Guide To The Classics, Vol. 2 (2000)
War To End All Wars (2000)
Anthology 1994-1999 (2000)
Best Of Yngie Malmsteen: 1990-1999 (2000)
Instrumental Best (2004)
Concerto Suite With The New Japan Philharmonic (2002)
Concerto Suite For Electric Guitar And Orchestra In E Flat Min Live (2002)
Attack!! (2002)
The Genesis (2002)
Unleash The Fury (2005)
20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best Of Yngwie Malmsteen (2005)
Instru-Mental (2007)
Perpetual Flame (2008)
Angels Of Love (2009)
High Impact (2009)

Rising Force: Live '85 (VHS) (1985)
Trial By Fire: Live In Leningrad (VHS) (1989)
The Yngwie Malmsteed Video Collection (VHS) (1992)
Live In Rio (DVD) (1998)
Yngwie Malmsteed Live (DVD) (2000)
Concerto Suite For Electric Guitar And Orchestra (DVD) (2002)
Live At Budokan (DVD) (2003)
Concerto Suite For Guitar And The New Japan Philharmonic Orchestra (DVD) (2005)
Yngwie J. Malmsteen Live (DVD) (2006)
Live Animal (DVD) (2009)
Live In Korea (DVD) (2009)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin SE

Added: January 17th 2005
Reviewer: Karyn Hamilton
Artist website:
Hits: 964
Language: english


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