Yngwie J. Malmsteen's Rising Force - Unleash The Fury
Spitfire Records
Neo-Classical Hard Rock / Metal
18 songs (73'25)
Release year: 2005
Yngwie Malmsteen, Spitfire Records
Reviewed by Marty
The title of Yngwie's new album, Unleash The Fury comes from an incident back in the 80's when he was on tour. After getting drunk on a plane, he became abusive to another passenger who then complained to the flight attendants about him. He got really pissed off and started shouting, "Now you've unleashed the fucking fury!!". All of this was conveniently recorded using a small tape recorder by then keyboardist Jens Johannsen (Stratovarius). The tape surfaced on the net last year for the first time and it's really, really funny if you've never heard it. I'm glad Yngwie can have a laugh about it now as it was a tough time during his life as he battled alcoholism. His last album, Attack! was an attempt to return to the classic neo-classical sound of the early Rising Force albums namely the self-titled, Marching Out and Trilogy albums of the 80's. It had it's moments and was certainly better than his previous two albums. It was also the first album to feature new vocalist Doogie White (Cornerstone). I was really not expecting anything much better with this new album but I was pleasantly surprised. The quality of the song writing is far superior to anything that he's done since the early 90's and Doogie White seems to be settling into his role as the lead vocalist quite nicely.

The neo-classical hard rock/metal of Yngwie's earliest albums is the style of music that he does best and his foray into more melodic pop metal in the 90's was met with somewhat mixed results. Yngwie's playing ability really hasn't shown any signs of weakening and this album sure is testament to that. The album begins with a great speedy track entitled Locked And Loaded and is very similar to the classic Rising Force material of his first three albums. The speedy neo-classical edge also graces tracks like Revolution, Crown Of Thorns, Beauty and The Beast and Exile which feature fast muted riffing and as many lead guitar fills as humanly possible put into a song. More chunkier and heavier styles are found with Cracking The Whip, Winds Of War, The Boogeyman and Revelation (Drinking With The Devil) whereby Yngwie comes face to face with the demons of his alcoholic past. The Hunt sees Yngwie "borrowing" a little of the harmony thirds style riffs from I Am A Viking (Marching Out album). I guess if you're going to rip off someone, who better than yourself I guess!! Back to basics hard driving rock graces tracks like Let The Good Times Roll and Cherokee Warrior, the later featuring Yngwie on lead vocals. Cherokee Warrior has a great 60's Jimi Hendrix feel with cool space echo and wah effects and reminds me of Frank Marino, another Hendrix worshipper.

Yngwie always includes instrumental tracks and this album is no exception. We get four of them here and they range from short classical guitar pieces (Fuguetta and Paraphrase) to the mix of clean and explosive lead guitar work of Guardian Angel. With Magic And Mayhem, he pulls out all the stops with ripping and speedy leads and classically influenced lead guitar themes. The syncopation between the guitar and keyboards is staggering!

It took a couple of listens to this album for it really get my attention. Clocking in at over 73 minutes, just listening to this album is a friggin' marathon. I don't know why he insists on cramming so much material onto an album. The best 10 songs plus a couple of the instrumentals would've been fine and would make a great album at that. I really have a beef with his rhythm guitar sound on this album. For songs where he basically plays more of a lead style of rhythm, he sounds fine. The problem starts when he plays power chord riffs and uses a muddy and really sucked out front pickup type of Strat sound. It's too low in the mix and really weakens the songs. You can tell that he really doesn't put much importance on rhythm guitar as when his leads get punched in, they have great tonal quality and power and are much higher in the overall mix. Overall, the production is not bad but Yngwie should (but won't) use another producer like he did earlier on with Jeff Glixman (Trilogy). He's not getting the best out of his songs both from a production standpoint and performance wise. The basics are there as many of the tracks are solid but their full potential has not been realized by Yngwie's production approach. Other than that, he delivers a dizzying and staggering barrage of lead guitar that only he can. His abilities truly are jaw-dropping and besides the usual 64th note scale runs that all start to sound the same, I hear him doing some very different, although still technically difficult, styles of lead playing this time around.

The song writing has definitely taken a turn for the better on Unleash The Fury and this is the first album in many of his that I find myself actually wanting to play rather than having to in order to review it. War To End All Wars and Alchemy are gathering dust on my CD shelf and I doubt much whether Attack! will every make it into may CD player anymore but this new one certainly will. Aside from the shortcomings in the production department, there's lots of great songs on this CD and it really does have the classic Rising Force sound (at last!!). A lot of credit must also be given to Doogie White as he really has settled in and is the perfect voice for Yngwie right now. As a first exposure to Yngwie, I would recommend several other albums over this one but for the fans that have been disappointed with his albums for many years now, this one's definitely what you've been waiting for.

Killing Songs :
Locked And Loaded, Revolution, Crown Of Thorns, Magic And Mayhem and Unleash The Fury
Marty quoted 80 / 100
Other albums by Yngwie J. Malmsteen's Rising Force that we have reviewed:
Yngwie J. Malmsteen's Rising Force - Perpetual Flame reviewed by Storm and quoted 75 / 100
Yngwie J. Malmsteen's Rising Force - Birth of the Sun reviewed by Jeff and quoted 65 / 100
Yngwie J. Malmsteen's Rising Force - Attack!! reviewed by Marty and quoted 70 / 100
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