Perpetual Flame review by Yngwie Malmsteen

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  • Released: Oct 14, 2008
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.7 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.1 (96 votes)
Yngwie Malmsteen: Perpetual Flame
6

Sound — 9
Yngwie Malmsteen does seem to permanently live on a pedestal in the guitar world, and after hearing his latest album with band Rising Force, it's easy to remember why. There might be naysayers out there who think Malmsteen comes up short on the emotional end of the music, but his new record Perpetual Flame goes beyond amazing riff work and sweeping arpeggios. It's been about 3 years since the release of Malmsteen's last album Unleash The Fury, and Perpetual Flame is worth the wait. The record surprisingly has a lot of depth, and thankfully we don't just get one long, interchangeable solo. For those who consider themselves disciples of Yngwie, don't worry -- he hasn't eased up on the technical aspect. If you're a guitarist, Perpetual Flame is both jaw-dropping and inspiring. Malmsteen knows how to make an entrance, and the first track Death Dealer is unabashedly meant to impress. Oh, it does. It starts off slowly, with almost an orchestral vibe. After about 20 seconds, the speed begins and the outstanding solo work never lets up. Death Dealer has an epic feel akin to a DragonForce track, and it's that over-the-top vibe makes for a perfect opener. Malmsteen has taken on multiple duties for the latest album, including bassist, rhythm guitarist, as well as part-time keyboardist and backup vocalist. While Rising Force is essentially driven by everything that Malmsteen plays, there are still some very strong players, including vocalist Tim Ripper Owens (Judas Priest, Iced Earth), keyboardist Derek Sherinian (Dream Theater), and Patrick Johansson on drums. It's a solid lineup that is able to keep up with Malmsteen's insane compositions. Although the Neo-Classical Metal vibe is often put on the backburner, Malmsteen weaves it beautifully into the energetic, Iron-Maiden-like offering Four Horsemen (Of The Apocalypse). Every track stands out as being played exceptionally, but the songwriting is refreshingly inspired on Perpetual Flame. Red Devil delivers a Judas Priest feel (particularly with Owens at the mic), Priest of the Unholy is an eerier offering that often sounds like a metal version of The Exorcist theme song, and Magic City is an unassuming, laid-back track that features a bluesier side of the guitarist. If you're craving the traditional Neo-Classical style of Malmsteen, the instrumental Caprici di Diablo will likely leave you utterly wowed.

Lyrics — 8
While Tim Ripper Owens has the vocal chops to hold his own against Malmsteen, the lyrics aren't necessarily the focus on Perpetual Flame. With songs titles like Priest of the Unholy, Magic City, and Damnation Game, you usually know what to expect in terms of the lyrical content. Don't get me wrong -- the words fit perfectly with what you're hearing musically. With the larger-than-life compositions that Malmsteen composes, it almost seems necessary that there is a bit of lyrical melodrama to accompany it all.

Overall Impression — 9
There is somewhat of a love-hate relationship with Malmsteen for many guitarists out there, but you should approach Perpetual Flame with an open mind. Yes, there are a few songs that revolve around the solo work, but thankfully they are melodically infectious enough at the core. The guitarist does tend to adorn most sections, but it never gets to be a distraction. Say what you will about Yngwie, the new album has given this writer/guitarist the inspiration to take it up a notch during practice each day.

77 comments sorted by best / new / date

    duncang
    Mythman99 wrote: UG Team gets paid off once again to do an amazing review.
    If only. Checked.
    Crimson Ghost
    i saw him live three days ago, such an amazing guitarist and a performer, definately need to check it out, plus red devil is a badass song
    Silky Smooth
    Virtuoosi wrote: minus 1 trillion points for album artwork. And I just happen to be one of those people who thinks sound comes first, not mindless shred. There are zero excuses for replacing a good sounding riff with egotistic picking. minus another 2 trillion points for yngwie.
    Give the album a chance first Theres some really great songs on here
    mfaiiazi
    great albume , i love it , it seems that i always love his song Long live Metal Long Live Malmsteen
    BlisteringDDj
    I'm looking forward to listen to this, with low expectiations though. I really just like Yngwie's instrumental stuff, without any vocals.
    DirkLance
    CarpUK wrote: DirkLance wrote: I didn't know Yngwie was related to Kim Jong Il. Oh wait... You, sir, win the internet! Crying with laughter...
    Haha, you're welcome. That was just the first thing I thought when I saw the very unflattering picture. Either way, tons of people have been full of win over Yngwie on UG this week. It's a riot.
    Neverhead666
    Smithsc wrote: I cant believe they compared yngwie to dragon force! damn thats really sad.
    damn it, somebody beat me to it. +1 for the post -1 for Studioforce
    CarpUK
    DirkLance wrote: I didn't know Yngwie was related to Kim Jong Il. Oh wait...
    You, sir, win the internet! Crying with laughter...
    shadowsoverhell
    Bombardana wrote: does he know that the albums name is almost exactly like perpetual burn by jason becker
    i wonder if he also knows that the song title Damnation Game is almost exactly like Symphony X's album and song title Damnation Game.
    Zeldaik
    The problem with yngwie is his music all sounds the same. When he first started he had some great songs but now he'll have a few good tracks on each albulm and a lot of filler material.
    kaihansen
    actually it is Yngwie Malmsteen's Rising Force. And it isn't a band and never has been. It's just Yngwie.
    SZ320man
    anyone notice how big his name is compared to the band? like YNGWIE MALMSTEEN AND... rising force
    init24
    it looks like a typical malmsteen, probably sounds like it hes an amazing virtuoso, but hasnt progressed much ill give it a listen though
    saadi
    a good album from yngwie...atleast the vocalist change paid of..and yes there are some very cool riffs that only yngwie can play
    malmsteen80
    what about be careful what you wish for i think it's the best song he ever did in his whole career
    Razoreater
    Priest of the Unholy is also quite excellent! Red Devil and Live to Fight are also very good songs.
    Dragon Fly
    Really, the whole week before the album came out, I couldn't seem to find inspiration for my guitarplaying, after listening Perpetual Flame, I picked up my guitar and I had enough inspiration again to play unbelieveble good, I amazed myself! Thank you, Yngwie!
    Blues_MTA
    i honestly wonder what he was thinking when he posed for that album cover *yeah bitches i can play 18 Notes Per Second!*
    Vicious00009
    Probably Yngwie's best album in years. "Red Devil", "Damnation Game", and "Magic City" are the highlights but the other tranks are pretty good. My only complaint is he mixed Ripper Owens vocals too low. Other then that though. Great album If you think Yngwie is washed up, this album should give you some restored faith.
    SolidState85
    If any of you have the cd, open up the booklet. He gives you a poster of himself next to his 1990's ferrari! Yngwie is one of a kind! I'm also pretty sure the song "red devil" is about his car.
    shreddymurphy
    CarpUK wrote: DirkLance wrote: I didn't know Yngwie was related to Kim Jong Il. Oh wait... You, sir, win the internet! Crying with laughter...
    I'm seriosly ****ing dying laughing now...
    kennydabomb
    yngwie doesnt have scalloped frets....his fingers get so hot that they burn away the neck! =D common thats funny!!
    ironmaiden6666
    Virtuoosi wrote: minus 1 trillion points for album artwork. And I just happen to be one of those people who thinks sound comes first, not mindless shred. There are zero excuses for replacing a good sounding riff with egotistic picking. minus another 2 trillion points for yngwie.
    There was already a review on the artwork. Go blab about the cover there.
    The_String_Man
    Smithsc wrote: I cant believe they compared yngwie to dragon force! damn thats really sad.
    +1
    Citizen7
    Virtuoosi wrote: minus 1 trillion points for album artwork. And I just happen to be one of those people who thinks sound comes first, not mindless shred. There are zero excuses for replacing a good sounding riff with egotistic picking. minus another 2 trillion points for yngwie.
    Did you actually listen to the album? I haven't heard it yet, but your comment sounds like something from somebody who hasn't either.
    Bombardana
    does he know that the albums name is almost exactly like perpetual burn by jason becker
    tim311mahoney
    This album should win a grammy for the most 'outdated, cheesy, airbrushed and rediculious' album artwork
    Lrn2shrd69
    As many have said, it still sounds Yngwie, but I am really enjoying this album (quite surprisingly!
    benjibreeg
    cheesier than philadelphia ripper sounds so awful in a few songs but overall the album has some great songs
    FaLLibaneZ
    ... awesome ideas though in some songs but nothing new ... if you hear the tracks you knwo already every part. but its worth to buy because again yngwie shows what he can do best. Good album though
    trashbeast
    the cover art is horrible. but i heard red devil and it's actually surprisingly good for yngwie. like hes actually trying to write cool songs again.. i might buy it but im not expecting too much
    07bevanm
    i like what ive heared so far (actually listening to the album not comments) regarding the cover... what else would you want from mr malmsteen? :p