Relentless review by Yngwie Malmsteen

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  • Released: Nov 23, 2010
  • Sound: 7
  • Lyrics: 5
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 6.3 Neat
  • Users' score: 7.5 (52 votes)
Yngwie Malmsteen: Relentless
5

Sound — 7
Yngwie's sound has been likened to musicians
stemming from Bach and Mozart, but his real talent is translating the sounds of classical music into something so contemporary and relevant. What Yngwie has been accused of in the past is a tendency to be grandiloquent, putting his prodigal skill in the window display while ignoring his band members. That tradition continues on Relentless, an effort recorded with his band, Rising Force (who don't even warrant a mention on the album art), in spite of including seriously talented individuals, including vocalist, Tim Ripper Owens. Yngwie doesn't fail to deliver, from the teasing legato introduction, Overture, to the magnificently crafted, Shot Across the Bow, whose soaring lead guitar is delivered with the intensity one has come to expect from the virtuoso. Malmsteen has often spoken of his use of phyrgian scales, also favoured by Marty Friedman. I've always enjoyed more experimental playing like this, and Malmsteen, although reliant upon it, does not pigeonhole himself he can still write some incredible riffs, as is the case on Look at You Now, which surprisingly features some sections that could perhaps be played by less than virtuosic guitarists! It is notable that I'm referring to the rhythm sections, but Malmsteen allows this to create the foundations for what is an uncannily good song. In his musings regarding Relentless Yngwie seemed to be quite genuine about capturing a moment, as opposed to merely being well-rehearsed. Of course, he's still well-rehearsed, and the album is largely scripted, but there are enough touches of vibrato to convince the listener that Yngwie still plays from the heart. Yngwie might be self-indulgent at times, but if you want to hear a candidate for what might be metal riff of the year, don't let Enemy Within pass you by. I'm not praising the song as a whole, which is a bit of a dingy, sluggish number, only redeemed by its terrific riff. Blinded is the last track of note, providing the listener with a dramatic, up-tempo listening experience, in which Yngwie pushes boundaries, in the process proving that he can adapt technical arrangements to fit the context of a song.

Lyrics — 5
I wouldn't say that Owens shines on Relentless. Indeed, he has the vocal capacity to offer another facet to Malmsteen's sound, hitting the high notes when called upon; but his true role is more perfunctory essentially an overstated cheerleader.

Overall Impression — 7
Yngwie's time of innovation has been and gone. His role now is to step in and remind today's young virtuosic pretenders how it's really done; the underlying point is that it's still difficult to look past innovators like Yngwie, Satch, and Vai when seeking unadulterated genius in the guitar world. As an afterthought, when will Yngwie consider being less obvious when being metaphorical or when alluding to something. This album is called Relentless, and that very much follows the Perpetual Flame theme. That is just lack of creativity, as is the case with his smarmy album covers.

42 comments sorted by best / new / date

    shwilly
    Let's see > intense guitarface, chest hair on display, gold watch visible as always, pants that keep getting tighter and tighter... Why do I not find this cover hilarious like I usually do?? Perhaps too little shooping?
    ChucklesMginty
    Why do none of the reviews ever mention every Yngwie album still sounds like it was mixed in the early 80's. ):
    Perpetual Fury
    jas6nq wrote: .... yngwie has had his moment in the sun and new younger, original guitarists need to take over.
    ....says who ?? & why ??.... & takeover what ?? ... & why do many like ur ilk, all seem to treat guitarists, like they're all in some sort of friggin' Football League Competition Table, - all striving to WIN the end of season Trophy ! - yawn ! Why do so many music fans act like 5yr old brats, chucking a tanty, & playing the "I'm the king of the castle, & ur the dirty rascal" my guitar hero is better than ur guitar hero game !?? Music is music - old or new ! U either like it or U don't ! - big deal ! Clowns like u carry on as if U think the colour Red is better than the colour Blue, for example ! - says who ! & why do U or does anyone get to have the last word on the matter ?? - can everyone please repeat to themselves... Music is subjective & emotional - & therefore it's just my Subjective Opinion ! .....thnx.... rock on Yngwie ! ps... thnx for recommending Takayoshi Ohmura !
    Amuro Jay
    Good_Lord wrote: His parents could've picked a better name for this guy ... come on '' Yngwie '' lol If only they knew one day he'd be famous haha
    If I recall, his real name is Lars. A rock and a hard place, man Checked.
    wyldeshredder
    i was so bummed when i got this album. why did yngwie chose to sing on the possibly best song? i dont like ripper that much, but i prefer his vox to yngwies (yngwies a cool enough blues singer) bland is the word i'd use to describe it. all of it, bar two or three songs
    todd6138
    Yngwie has a lot better sound on this album than perpetual flame. If you like a lot of instrumentals from him, this will be a great album. I liked some of his revampings of icarus dream suite and even riot in the dungeons can be heard on here in a different form. I like the song yngwie sings himself Look at you Now better than tim owens. I hope that Yngwie considers changing lead singers and lets someone else help him again with production. The Rising force band has Patrick Johanssen, whom I think is awesome (Odyssey). Yngwie plays all the bass. Some of the riffs on this album are incredibly listenable. A complete mixed bag of good and bad songs with great overall poroduction. I love most of it.
    ChucklesMginty
    Oddsbodkins wrote: I fail to see why this is a bad thing.
    It means they're covered in reverb and over compressed.
    jas6nq
    I recommend Takayoshi Ohmura. yngwie has had his moment in the sun and new younger, original guitarists need to take over.
    strat07
    I really like Yngwie's vocals on Look At You Now! P.S. I hate Tim Owens's vocals!
    Non-Fiction
    jas6nq wrote: I recommend Takayoshi Ohmura. yngwie has had his moment in the sun and new younger, original guitarists need to take over.
    Ohmura is my favorite guitarist. I don't really like Tim Owens too much, but I did enjoy Overture.
    Flibo
    ChucklesMginty wrote: Oddsbodkins wrote: I fail to see why this is a bad thing. It means they're covered in reverb and over compressed.
    That's a good thing!
    shredcoustica76
    Yngwie is the unrivaled neoclassical master....many have copied...but yngwie is the true emphasis of neoclassical shred guitar.....hes made his mark....his money.....his name in music.....while others sit in there room or garage and practice!.....
    guitaristren
    I was at the local CD store and saw this on the shelf and wondered if it was worth getting or not. After listening to the amazon preview thingy, I think I should.
    Perpetual Fury
    As usual the Anti-fan boys / haters post their venom & play the man & not the ball ! - Seriously guys, If we wanted to hear ur opinion of the man & his ego / personality - we'd ask for it ! - so please spare us the typical tripe U serve up - yawn ! Most genuine guitar fans want reviews & criticisms of his songs / playing & technique ! - period ! Also as usual, some of the fan-boys tend to go too far in praise of him & can virtually see no wrong in his songs / playing etc.. - It's all about balance really - & not getting too emotional ! To those clowns who says "he sucks" etc... well I have an "Axe To Grind" with U !! - the question is - who are U comparing him to & from what genre of Music,Rock,Metal etc...?? & if he does suck tell us who is better at the genre than Yngwie, & if U still say he sucks.... then Prove to us that U could do any better ! - Either PUT UP - or SHUT UP !! Rock On Yngwie !
    YngwieLi
    I liked the new album, although I'm not a fan of Ripper's vocals. I'll agree that he may not be the most creative guitarist, but you have to admit he does some pretty impressive shredding on this album. The studio version of Arpeggios from Hell on this album is just insane.
    mik3h
    I'm a huge Yngwie fan, but his material has never been as good as it was back in the day, his first seven or eight albums were amazing, but after Seventh Sign, it all went downhill, it's as if he has some kind of need to play as fast as he can, he has lost a lot of style and creativity over the years.
    krvolok
    Axeman96 wrote: great guitarist, worst poser.....
    Yes,+1,but that's Yngwie
    ChucklesMginty wrote: Why do none of the reviews ever mention every Yngwie album still sounds like it was mixed in the early 80's. ):
    Correct,again that's Yngwie for you,stuck in the 80s. But it would be bad if it was different in any other way.
    xicetraex
    Tarsplitter wrote: inb4 Yngwie sucks.
    Oh, he definitely doesn't suck. He's just a hugely egotistical douchebag.
    theogonia777
    District wrote: Why doesn't the review say anything about the large amount of instrumental songs that are all about the same? Why doesn't it say anything about the self-plagiarism in lots of songs (two of them were on previous albums, and a lot of songs feature parts from older songs)? Not to mention Tim Owens never entered the studio for this album, which means these are largely leftovers from the Perpetual Flame sessions.
    it's Yngwie, those things are expected. and i'm perfectly fine with it that way.
    Good_Lord
    w77yz wrote : Wonder what your name sounds like in Swedish??
    yeah ... chances are it's gonna sound the same as in french . No offense intended on Ynwgie , was just sayin' .
    Guitar Skater
    i am a huge yngwie fan and heavily influenced by him but does anyone think his sweeps sound kinda sloppy?
    JDLMetalHead
    ChucklesMginty wrote: Why do none of the reviews ever mention every Yngwie album still sounds like it was mixed in the early 80's. ):
    Your right but i like that, it shows hes not letting producers mess with his sound and it just sounds so raw like it would live, very good.
    w77yyz
    Admirable talent that doesn't translate into good songwriting. YM spends all his time on the solos and forgets to build a song first. Have to agree about the mix... sounds like it was recorded in a shipping container.
    julzius
    You missed the 2nd track.. which is by far THE BEST tune on the record (Critical mass). I really enjoyed this album, and liked that the singer took a more backwards roll, i don't get a yngwie malmsteen album to listen to the singer... probably why his first album was so epic. But this new one, would have to be one of my favourites.
    theogonia777
    ChucklesMginty wrote: Why do none of the reviews ever mention every Yngwie album still sounds like it was mixed in the early 80's. ):
    honestly, i like that about his album, it has that kind of charm that over produced modern records lack. i'll have to give this one a listen though.
    mightmuffin
    I preferred the Perpetual Flame album cover it was like an airbrushed master piece.
    Silky Smooth
    I liked perpetual flame a lot better than this album, there are some shining moments on it but the production is quite poor and ripper sounds even more muffled in the mix than the last album. I'm glad Yngwie hasn't sold out or changed his musical vision to appease the current generation, though he does have the ability to write and perform amazing music. For instance just listen to his first three albums everything is top notch. Even as a rabid fan id give the album a 6 at best
    Oddsbodkins
    ChucklesMginty wrote: Why do none of the reviews ever mention every Yngwie album still sounds like it was mixed in the early 80's. ):
    I fail to see why this is a bad thing.
    Good_Lord
    His parents could've picked a better name for this guy ... come on '' Yngwie '' lol If only they knew one day he'd be famous haha
    v2a2n2g2
    Good_Lord wrote: His parents could've picked a better name for this guy ... come on '' Yngwie '' lol If only they knew one day he'd be famous haha
    thats not his real name.....
    theogonia777
    v2a2n2g2 wrote: Good_Lord wrote: His parents could've picked a better name for this guy ... come on '' Yngwie '' lol If only they knew one day he'd be famous haha thats not his real name.....
    actually, Yngwie is his middle name, although it's spelled Yngve, which isn't that uncommon of a name in his native Sweden.
    w77yyz
    Good_Lord wrote: His parents could've picked a better name for this guy ... come on '' Yngwie '' lol If only they knew one day he'd be famous haha
    Wonder what your name sounds like in Swedish??
    District
    Why doesn't the review say anything about the large amount of instrumental songs that are all about the same? Why doesn't it say anything about the self-plagiarism in lots of songs (two of them were on previous albums, and a lot of songs feature parts from older songs)? Not to mention Tim Owens never entered the studio for this album, which means these are largely leftovers from the Perpetual Flame sessions.