Archive for Yngwie Malmsteen

Great Metal Albums of 1986: Chastain- Ruler of the Wastelands

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 21, 2020 by 80smetalman

Here’s a perfect reason why I should have bought the album. My experience of Chastain, actually it was guitarist David Chastain, was through the two songs which appeared on the compilation tape the Metal Sisters sent me. Those songs were “No Man’s Land” and a cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Communication Breakdown.” Both songs were superbly played and for years I simply assumed they were on Chastain’s 1986 album, “Ruler Wasteland.” Unfortunately, they are not. I have tried to find the album these songs appear on but my search has been fruitless. Therefore, I thought the only thing left to do was to listen the album through Youtube and post about it. This turned out to be a wise decision.

In 1986, guitarists who wanted to emulate one Yngwie J. Malmesteen seemed to be coming out of the woodwork. Reflecting back, I think Vinnie Vincent was trying to be such and so was David Chastain. While he is backed up by a very good band, especially lead singer, Leather Leone, “Ruler of the Wasteland” leaves no doubt that its objective was to showcase the guitar skills of David T. Chastain. Something the album does very well here from beginning to end as David solos his way through.

David T. Chastain

It’s not just David’s guitar skills that should be noted here as there are some very well crafted tracks on the album. “One Day to Live” has Leather’s best vocal performance, although she’s quite good on the other tracks. One song where it all comes together and highlights the album and shows the talents of the individual members is “Fighting to Stay Alive.” This song proves that David is a capable song writer as well as a great guitarist. Yes, he does hammer out a cool guitar solo on the track but the vocals are good as is the rhythm section. While all of those things are present on every track, it’s done the best on this one.

One very pleasant and eye opening surprise is “Angel of Mercy.” I have heard this song before, covered by Axel Rudi Pell, who does a great job on it. However, the original version here on the album is simply mind blowing and now I am in a quandary as to which song is better between “Angels of Mercy” and “Fighting to Stay Alive.” While the former is straight ahead full blown metal, Angels has a more blues feel to it and it too has all the band pulling together to make it great. I guess I’ll call it a tie.

The fastest song on the album is “There Will be Justice.” Imagine Yngwie playing a guitar solo on a speed metal song and you’ll get the picture of what I’m trying to say. Then right after, you get a progressive metal sounding fantasy track with “The Battle of Nevermore.” Every time I hear this track, I like it more. Therefore, maybe I should stop listening to it as I will have great difficulty in choosing which songs to feature. Then again, isn’t that a trait of a very good album?

Track Listing:

  1. Ruler of the Wasteland
  2. One Day to Live
  3. The King Has the Power
  4. Fighting to Stay Alive
  5. Angel of Mercy
  6. There Will be Justice
  7. The Battle of Nevermore
  8. Living in a Dreamworld
  9. Children of Eden
Chastain

David T. Chastain- guitar

Leather Leone- vocals

Mike Skimmerhorn- bass

Ken Mary- drums

Moral of the story: Get the album! I didn’t and for years I have missed out on the fine album which is “Ruler of the Wasteland.” As for the songs I have mentioned, I have plans for them in a future post.

Next post: Merry Christmas

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

Great Metal Albums of 1986: Yngwie Malmsteen- Trilogy

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on August 12, 2020 by 80smetalman

Theoretically, I should have visited Yngwie Malmsteen’s third album, “Trilogy,” back when I visited the Emerson, Lake and Powell album. For a brief time in 1986, Yngwie supported ELP on their tour but eventually, he left the tour stating that he wasn’t happy with the fact that he didn’t have enough space leftover to set up his things after the headliners had set up theirs. I just thought that was one of the drawbacks to being a support band. Another amusing tidbit from Yngwie’s tour was that when he played the Marquee Club in London, a lot of Bruce Springsteen fans turned up because they thought it was ‘The Boss’ playing under another name and to these people, there couldn’t be anyone by the name of Yngwie Malmsteen.

What I like about “Trilogy” is that young Mr Malmsteen goes further into making more songs in the traditional sense, instead of just shredding away on the guitar, which he still does brilliantly on this album. In fact, the only two instrumentals on the album are “Crying” and the closer, “Trilogy Suite Op:5.” However that last one is the best one for the closer. It just takes the album out with lots of great guitar work.

Any thoughts that Yngwie can’t write songs are quickly dispelled with the first three tracks and in my mind, the three best songs on the album! The opener, “You Don’t Remember, I’ll Never Forget,” was released as a single and it’s probably the right one for that. Unfortunately, I don’t remember it getting any play on the radio or MTV, shame on them. The middle song, “Liar,” is my vote for hidden gem. It is just a powerful rock tune, where the vocals of Mark Boals, who replaced former lead singer Jeff Scott Soto, the guitar work of Mr Malmsteen and the keyboards of Jens Johannson come together to make a brilliant song. “Queen in Love” is a good, actually very good, a solid song with more of the above.

After the first instrumental, things go very hard with “Fury.” This could have been better if there was more rhythm guitar. It seemed that Yngwie wanted to show that he could shred a bass as well as a guitar, although he does play a good solo as does Jens on the keyboards. Power chords galore continue on “Fire.” It is one of those catchy type of metal songs. Another positive from “Trilogy” is that he does lend some of the spotlight to the rest of the band. The contributions of Boals and J. Johansson are heard plenty but it’s on “Magic Mirror” where Jens’s brother Anders is let go on the drums and he picks up the baton and runs with it very well.

One criticism which has been aimed at Mr Malmsteen over the years is that his guitar solos all begin to sound pretty much the same. Yes, I would agree that there might be some similarities in them but I just put it down to being his style. Besides, with his talent, he could play the exact same solo on every song and I wouldn’t get bored with it.

Track Listing:

  1. You Don’t Remember, I’ll Never Forget
  2. Liar
  3. Queen in Love
  4. Crying
  5. Fury
  6. Fire
  7. Magic Mirror
  8. Dark Ages
  9. Trilogy Suite Op: 5

Yngwie Malmsteen- guitar, bass, Moog Taurus

Mark Boals- vocals

Jens Johansson- keyboards

Anders Johansson- drums

By 1986, many metalheads were already citing Yngwie Malmsteen as the new guitar god. At the time, I wouldn’t have disagreed with them and even today, he’s definitely in my top 5. Saying that, he had his critics and not just because of his over inflated ego which was by this time, very apparent. So, in respect to this, I conclude the post with a riddle: How many Yngwie Malmsteens does it take to change a light bulb?

Answer in the next post which is: Raven- The Pack is Back

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

Great Metal Albums of 1985: Yngwie Malmsteen- Rising Force

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 26, 2018 by 80smetalman

The last of the 1984 albums that didn’t come to my attention until 1985 and it wasn’t until May of said year that I was treated to this one. I remember it well, fairly well anyway. I was sitting in the cafeteria of my local glorified high school, (community college), when a friend offered me a listen on his walkman saying, “I think you’ll like this.” He was right, I did like it. It was the opening track to the “Rising Force” album by Swedish guitar god, Yngwie J Malmsteen. It was said that the J is there so we won’t confuse him with all the other Yngwie Malmsteens in the world.

“Black Star” the opening track I mentioned changed my entire outlook on guitar instrumentals, which was a hard thing to do because I have always had great admiration for masters of the axe. It was just the way that then 21 year old Yngwie made the guitar scream and bend to his will as he played that had me totally hypnotized. “Black Star” was simply the perfect introduction for me and apparently, he still plays it live.

One criticism aimed at guitar albums is that all of the tracks sound the same. Yes, I know, complete hogwash but if anyone says it to you, then you can point them to this album. All of the tracks are original and unique as Yngwie strains his guitars to fit the sound of each song. Whether it’s the faster paced “Far Beyond the Sun,” it is rumoured he still plays that one live too or the classical sounding “Icarus’s Dream Sweet Opus 4,” Yngwie delivers a unique sound every time.

While the guitarist is the main attraction here, you must give credit to the supporting cast. Jens Johansson premieres his keyboard skills on the album and shows he is very good at what he does. One must also give credit to drummer Barriemore Barlow. He has to keep up with a guitarist who can change direction at any time and often does so. And while there are only two vocal tracks on the album, it was here where I got my first experience of Jeff Scott Soto. Even with very little vocal opportunity, he shows he’s got the pipes. Fortunately, he would be given more opportunity on future albums as “As Above, So Below” is proof that Jeff and Yngwie made a very good combination. See, if it hadn’t been for Danny Vaughn, Jeff would have been my vocalist of choice for the 80sMetalman Band of Underrated Musicians.

Track Listing:

  1. Black Star
  2. Far Beyond the Sun
  3. Now Your Ships Are Burned
  4. Evil Eye
  5. Icarus’s Dream, Sweet Opus 4
  6. As Above, So Below
  7. Little Savage
  8. Farewell

Yngwie Malmsteen

Yngwie Malmsteen- guitars, bass, Moog Taurus

Jens Johansson- keyboards

Jeff Scott Soto- vocals

Barriemore Barlow- drums

In the later years, I would learn all about Yngwie’s over inflated ego and how he doesn’t play nice with others but that’s in the future. What I knew in May 1985 was that he could rip a guitar, which he does extremely well on his debut album.

Next post: David Lee Roth- Crazy From the Heat

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80smetalman’s Choices for National Anthems

Posted in Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 4, 2015 by 80smetalman

National Anthems inspire love for one’s country. Every one I’ve heard definitely does that. Some are hard driving like the US, UK or Canada while others are more somber like Japan or Wales. Even Italy’s which reminded me of a parade or Spain’s which sounds like a sixteenth century dance still can inspire love for the country. However, most national anthems are over a century old and while there’s nothing wrong with that, since they still inspire nationalistic feelings, I wonder if more modern ones could be used. See, I have come to associate certain songs by certain bands with the country they come from and that has me thinking. Maybe these songs should be national anthems for their country.

Lynyrd Skynyrd

Lynyrd Skynyrd

USA: Freebird by Lynyrd Skynyrd (I’m talking the full fifteen minute live version)

Led Zeppelin

Led Zeppelin

UK: Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin

Rush

Rush

Canada: Tom Sawyer by Rush

Bonfire

Bonfire

Germany: Proud of My Country by Bonfire

TNT

TNT

Norway- Seven Seas by TNT

Yngwie Malmsteen

Yngwie Malmsteen

Sweden- As Above, So Below by Yngwie Malmsteen

Hanoi Rocks

Hanoi Rocks

Finland- Tragedy by Hanoi Rocks

Golden Earring

Golden Earring

The Netherlands: Radar Love by Golden Earring

U2

U2

Ireland- Sunday Bloody Sunday by U2

Loudness

Loudness

Japan- Crazy Nights by Loudness

AC/DC

AC/DC

Australia- Highway to Hell by AC/DC

Note: For Brazil, it would definitely be something by Seputura and France would be a suitable song by Gojira.

While this is meant to be a little bit of fun, I’m sure some of you are cracking your knuckles and limbering your typing fingers to contribute some of your own suggestions. Well, I’m waiting.

Next post: The Scorpions- Blackout

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

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