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Album Reviews : Yngwie J. Malmsteen – Angels of Love

By on June 15, 2009

yngwie-malmsteen-angels-of-loveYngwie Malmsteen is most notably well known for his insane guitar style. Infusing mind melting sweeps, arpeggios and shreds which inevitably leave people gob smacked at his remarkable skill.

Sadly though with this amazing trait, Malmsteen has become known to be a little repetitive in recent years. His once awe inspiring guitar style, hailed by many in the mid to late 80’s, has become nothing more then a fizzled out memory. Many complain of repetition and albums lacking finesse. Most notably his most famous flop, “Unleash the Fury” released in 2005.

Having said that, he has redeemed himself with minor exceptions like “Attack!” in 2002, and most recently “Perpetual Flame” in 2008, which also saw the introduction of Tim “Ripper” Owens of Iced Earth fame into the Rising Force limelight.

Tim Owens’ similar vocal style to that of Rob Halford added a heavier aspect to the album, which many saw as a blessing. Others however were not impressed by this move, and still labeled Malmsteen has a self absorbed, donut obsessed, guitar wielding wanker who still believed he was living in the 1980’s.

Personally, I enjoyed Perpetual Flame. It didn’t try to sound over the top (unless you count the instrumental ‘Caprici di Diablo’ and of course the albums cover art) or “new” in a way, it just kept to the basics of what all Malmsteen fans loved. I was content with the album and knew that within the next 3 – 4 years Malmsteen would be at it again. Releasing yet another album with conflicting views and reviews by many.

Strangely though,  I had no idea Malmsteen released another album after ‘Perpetual Flame’. I came across ‘Angels of Love’ by a sheer accident. It took me awhile to realize it was a Malmsteen album. as there was no typical or distinct labeling to give the impression off it was a Malmsteen release.

To be honest I was expecting another album cover with Yngwie plastered all over. Showing off yet another variety of his pouted looks and wielding is famous Fender Stratocaster. Thankfully, we are treated to a beautiful young woman sitting outside as the albums front cover.

The album itself is more of a revision of previously released material. If you are expecting something along the lines of another ‘Perpetual Flame’, look elsewhere. This album is purely an acoustic instrumental one. The albums sheer sound is coated with a distinct steel guitar effect, with some minor additions of flutes, electric guitars, keyboards and the odd synthesizer.

Tracks include a selection from albums such as Eclipse, Trilogy, Odyssey and a variety of earlier works. Sadly though, there is no sign of insane guitar solos. This album is dedicated more to the love song enthusiast, rather then someone who wants a quick fix of cheese laden guitar wankery.

There is however a previously unreleased track  entitled, ‘Ocean Sonata’. It opens with a nice mesmerizing strum and orchestral backing, which flows into a beautiful acoustic number. A great addition to the album, but many maybe unsatisfied with the albums only new feature.

Personally, I found the album to be quite relaxing. It’s great to get a perspective of Malmsteen’s earlier work with new modern twist. However, many “hardcore” fans of Malmsteen may feel as though they have been kicked in the balls with this somewhat shameful release. Then again, Malmsteen isn’t the first person to commit such an act.

I did however get a little bored of the steel guitar effect throughout the album. There is some variety with classic guitars, but with an album clocking in at almost 52 minutes you get a bit hesitant to listen on after the first few songs. Personally, I wished for a bit of speed to mix up the album. Sadly my wish was not fulfilled.

In conclusion the album still holds the fundamental elements of a Yngwie Malmsteen release. Many maybe unsatisfied with the albums theme of “love”, and maybe a bit hesitant to go any further as there is no sign of ‘Blitzkerg’ or ‘Arpeggios from Hell’ on the album to satisfy the more technical/speed freaks of Yngwie Malmsteen fans . 6/10

For fans of: Jason Becker, Marty Friedman, Paul Gilbert, Chris Broderick

Band: Yngwie J. Malmsteen
Album: Angels of Love
Year: 2009
Genre: Neoclassical Power Metal
Label: Rising Force Records/Riot! Entertainment
Origin: Stockholm, Sweden

1. Forever One
2. Like An Angel
3. Crying
4. Brothers
5. Memories
6. Save Our Love
7. Ocean Sonata <- Reviewer’s Choice
8. Miracle of Life
9. Sorrow
10. Prelude To April


Anwar is the editor-in-chief of Metal When Anwar isn't busy promoting tours, interviewing bands and reviewing awesome music, he loves to collect metal vinyl and play video games. Follow Metal Obsession on Twitter and Facebook