Review: Yngwie Malmsteen – Parabellum
Music Theories Recordings/Mascot (July 23rd 2021)
Reviewer: David Mark Pearce
Well, these days, Yngwie seems to be the Swedish version of “Marmite” – or has it always been that way? Egotistical, or just insanely driven? I guess that’s where this debate will go on and on. I’ve been a massive fan of Yngwie for many years so, when the opportunity came up (or, rather, Dan asked us Rockposers reviewers who was brave enough to review this), I jumped at it!
I have the album on pre-order, so it was cool to get a pre-release version to see what was in store. Mr Malmsteen has managed to cram every note going into this – but don’t let that put you off as that always happens, however, there definitely seems to be more on offer here. My favourites are the opener ‘Wolves at the Door‘ and the latest single ‘Relentless Fury‘ which takes me back to ‘Trilogy‘ days.
I remember saying many albums ago that, if Yngwie was singing, I wouldn’t buy any anymore but, of course, curiosity got the better of me and there would also have been a large gap in my collection. People go through thick and thin and so do artists …… I think this is definitely Yngwie’s best album regarding said singing. Production is pretty good, but there is room for improvement. The way he edits his guitars needs a little work. He’s cutting it very finely at the beginning of chords and probably taking a little of the front end of the signal off, in other words, it doesn’t sound natural. The other is the snare drum which, unlike Metallica’s empty “Rovers” biscuit tin, sounds like a slipper being slapped against the living room carpet through wet cardboard.
Anyway, once you get used to it, you can listen to his guitar playing which is always on point. I read a reaction to one of his songs online where the author pretty much told him to change to be more like Gary Moore, or Stevie Ray Vaughan. I thought that was rude and daft. I wonder …… if the guitarists he mentioned were still alive, would he say the same to them? I think not!
So, to finish off, I think this is the best album Yngwie’s done in quite some time. The songs are good, as is his singing and his guitar playing – his soloing, especially, is the freshest it’s been in a while. I think the past year of not touring and being able to grab studio time here and there has really helped him focus – I think this album is definitely the better for it!