mighty music

Yngwie J. Malmsteen – ‘Parabellum’

Publisher
M-Theory Audio
FFO
Joe Stump, Tony McAlpine, Jason Becker
Release Date
July 24, 2021
Publisher
M-Theory Audio
Genre
Neoclassical Metal

I have been a fan of Mr. Malmsteen for years, well before his canceled show in Colorado Springs in 2001. Still awaiting my refund by the way. Well, everyone’s favorite carpal tunnel-defying Swede is back with his 21st studio album. To no one’s surprise, it is epic, grandiose, and it is Yngwie. I am officially declaring that Yngwie is now an adjective. ‘Parabellum’ is vintage Malmsteen, with blinding speed, precision sweeps, a bit of pretension, and yes, “arpeggios from Hell.” This is everything you want from a YM album and maybe just a bit more.

 He has explained that the pandemic has allowed him to spend far more time on writing and preparing. This album reflects he spent his extra time wisely. As such, there is plenty of the expected, but also the unexpected.

Ever the Paganini disciple, YM sticks a bit closer to his mentor’s influence than on recent ventures (“Presto Vivace in C# Minor” and “Parabellum.”) Still, there are masterful meldings of Power Metal and his signature Neoclassical sound (“Fight the Good Fight.”)

Other standouts include “Eternal Bliss,” a meticulous and beautiful ballad with a passing nod to Pachelbel’s “Canon in D.”

  “Toccata.” I enjoyed the backing band almost as much as Malmsteen’s playing. If he plays this in concert, I just might forgive his sixty-dollar debt.

“God Particle” conjures memories of Jason Becker’s “Air.” Judicial use of echo and nuanced plectrum strikes makes this the pièce de resistance. An absolute masterpiece.

While YM’s fretwork naturally gets most of the press, I’d be remiss to not mention his vocals. In more recent work, he assumed the role of lead vocalist, ‘Parabellum’ included. He is no Jeff Scott Soto or Tim Owens, but not half bad either. Maybe if the whole guitar thing doesn’t work out… YM has been recording for forty-plus years, Ironically, if there is an introductory album to his sound, this just may be the ticket. If you don’t agree, let me know. I will give you half of my refund when it comes

This is everything you want from a Malmsteen album and maybe just a bit more
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