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 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Go to the Yngwie J. Malmsteen's Rising Force website  Yngwie J. Malmsteen's Rising Force - War To End All Wars [Dream Catcher - 2001]

On his previous album Yngwie adopted the Rising Force banner again and this comprised a return to the sound of those days. No more commercial tendencies, just the music that Malmsteen does best: baroque 'n' roll, baby!

It also meant a reunion with singer Mark Boals. Not a bad thing ; he's one of my favourite Rising Force singers. The previous album, Alchemy, was a feast of recognition of old themes and old fans, like me, welcomed the departure of Yngwie's aspirations to write 'hits'. His 13th studio album War To End All Wars is made to please the fans instead of people who think he's a egotistical fretboard-masturbator. They might be right but I can help but scream along with this music and run around headbanging and airguitaring through my apartment, and why shouldn't I! Just because the 'good-taste-police' have deemed Malmsteen old fashioned and one-dimensional? No way, not me!

Of course, there are no big surprises or new approaches to be found on this album, but I consider this traditional music, folkmusic if you will. When I hear a Taraf De Haïdouks album there are no big surprises either, but just like Malmsteen the sheer energy and musicianship make up for the lack of innovation. War To End All Wars sounds like a well recorded rehearsal and of course people who like their music polished and compressed to death don't like that. I think the important thing here is the fact that the energy is captured: the band sounds like they play their asses off. Songs like Prophet Of Doom, Catch 22 and Crucify burst with vitality and cliché's. 'Hold it! Did you say cliché's?' Sure, there is nothing wrong with cliché's, as long as they are cliché's that I like! Music constructed to be devoid of cliché's can easily turn out pretty unlistenable. There's a time and place for everything but with Malmsteen I like it to be like I expect it. It's like slipping into a warm bath, comfortable and energizing. The only song on War End To End All Wars that is a little to much commonplace would be the ballad Miracle Of Life, it sounds to much like I heard it before.

Please excuse my ranting but this is probably the result of the hostility that you encounter from 'serious musiclovers' when you say you like Yngwie Malmsteen. I like a lot of very innovative music (ironically not seldomly labeled as 'unlistenable') but traditional music serves as a breather and I am sceptical about people that claim to only like 'serious' music (which usually is just as cliché'd but with different, 'serious' cliché's, o yeah, life's so funny!).

Conclusion? Any Malmsteen fan should be very happy with this album and the haters should stay away from it.

Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5

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