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High Impact

Yngwie Malmsteen

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Album Review

Certainly one of the most technically gifted heavy metal guitarists of the past quarter century, Yngwie Malmsteen is largely responsible for introducing the long-haired masses to a style now commonly known as "classical metal." And while Mr. Malmsteen has worked with a variety of vocalists over the years, he also has had a soft spot for a good old-fashioned instrumentals all along (undoubtedly because, without vocals getting in the way, the main focus can be on his shredding capabilities). And except for one track, the 2009 compilation High Impact collects many of Yngwie's top instrumentals (since 1993) on one disc. Get ready to hear the Swedish speed demon set the fretboard afire on such tracks as "Caprici di Diablo," "Trilogy Suite," "Arpeggios from Hell," and the early classic "Far Beyond the Sun." And it turns out that the only track on the set that includes vocals is the very last one — a cover of Michael Jackson's groundbreaking pop/rock classic "Beat It." As with many instrumental albums, High Impact will only appeal to fellow guitarists or hardcore Yngwie fanatics. But if you want to cut out all the vocal bits and get right down to the heart of Yngwie's guitar playing, then that's what High Impact is all about.


Born: 30 June 1963 in Stockholm, Sweden

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Yngwie Malmsteen is arguably the most technically accomplished hard rock guitarist to emerge during the '80s. Combining a dazzling technique honed over years of obsessive practice with a love for such classical composers as Bach, Beethoven, and Paganini, Malmsteen's distinctively Baroque, gothic compositional style and lightning-fast arpeggiated solos rewrote the book on heavy metal guitar. His largely instrumental debut album, Rising Force, immediately upped the ante for aspiring hard rock guitarists...
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