Rising Force was a revelation upon its release in 1984; Eddie Van Halen had introduced dazzling speed to the realm of rock guitar technique, and the compositions of Randy Rhoads had begun to fuse heavy metal with neo-classical influences, but no one before Yngwie Malmsteen was able to combine those elements with such blinding virtuosity. Malmsteen's innovative guitar style made Rising Force a mandatory primer for '80s metal guitarists, with its classical chord progressions and Malmsteen's use of harmonic minor scales, a wide vibrato imitative of classical violinists, and impossibly fast picking techniques, including the sweep-picked arpeggio (sort of a cross between strumming a chord and picking each note individually). Malmsteen's obsessions with Bach, Beethoven, and Paganini are used in the service of a dark, stately, gothic atmosphere and sent guitar students scurrying to learn their works as well as Malmsteen's own. The true inauguration of the age of the guitar shredder.
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AllMusic Review by Steve Huey