Yngwie Malmsteen

Perpetual Flame

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Arguably, not since the days of Jeff Scott Soto has Yngwie Malmsteen shared the spotlight with a singer who possessed enough pizzazz to truly stand toe to toe with the Swedish six-string shredder. But on ol' Yng's 2008 release, Perpetual Flame, former Judas Priest/Iced Earth screecher Ripper Owens has signed on as the man behind the mike. And the result is Yngwie's best album in quite some time. Not only does it feature all the superhuman guitar acrobatics that you've long come to expect from the man who can probably sweep-pick arpeggios in his sleep, but it also features a chap who is known as an absolute vocal terrorizer within the realm of metal. The Yngwie/Ripper union pays immediate dividends for fans of "medieval metal," as evidenced by "Death Dealer" and "Four Horsemen" (perhaps the true test of an Yngwie song is if you can picture yourself dressed in knight's armor, storming a castle -- and these two ditties pass the test!). But don't fret, longtime fans, Ripper allows Yngwie more than enough room to shred away, especially on "Red Devil" (which musically sounds surprisingly like a vintage Joe Satriani-esque tune) and the over the top instrumental "Caprici di Diablo." As heard throughout Perpetual Flame, Yngwie has once more (to borrow a quote from the guitarist himself) "unleashed the f**king fury!"

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