A recording before it was officially a band, Ring of Fire is ex-Yngwie Malmsteen vocalist Mark Boals' second release under his own name. Fans of Malmsteen will not be disappointed to find that Boals sticks to the exact formula that made him one of the most popular falsetto screamers in the neo-classical metal genre. In fact, this recording was released on the same day as Malmsteen's War to End All Wars, on which Boals provides the lead vocals. While this style of music faded as quickly as it appeared in the early to mid-'80s, it remained popular in Japan. Boals assembled an all-star band for this session, with veteran guitar shredder Tony MacAlpine, keyboard whiz Vitalij Kuprij, and drumming superstar Virgil Donati. Unfortunately, the assembled talent does not offer anything that hasn't been heard before. There are surely those dedicated fans who will find enough subtleties here to make this a worthwhile investment, but the casual fan will find this to be a rehashing of '80s Malmsteen. Of note, the Japanese version contains a bonus track, "Nessun Dorma," with Boals making a respectable attempt at opera.
Ring of Fire Review
by Robert Taylor