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.
AllMusic Review by Steve Huey