Yngwie J. Malmsteen
Unleash The Fury
Released: 2005, Universal Music
Editors Note:. Metal-Rules.com was founded in 1995 as a forward thinking site. Our goal is, and always has been, to support Real Metal. The decision was made that very rarely do we ever go back and review an album from before 1995. Does the world really need another CD review of Master Of Puppets, Powerslave or Screaming For Vengeance? We don’t think so. We have always supported what is happening now.
Starting in January, 2014, as we head towards the 20th Anniversary of Metal-Rules.com, we are looking back and filling in a few gaps in the review database. We want to complete the post-1995 review catalogue of some of the bands that we have supported since 1995, when very few, if any websites were supporting real Metal. It’s fun to go back and revisit some of these albums that we did not review when they were first released. Enjoy!
Now over a quarter century into his career, UNLEASH THE FURY sees Yngiwe very comfortably sitting now four albums deep into the return of the ‘Rising Force’ years one that started with ALCHEMY in 1999 and ran for five albums until 2008 with PERPETUAL FLAME.
The story of the title has been told many times before and has been handed down in Yngwie lore but it bears repeating. Years back in the 80’s Yngwie and band members were on a long and drunken flight to Tokyo. Allegedly a passenger was not amused by the loud drunken antics of the band and threw (or spilled) her drink on Yngwie. A melee of sorts ensued and ever the devil, drummer Ander Johansson was recording the event and an annoyed Yngwie can be heard to say something along the lines of, ‘Now, you have released the fucking fury!” The phrase has since passed into legend. There is a copy of incident floating round on the internet. Years later Yngwie, demonstrating a sense of humour that he is not really renowned for, decides to call his 16th studio album UNLEASH THE FURY.
Still on Spitfire in North America but Universal everywhere else, UNLEASH THE FURY in terms of packaging and presentation is one of the very few Yngwie albums that does not have him pictured on the front cover, opting instead for a very metal look and design. It is perhaps a bit dull but it does pop out at you. The album is a monster, one of his longest running 73 minutes long across 18 songs, four of them being instrumentals. The line-up is pretty much the same with keyboardist Derek Sherinian from the previous album, ATTACK being replaced in favour of the unknown Joakim Svalberg.
The reviews were fairly negative, many citing the album as self-indulgent with a lack of songs, that really only acted as platforms for his soloing. Fair enough, but many of his albums have been like that! Some criticize the production, which is a fair enough complaint as time went on and Yngwie started to self produce everything he did, the quality decreased, with the lack of a professional ears and an unbiased second opinion. Still other criticize the vocals of Doogie White, I happen to like them, but I can intellectual grasp that he is not one of Yngwies strongest vocalists. Setting all that aside, I really enjoy this album! Those things like slightly flawed production or Doogie’s vocal tone don’t detract from the fact that this is an album full of unleashed fury!
Yngwie shreds and shreds and many of the songs are raging double-kick driven monsters that are virtually relentless. There is solo after solo after solo that come in waves showcasing why after 25 years he is still the best. The compositions are not the most elaborate nor well constructed but that is not the point. The choruses are strong, lots of gang vocals to add power and then it is time for another solo. Yngwie himself has another stab at singing on the cut ‘Cherokee Warrior’. His voice is so inappropriate for his type of music but he has such an incredible, bluesy, whiskey-soaked, gravelly voice that in another environment (like in a blues-based Hard Rock band) he could be a fantastic singer. As it stands, it just sounds out of place. There are a number of strictly instrumental showcases and the album ends on a lighter, more sophisticated note with a neoclassical, acoustic piece.
I fell in the final analysis this album is polarizing because it represents all the various good (and some say bad) qualities of an Yngwie album in one massive dose. I’m an apologist and a dedicated fan and UNLEASH THE FURY is state of the art, high quality, speed-shred that leaves the rest in the dust.