Released: 2012, Rising Force
Reviewer: Emidio Vaz (Guest Writer/Canada)
SPELLBOUND is Yngwie’s 19th studio album and possibly his best work, (if I do say so myself). If the great composers of all time, from Mozart to Bach, were ever to be resurrected and give a listen, now would be the perfect time. Yngwie Malmsteen is a man who needs no introduction. The Swedish Viking is at it again and certainly delivers with SPELLBOUND.
SPELLBOUND, the first track, set’s the tempo for what’s about to transpire throughout the album. Going in and out of passages between classical and classic Metal. One would associate this to what it would sound like entering Valhalla. The guitar virtuoso shows the brilliance of his musical talents by not only going back and fourth from passages, classic to classic Metal but also showing his blues side that comes out in tracks “Let Sleeping Dog’s Lie” and of course “Iron Blues”. His past works touched on a few like on PERPETUAL FLAME in comparison with SPELLBOUND would be somewhat unfair.
In terms of his guitar playing style, I feel that there is more riffing and fewer scales. Yngwie’s TRILOGY delivered a compositional style of 80’s influence to now with SPELLBOUND where I feel the guitar playing is more well rounded. I also find that there are certain similarities in comparing Yngwie’s past work, such as RISING FORCE and TRILOGY to name a few. Yngwie has perhaps gone back to see what he could absorb from past work and applied that to RELENTLESS and SPELLBOUND. "Repent" has Yngwie displaying his vocals and working rather well with the style of classic metal..but is perhaps a filler by Yngwie’s standards. There’s another I feel that is a filler in “Nasca Lines”. The interesting aspect of this track is that Yngwie plays yet another style of guitar introducing Flamenco guitar playing; truly amazing.
“God Of War” is possibly my favourite with a classic guitar intro, leading to heavy drum playing, setting up again a passage back into classical guitar. The flowing of the guitar passages and hard pounding of the skins, that travel back and fourth, form a charismatic style of both heavy and melodic combine to form an orgasmic feeling. I particularly think (and how could I not) that Yngwie represents the Dr. Jackyl and Mr. Hyde effect. Yngwie is an extreme guitar player and brings out his inner juices to the maximus. His talent of unparalleled proportion is bewildering. With all his talent, one could actually place him at the original Crossroads, to describe the talent this man has. Yngwie as we all know is very controlling but it’s definitely understandable. SPELLBOUND is for every guitar lover and perfect to grab a beer to, a glass of wine, or whatever you desire, to kick back and take it all in.
This is certainly 4.5/5 I believe it’s his best work to date, I have had the good fortune of seeing Yngwie three times now and he never stops amazing me with what he does with a guitar, it’s both mesmerizing and astonishing. SPELLBOUND is a must for the Yngwie faithful as well as for anyone who worships the guitar. The art work on SPELLBOUND is a typical Yngwie Malmsteen portrait with dream like effect back ground & of course it’s on his own label, Rising Force.