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Yngwie J. Malmsteen “Trilogy” – Classic Power Metal Music on high

Posted in 1980's heavy metal albums, 1980's power metal bands, 1980's power metal music, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's heavy metal songs, 1986 heavy metal music, 1986 power metal albums, Album Review, classic heavy metal albums, classic metal, cool album covers, essential heavy metal albums, european power metal, guitar solos, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, Heavy Metal Reviews, heavy metal solo albums, heavy metal solo artists, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, metal music, metal odyssey, Metal Reviews, old school heavy metal, Power Metal, power metal guitarists, power metal music, vintage heavy metal albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 6, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

main-150I always thoroughly enjoy the Metal musical intricacies that quality Power Metal embellishes. Yngwie J. Malmsteen “Trilogy”, (released in 1986), has the rich and textured heavy musical elements, that make this album an all time favorite of mine. If you embark on a listen of “Trilogy” and are unaware of Yngwie Malmsteen’s guitar virtuosity, then your ears and senses are in for a Metal treat. (If you hold total disdain for the Speed Metal genre that meets Power Metal, well this album is not for you). “Trilogy” is a Metal album for me, containing some of the most melodic Power Metal songs I have ever encountered. Certainly, the classical trained Yngwie Malmsteen takes Metal center stage, with his glistening guitar skills on this album, however, lead vocalist Mark Boals captivates my Metal attention just as well. Both the musicianship and vocals compliment each other in the highest of Metal fashion on “Trilogy”. In my Metal opinion, Mark Boals vocals adds a dimension of harmony that magnifies the song writing, lyrics and melodious brilliance on this album. Metal truth be spoken… this is my favorite Yngwie Malmsteen album ever. Each time I listen to these songs, I am sincerely amazed at how gifted a lyricist and song writer Yngwie Malmsteen is. I am not fibbing when I declare, that this is not one of the – run of the mill, 1980’s Heavy Metal albums out there. In fact, if I was to compile a list of must have 1980’s Heavy Metal albums, “Trilogy” would have to be on that list.

I feel what has captivated me, over the years with “Trilogy”, is the accessibility of the songs. I revere a great guitar solo and/or guitar instrumental any day of the year, with this Yngwie Malmsteen album you get the best of both, alongside songs that are injected with plenty of Metal highs and non-existent lows. “Crying” and “Trilogy Suite Op 5” are the two instrumentals that give Yngwie Malmsteen the spotlight, exemplifying that he was bred for this… no longer a rising star and in 1986 a legitimate star. “You Don’t Remember, I’ll Never Forget” opens up with the pumped up keyboards of Jens Johansson, Power Metal style. This song is my favorite on “Trilogy”, every second of this track is memorable for me. “Liar”, “Queen In Love” and “Fire” are of equal melodic value, that are Power Metal laced with emotion filled lyrics. The overall feeling I have always received from “Trilogy” is that Yngwie Malmsteen made a commercial style, Power Metal album, that really blazes along with catchiness at every turn. I have never likened Yngwie Malmsteen to be showy, I have always looked upon him as a complete musician. 

Sure, Yngwie Malmsteen had released albums in years prior to “Trilogy” that were heavier, yet does heavier always equate to never diversifying musically? In this case, with these songs, the answer is no. There are times when a Metal guitarist can make a song sound thick with passion and high emotion, on “Trilogy”, Yngwie Malmsteen makes all nine songs sound this way.

Yngwie J. Malmsteen – all electric, bass and acoustic guitars, Mark Boals – lead vocals, Jens Johansson – keyboards and Anders Johansson on drums 

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HAMMERFALL “No Sacrifice, No Victory” – Power Metal on high

Posted in 1970's Rock, 1980's power metal music, 1980's heavy metal music, 1990's power metal music, 1990's heavy metal music, 2009 power metal music, Album Review, classic metal, cool album covers, cover songs, current heavy metal albums, current metal albums, european power metal, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal albums 2009, heavy metal music 2009, Heavy Metal Reviews, heavy metal this decade, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, metal music today, Metal Reviews, Music, new heavy metal album, old school heavy metal, power metal from sweden, power metal music today, speed metal, symphonic metal, Vocals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 20, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

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HAMMERFALL has done it again. This Power Metal outfit wasn’t about to release a sound scape of easy listening, calming, ocean waves… no way. “No Sacrifice, No Victory” (released March 24, 2009), is Power Metal with several exclamation points after it. For anyone new to Hammerfall, they are similar in musical style to that of Helloween, a long standing originator of this Power Metal genre. With approximately 15 studio albums behind them, (not counting EP’s, Greatest Hits or Singles), Hammerfall on this new release, sound as if they are hell bent on dominating the world with their Power Metal brand. I am not about to get in their way, if anything I will raise my Metal fist into the air and cry out the lyrics to “Hallowed Be My Name” and be glad I did. If you are totally into Power Metal and cannot become inspired by “No Sacrifice, No Victory”, well, then you are not into Power Metal music at all.

In my Metal opinion, I find beauty to be an attribute of the musical sound of Power Metal. (Yeah, I did say beauty… let’s not get carried away here). On “Something For The Ages”, if one cannot hear the beauty in the melodic guitar leads and solos, then I will stand alone with my belief. (From this day forward, I shall call it Metal beauty). How many Metal bands can make a church organ sound cool in any song? Hammerfall can… on “Between Two Worlds”, courtesy of Power Metal veteran Jens Johansson. Now, do not hesitate to think for one Metal second, that Hammerfall does not hand unto us a heavy, Power Metal album… they do hammer down the heavy, the power… the Power Metal. The background vocals throughout are trademark and at the upmost heightened level throughout “No Sacrifice, No Victory”. Without these backing vocals on high, it would not be Power Metal. If I was to choose one track off this album that carries each crucial characteristic of Hammerfall’s Power Metal, it is “One Of A Kind”. The sweeping and confident lead vocals of Joacim Cans coupled with the musical totality of this band make this song a signature example, for me.

I found it to be a cool surprise, that Hammerfall added the cover version of “My Sharona” to this new album. (Not that Hammerfall is new to cover songs, their “Masterpieces” album is nothing but Vintage Metal cover tunes). The Knack originally released this song on their “Get The Knack” album, (circa 1979), a band and album I always felt was at least a decade ahead of their time. (I found this vintage album at a thrift store a couple months ago… mint condition and 50 cents too). Not to get stranded here, I really do admire Hammerfall for covering “My Sharona” and recognizing a true classic, a song that bordered and teetered on Punk, New Wave and Rock – an interwoven treat of a band is celebrated here by Hammerfall, The Knack should feel great about now. As for the cover version by Hammerfall? It Rocks, very well indeed. I have made a new rule about this “My Sharona” cover song… I must always play it extremely loud for maximum listening pleasure. Will Hammerfall resurrect “My Sharona” and once again make it a #1 hit single? Of course not, yet who cares? This song, being the last track on the album, is a grand way to end “No Sacrifice, No Victory”.

From the high, all enveloping lead and backing vocals, to the searing and soaring guitar leads, numerous and melodic solos, combined with the groove and thump of the rhythm section – add the keyboards and organ for the sensory surround sound that gives Power Metal it’s name… you will have ventured into the Metal world of Hammerfall’s “No Sacrifice, No Victory”.

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