Yngwie Malmsteen’s ‘Rising Force’ (1984) – Album Review (The Jeff Scott Soto Series)

Jeff Scott Soto saw an ad that Yngwie was looking for a lead singer so he sent a tape in to Yngwie’s managment in hopes of getting the job. The songs were from an early band he was in called Kanan. Amazingly, he received a phone call from Yngwie’s manager, Jeff Scott Soto had an easy decision to make so he left Panther, since he wasn’t really a member in the band, to take part in what was supposed to be a side project for Yngwie Malmsteen. I say a side project because Yngwie was in the band Alcatrazz when this was being made, but for some strange reason, he thought Alcatrazz was his band and Graham Bonnet felt differently and fired Yngwie. I guess we now know whose band it was. I guess you could say Yngwie has an ego problem. You could say it is a large ego or you could say it is even gigantic, both would be right as he is notoriously famous for that giant ego.

I know this is a Jeff Scott Soto series and we will get to Jeff, but the album focus is really Yngwie as it is a mostly instrumental album and only two songs feature vocals and those vocals are both handled by Jeff Scott Soto. The album was recorded in 1984 and released late in that year during November 1984. Don’t let wikipedia fool you as the album was not released in March 1984. As Jeff Scott Soto has pointed out that would be impossible as he didn’t meet Yngwie until a little after March as he was still working with Panther at that time. This album did come out before the Panther album and as I said, should’ve been the start but Panther really is the start of the story for Jeff (or at least the story I’m telling).

The debut album from Yngwie Malmsteen was called ‘Rising Force’ and did quite well garnering a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Instrumental Performance. It is heavily influenced by classical music and is a showcase of the true talent of Yngwie’s guitar mastering. It has been classified as neoclassical metal and I think that is about right. I will admit, I am not a big Yngwie fan and the only reason I own this album is because it has Jeff Scott Soto, however, this is quite an amazing album as I think this is before Yngwie’s ego completely took over and ruined things for me with him. But enough about that. Let us get to the music.

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