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Review: Yngwie Malmsteen - The Seventh Sign
Yngwie Malmsteen
The Seventh Sign

Label: Sony
Year released: 1994
Duration: 52:45
Tracks: 13
Genre: Heavy Metal


Review online: August 30, 2009
Reviewed by: Hermer Arroyo
Readers' Rating
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Rated 3/5 (60%) (12 Votes)

Malmsteen's seventh album is coming off the disappointing and tedious Fire and Ice; the Swedish guitarist had nowhere to go but up. First, let me start with the obvious, the trademark Malmsteen solos are once again alive and well, in this aspect I got exactly what I was expecting. What surprised me here is his bass playing is much more in the forefront and is not just background noise; an example of this is "Pyramids of Cheops".

As for the rest of the lineup, Mats Olausson is the only member featured on the previous record. For this album Malmsteen recruited Mike Terrana on drums and Mike Vescera at the vocals. Terrana's performance here is good, as expected from any former member of this band but he won't amaze you with his playing. Olausson's keyboards make an occasional appearance and they only take the lead a couple of times. And although Vescera's voice butchers most of Yngwie's classics (check Youtube if you don't believe me), he has the necessary power and personality to give the songs on this album an identity, unlike the previous singer Goran Edman.

The Seventh Sign has a mix of Hard Rock, A.O.R., and Heavy Metal styles in the songs, which would have been a major negative except for the fact that this was released in 1994, right in the middle of the "Dark Ages", so I'll cut him some slack for that. The reason for that is because this record is a major step up in terms of song quality compare to the previous album. That being said, it wasn't much of a challenge. There are numbers here that are worthy of Malmsteen's giant ego like the title track (best song here), "Never Die", "Crash and Burn" and "Hairtrigger". There is still some excessiveness here but is not as big that it will make a chore listening to the album.

But there are negative points on this album: "I Don't Know" sucks big time, the Hard Rock-styled song is repetitive and the chorus makes me cringe every time that I listen to it. The required ballad "Prisoner of your Love" is good but you'll forget it right after the song ends. The instrumentals featured here I have heard before; in fact that statement can be applied for the whole album aside from the title track. Still The Seventh Sign is a small but noticeable improvement to what Malmsteen did previously in the 90's; just don't pick this album to start out if you don't know anything about him.

More about Yngwie Malmsteen...
Review: Alchemy (reviewed by Hermer Arroyo)
Review: Eclipse (reviewed by Hermer Arroyo)
Review: Facing the Animal (reviewed by Hermer Arroyo)
Review: Fire and Ice (reviewed by Hermer Arroyo)
Review: Marching Out (reviewed by Hermer Arroyo)
Review: Odyssey (reviewed by Hermer Arroyo)
Review: Relentless (reviewed by Hermer Arroyo)
Review: Trilogy (reviewed by Hermer Arroyo)
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