Yngwie J. Malmsteen - Spellbound

Yngwie J. Malmsteen
Rising Force Records
Once an innovative, creative & inspired composer as well as a guitar virtuoso Yngwie has offered us some amazing albums & tunes throughout the years. None can deny that. As he continued being involved as a musician, his musical ego & selfness were starting to grow more than his actual creativity & talent. It was inevitable, such a situation would surely happen one day… with every new album he was reaching closer to the edge. Now he has been left alone, in his own demand, so as to express himself sorta better. He even sings in this album! He used to have at least good singers in all of his works. Nowadays, he doesn’t seem to need ‘em at all, as except for being the greatest guitarist, bassist, drummer & keyboardist… he is also an incredible vocalist. Wow when your ego has suffocated you then your blindness becomes a way of living.
It’s bad to see one of my childhood guitar heroes destroying everything he has built up all these years and become too blind to see what’s going on. After “Magnum Opus” I stopped following him keenly, even though I have always been listening to his albums no matter what.
Hence, what has “Spellbound” to offer? Well, nothing that we haven’t heard from Yngwie and in a better way in the past. Same baroque/neoclassical themes, fast like hell arpeggios, crazy shredding, poor & annoying programmed drums (I haven’t heard such an irritating hi-hat in years), destitute songwriting along with a fair production. Do not expect anything else, especially if you have been following him for many years. The only thing that can impress you is his great ability to play so damn good & fast… even though he hasn’t altered nor evolved at all during the last 15 years or so. And no, Yngwie, definitely, can’t play the blues… the blues guitarists will go crazy if they hear someone trying to play the blues with shredding!
Everything else just doesn’t work here. There’s no ingenuity, inspiration or imagination. This album is very bad and repetitive that makes me wanna scream… what the hell has happened to Yngwie? Why? Why has he become so blind? Why has he disappointed his longtime fans over nothing? Does he actually believe that this is his best work or a great album in general? Sorry, but I do not see how he can be what he used to be in every aspect. The only good tune here is the last one “Requiem for the Lost Souls” but till you get there you’ve already had enough. This is Yngwie’s most embarrassing moment to date. One thing’s for sure, that “Spellbound” is among the worst albums for 2012…