REVIEW: On Yngwie Malmsteen’s Concerto For Electric Guitar and Orchestra in E Flat Minor Live with The New Japan Philharmonic Orchestra

Yngwie Malmsteen, despite his notorious tasteless guitar shredding, still can be given some respect for trailblazing the heavy metal form and pioneering the so-called ‘neoclassical metal’ genre. I personally don’t fancy his instrumentals. Rock guitarists like Steve Vai, Brian May, John Petrucci, Randy Rhoads and others have more weapons in their pocket when it comes to soloing.

So let’ get this straight. Yngwie’s ‘collaboration’ with a full orchestra is rather pretentious. Of course, he employs his signature classical playing (playing in scales of harmonic minor, Dorian mode, etc) but easily forgets that classical music is not about virtuosity alone. Yngwie fell short to in expressing the themes because of his rather bland dynamics (which of course is an essential element in classical music). He played ‘rock guitar’ throughout the album, whereas the album title tells us that it is ‘electric guitar’ (being the solo instrument, presumably to be employed in classical style). Also, he seems to be improvising throughout the album, pointlessly shredding scales in maddening speed while attaining nothing but annoyance. Sorry Yngwie, but I presume that Paganini doesn’t play like that in violin.

To sum it up, I am tempted to say that if you are interested in shred guitar, better listen to other Yngwie records like Rising Force, Trilogy or even his works with G3. Seriously.

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