VARIOUS ARTISTS - "A GUITAR ODYSSEY - A TRIBUTE TO YNGWIE MALMSTEEN" (GNW)
"A Guitar Odyssey - a Tribute to Yngwie Malmsteen" was released in 1999 somewhere, but somehow I never managed to get hold of it. Or maybe I simply didn't try hard enough - after all, what can you expect if people try to do justice to one of the world's best and fastest guitar prodigies?
The album offers thirteen tracks, most of which are actually quite good. Let's go by them one at a time...
Chris Amott "Big Foot": From Yngwie's time in Alcatrazz. This version is a lot better than the original, on account of there being no Graham Bonnett! Even someone who's just squeezed an entire Cradle of Filth tour's vocal efforts in one hour will be able to sing better!
Stormwind "Too Young to Die, Too Drunk to Live": From Alcatrazz, too. Sounds a bit thin, but especially the keyboard player is very Jens Johansson-like (and therefore really good!).
Wicked Ways "Hiroshima Mon Amour": The third and last track originally from Alcatrazz. The vocalist sounds a lot like Jeff Scott Soto, in fact, making him not too brilliant in my book.
Treasure Land "Icarus Dream Suite": Very close to the original, though different in parts. Jonas Hornqvist is a most excellent guitar player who could, if the need arose, replace Yngwie Malmsteen in the Yngwie Malmsteen band!
Firewind "Little Savage": Excellent guitar work, nice version.
Mayadome "Disciples of Hell": One of Malmsteen's heavier tracks, done capably but not too impressively.
Pathos "I am a Viking": A more intense version of the original, very interesting, though the vocals are just average.
Destiny "Anguish and Fear": Imagine the original version, only slower, and with all guitar embellishments removed. That's this. Entire parts are simply not played or reduced to a chord sequence instead of solo parts. Also, the vocal harmonies in the chorus are teeth-filling-eruptingly horrible. Definitely the worst track on the album.
Daniel L. Dalley & Power "Fire": This Yngwie-wannabe (large cross around neck, hair, trendy middle initial, "all guitars & bass guitars") delivers an OK version of the original.
Carljohan Grimmark "Dark Ages": An OK version of this song by Narnia's guitarist (assisted by Par Hagstrom on vocals, Carljohan plays all instruments).
Evergrey "Rising Force": OK version, not too memorable.
Mike Chlasciak "Bedroom Eyes": A very tame-sounding version of the "Eclipse" song, however totally redeemed and turned into one of the album's climaxes by a totally insane and very intense guitar solo!
Mattias Eklundh "Yngwie 2000": The only track that is not a cover but a song that combines the artists' style with Yngwie's. In fact, the end result is positively amazing, though it is much more in a Steve Vai vein.
In general, it can be said that the guitar players on this album (with the exception of Destiny's Gunnar Kindberg) play well and are equal to or improve on Yngwie's original work. Also, however, it's generally the vocalists that leave most of an impression, and sometimes not too good a one!
Click here to check out or buy this CD
Written December 2000
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