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Shrapnel (1983)
Rating: 7/10

This album features the talents of ex-Rising Force guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen, who is of course the Swedish axe hero extraordinaire that has recently joined the ranks of Graham Bonnet’s new band Alcatrazz.

Here, Malmsteen displays the talents that have already earned him the “Yngwie is God” tag from many of California’s metal maniacs. The opening track for instance ‘Cold Day In Hell’ improves four-fold from last year’s single version, having now been given the Malmsteen touch. ‘Backseat Driver’ and ‘No Way Out’ follow, before signaling the acoustic intro to the album’s classic cut ‘Hot On Your Heels’, which builds up to a barrage of lightning lead breaks, executed with a precision that can only leave the listener gasping with admiration. Superb stuff!

Side two is pretty much more of the same with Yngwie Malmsteen again dominating the proceedings; highlights being ‘Born To Rock’ and the fast heavy rocker ‘On The Rox’.

Not a classic album by any means. In fact, if it wasn’t for Yngwie’s talents then this would be just plain average. But, buy this album as it will surely become a collector’s item in the years to come when Malmsteen is recognised as one of the world’s greatest all-time heavy metal guitarists.

Bernard Doe

Review taken from Metal Forces, Issue 2 (1983)

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