White smoke has arisen from atop shred mountain, and that can only mean one thing: the inimitable Yngwie Malmsteen has announced the release of a new album.
The maestro whose blistering neoclassical style scalloped a thousand fretboards as he redrew the limits of electric guitar returns on 23 July with Parabellum.
Released through Mascot Label Group, Parabellum comprises 10 tracks, with four graced by Malmsteen's vocals. As he explains in the press release, this sort of thing only comes together over time. That red Ferrari above? It's not just for show.
“I love to listen back to what I've done in the car,“ explained Malmsteen. “Sometimes I find myself singing along to what was supposed to be an instrumental. That's when I realise this song does need vocals. The opposite happens as well.”
This has been a topsy turvy old time for the world, but we can always rely on Malmsteen. For a sign that nature is healing, look no further than Wolves At The Door – a track that sees the Swedish virtuoso pay homage to Paganini in a supernova of melodic shred. Check it out below.
As any classics scholar will tell tell you, Parabellum means “prepare for war,“ and Malmsteen made the most of the enforced Covid-19 lay-off to work differently. He could take his time, track, return to his takes a few days later and fix up what was wrong.
“I haven't had the luxury of spending a lot of time working on new music for more than 20 years,“ said Malmsteen. “But I suddenly had no pressure at all on that front. And I feel the album has benefited enormously as a result.”
It also afforded Malmsteen the opportunity to do which all guitarists have surely wanted to do at one point or another, bring a Magnum revolver into the studio and using the gunshot from Dirty Harry's favourite hand cannon to trigger a drum sound. Having first attempted this NSFW recording technique for 1986's Trilogy, he has finally perfected the technique.
Elsewhere, fans might recognise a prog influence muscling its way into the composition. “I love Emerson, Lake & Palmer, and had their albums when I was growing up“ said Malmsteen. “I am still a huge fan of Keith Emerson. I do agree that there are times on this record when you can definitely hear progressive influences.”
Parabellum was engineered by Emilio Martinez, and features cover art by David Benegas. The original artwork will is to be auctioned off in support of April Way Children's Foundation, which supports children in foster care worldwide.
For more details and to preorder, see Yngwie Malmsteen.