I've known about YJM for I guess 33 years or so, whenever he first reached the rock press. He was billed as "faster than Van Halen!", as if 'speed' was all there was to Eddie's playing, in the same way Eddie had been billed as "faster than Hendrix!" five or six years before, as if speed was all there was to Jimi's playing. And while he never really took off as a huge rock star, he also never disappeared. Throughout the mid and late 1980s, he was kind of floating around out there, living on an island of his own making, releasing records. Probably his biggest impact was being the leader, along with Steve Vai and Joe Satriani - of the 'shredder' genre. But, you guys already know all that. So anyway, I'd never actually listened to an Yngwie album so I put on "Marching Out" this afternnon, the second Rising Force LP, released in 1985, and one I'd read good things about. I assume the title speaks to the aspirations for the album, which was to take over hard rock the way Metallica actually ended up doing with next year's Master of Puppets. Verdict: While I liked some things about the LP, I also can see why it didn't conquer much rock territory back in the day as well. The problem is the songwriting - overall, the songs just do not connect lyrically, and the music is generic glam metal, which I never really liked. I did like some glam metal, but not the generic kind, and to me, this album lacks the hooks that Motley Crue and Poison brought to the table, and going the other way, it lacks the heaviness and ferocity of a Megadeth or a Slayer. And maybe this will sound mind-boggling to fans, but I was impressed with the singer. Not sure who the singer is but he has a powerful set of pipes, and his soaring Steve Perry-like vocals allow him to hit the high notes the anthemic/fantastical lyrics require. In contrast, the weak point of this LP to me is Malmsteem's soloing. And no, I'm not trolling. To me, Malmsteen's solos rarely connect, they feel grafted on to the songs, and they have a sameness to them from one track to the next. Plus, the other musicians just kind of 'stand around' while he does this, which IMO hurt the experience of the solo. Compare that to say Van Halen, where even when Eddie is soloing, he's also 'talking' with the other band members, especially his brother on the drums. He and Alex carry on fierce conversations when Ed is soloing (e.g., see "light up the sky" from VH2), but Yngwie just didn't have anyone to talk to on this record, or maybe he didn't know how to talk to them. Either way, the sound suffers. And in the end, I'm not even sure he was faster than Van Halen, LOL. But I did like other aspects of his playing. I liked several of the opening riffs he came up. He clearly had a knack for this. There are three or four riffs that a better co-writer could have used to kick off some very good songs, build some strong melodies around, but here they go to waste because the rest of the songs just can't sustain what the riff promises. And I found his rhythm playing impressive as well. His rhythms are both tight and slippery, he throws lots of neat asides in to them and that keep things earnest and interesting. But then ... we get a solo, and the air spills out of the balloon. As an example, hear "Caught in the Middle", a song that IMO has a great opening riff, some wicked rhythm playing under the vocals, but then the plot is lost when Malmsteen launches in to a disconnected solo. This happens too many times on Marching Out. Hey I know, he's Yngwie J. Malmsteen and I'm not, but that's my take.