Shred-guitar fans are long familiar with the heavily accented speaking voice of Yngwie Malmsteen. But can he sing? Listen and judge for yourself—Malmsteen recently issued his most recent studio record, Spellbound, which features the Swedish virtuoso singing several tracks.
Yngwie recorded the album in his Room of Doom home studio in Miami, Florida, which he recently renovated with a Pro Tools rig that allows him total creative freedom. “I’m completely unchained as an artist,” Yngwie says. “It’s a little bit like when a mad scientist gets all the toys he needs. I was thinking of calling the record The One-Man Wrecking Crew, but I wasn’t sure if that was gonna go over well.”
In addition to songs with vocals, Spellbound features instrumentals, including plenty of Yngwie’s neoclassical shred. “I never go avant garde when it comes to melodies, but a couple of pieces are virtually like heavy metal symphonies,” he says. “There are so many parts in there, and I have cellos and violins and make it very orchestrated.” Yngwie has also thrown in a pair of blues-based tracks. “There are two songs that are extremely bluesy,” he says. “I play the Hammond organ on one of them, and it’s a really loose kind of feel.”
As for the songs on which he sings, there appear to be a lot of them. “One is very bluesy and is called ‘Let Sleeping Dogs Lie,’ ” he says. “Another is ‘Repent,’ which has a very traditional Yngwie Malmsteen double-bass-drum riff. Another one I sing on is almost death metal, and the voice is more gruff. I had fun with that, and it’s experimental, in some sense.”
In other Malmsteen news, the guitaristis also planning to release his autobiography—entitled Relentless—in May 2013. “The book is very extensive and goes through a lot of twists and turns,” he says. “Because anybody who knows anything about me knows it’s been a bit of a ride.”