By Andrew Catania
The historical archives of the heavy metal rock speak for the sheer class of Jimi Hendrix. As soon as his fingers came in touch with the metal chords, it was as if he was magically squeezing out tones that poured into the ears as profound musical fantasies that humanity had never heard before. It was as if his riffs, shreds, and chord pulls came out of a parallel world and evolving a musical plane out beyond the restriction of the physical dynamics of the contemporary music world. This is why, he is undisputedly worshiped as the God of heavy metal rock, and apparently, with the milestones, he had already established, no wonder it demanded a lot from his successor musicians to achieve a class even close to his grandeur.
A look at the post-Hendrix era of music, we see a couple of names like Jimmy Page, Angus Young, Steve Vai and Eric Clapton. But if observed in the retrospect of the extremity of pulls, the non-conformity to contemporary technique and experimenting with the tones and chords, is it Yngwie Malmsteen who stands as the most eligible and deserving heir to the ‘Hendrix Legacy’? And would it be an exaggeration if we sum up Malmsteen’s career in a single statement as “he came, he saw, and he conquered”?
Comparing the career hallmarks, mastery at hand and the technical blueprints of rock and roll musicians, Yngwie Malmsteen seems to have made a powerful and explosive mark in his musical career, straightaway challenging his fellow players of the neoclassic, heavy metal, rock, and roll genre, right from the start. The mastery he held over his six-stringed, personalized instrument is a worthy testament to his inborn brilliance. The new hard rock and heavy metal sensation took the world by storm, jolting the musical status quo of the 1980s, Malmsteen eventually turned into a name that you would love, or hate, but could not possibly ignore.
His music had this lightning fast, jolting hard and exploding-onto-the-eardrums kind of effect. Despite his nerve-wracking tones pulled out of the fusion of metal and classic, he was not exactly the pioneer among the neo-classical maestros to have tried and aced the forte. But still, it might be hard to deny that his tones are addictive and unbearably beautiful for their explosive audacity and keep the audience hooked and bound in an exceptional phase of musical ecstasy.
While the rock and roll world was experiencing Eddie Van Halen‘s hyper fast electric, Eric Clapton’s virtuosity, Jimmy Page’s finesse and Steve Vai’s Zappa, Yngwie Malmsteen made his presence felt through his fiery, fanatical and deviant tones, giving birth to his very own neo-classical, heavy metal genre. And this, precisely, would suffice as a reason why he could be considered a competent, potential descendant to inherit the towering throne of the legendary Jimi Hendrix and his legacy of rock and roll magnum opuses.