Yngwie Malmsteen

A Swedish guitar god whose lightning shredding and blistering solos set the 1980s metal scene alight, Yngwie Malmsteen, created a gothic, neo-classical whirlwind of sound which established him as one of the finest and most influential axe men of the era. Born Lars Johan Yngve Lannerbäck on June 30, 1963 in Stockholm, Sweden, he was influenced equally by rock legends Richie Blackmore and Brian May, as well as classical composers Johann Sebastian Bach, Antonio Vivaldi and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. He was invited to America as an 18-year-old by Shrapnel Records boss Mike Varney and played with hard rock outfits Steeler and Alcatrazz before his 1984 solo debut Rising Force heralded his incredible virtuoso talent. His controlled wildness and awesome speed hit its peak on 1985’s Marching Out and the more accessible Odyssey in 1988 cracked the top 40 of the American album chart. His style became the template for a generation of power metal acts such as Vinnie Moore, Dio and Pantera. He worked with various vocalists including Joe Lynn Turner, Goran Edman and Mark Boals throughout the years, and became huge in Japan during the 90s with a string of 5 straight albums that went top 10 in that country. Though trends turned against him in the 2000s and metal took darker more dissonant turns, his Japanese fan base remained and his international status as a guitar god never wavered. LPs like 2002’s Attack!!, 2008’s Perpetual Flame, and 2016’s World On Fire kept him in the top 40 in Japan. His 22nd solo album, 2021’s Parabellum, reached number 22 in Japan.

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