Guitar magazines would have you believe that Yngwie J. Malmsteen’s Rising Force was THE ONE, which is fair enough given its classic feats of guitar mastery like Black Star and Icarus Dream Suite Op. 4. Those are rightfully legendary instrumentals and justify the album’s status as a guitar classic. But Yngwie’s debut fell down a bit on the actual song front and the band’s stiff delivery of the vocal numbers. If you’re actually just wanting a fuck-off classic METAL record, follow-up Marching Out is the music of the Gods.
Guitar fanatics needn’t worry, there’s still plenty of heroic guitar acrobatics from Yngwie but the whole band ups their game here. Fleet-fingered keyboardist Jens Johansson gives God’s guitar teacher a right run for his money on the widdle front and the whole band is more driving, less ploddy than on the debut. But the star here is Jeff Scott Soto. He totally finds his voice on this. His passionate delivery on tracks like Soldier Without Faith and I Am a Viking is absolutely infectious. Try not to join in, tankard raised, with the chorus to Anguish and Fear. You can’t. Not if you’ve got blood in your veins. I am a Viking, I’ll walk all over you. Triumphant, warfaring power metal. That’s what I’m talking about!