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Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
29


Not long before the onset of Bay Area thrash and European proto-black bands like Venom and Hellhammer, soon to be Celtic Frost, and just after the assault of one Eddie Van Halen, the predominant heavier music was along the lines of Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, who still were mighty influences after their demise, and Rainbow/Deep Purple. along with other similar outfits like UFO or Scorpions who rocked mightily in the face of dying disco and the synth pop of new wave outfits like A Flock of Seagulls and a ton of other nameless twits.
Motorhead, Judas Priest and Venom were about as fierce as anything, but with the exception of Priest, Motorhead were simply too bombastic for their early days before becoming the rock and roll icons they are today, same with Venom.
So it's no surprise that labels were scrambling for hot shot guitarists to capitalize on the Van Halen phenomenon, and among them was a very young Yngwie Malmsteen, who had first gotten attention with Steeler and then joined Alcatrazz for its debut, "No Parole From Rock and Roll", along with Graham Bonnet, late of Rainbow. Sonically, it was a sound highly reminiscent of Rainbow, with Malmsteen favoring his classical approach ala his mentor Ritchie Blackmore. It was to be a watershed moment, and possibly his most refined work because he had to be a part of a band that wrote good tunes, and had yet to become the egomaniac he's famous for today, not to mention helping spawn a dreadful flood of shredders, most of whom could burn up a fretboard easily but couldn't write a decent song to save their asses. It was guitar music for wankers, and today it remains an isolated genre for those who can't get enough notes crammed into a measure.
But with Alcatrazz, we get a picture of shred chops working within tighter restraints and help make the band a much stronger outfit because of it. "Islands In The Sun", "General Hospital", "Kree Nakoorie", hell, most of the cuts could have been AOR staples had the radio stations been paying more attention. Bonnet had the chops, if they were sometimes a tad overdrawn, and for once we got to hear Malmsteen in a rhythm capacity as well. For those who really like the classic hard rock/heavy sound of the very early '80's, Alcatrazz is well worth the time, and it's a lot better than latter period Rainbow. This lineup lasted only for the first album, and Malmsteen left to feed his ego with a solo career, to be replaced with the ever available Steve Vai on the second album.
"No Parole From Rock 'N Roll" is a bit dated perhaps, but it's still a fine album, overlooked, and deserves attention from Dio fans as well as Rainbow. Whether we need instrumental versions of the album tacked on is a matter of taste.
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on July 17, 2014
What can I say- a very melodic yet strident voice ( one time Rainbow vocalist Graham Bonnet), a very young but capable virtuoso,( one time Steeler lead guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen), and what do you get ? A lot of egotism and great metal. I believe Yngwie was at his pinnacle of talent , save, his solo Swan song, Rising Force. The sound is a bit dated in its production and arcane keyboards, however, Kree Nakoorie sounds fresh and eerie in its cataclysmic bent. To those whom are die-hard Yngwie fans, this is the only Alcatrazz material he participated in.
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on November 16, 2015
Loved this album when it came out and finally had to buy it on CD. Still holds up quite well over the test of time. Graham Bonnett...what a voice. Yngwie was still young and fresh and the songs were great for the time. Shame they couldn't stick it out together because I don't think either surpassed this album with anything they have put out since.
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on January 20, 2016
The only thing I don't understand stand is why they included these instrumental demo versions of the songs.You can play along or have karaoke I guess, but I just wanted a new copy of this so I am happy with this and I can jam along with the instrumentals.
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on January 28, 2015
Very Good CD.
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on August 17, 2013
I think this CD's features some of Yngwie's best playing (probably because being in someone else's band at this point, he had to make every opportunity count). While I kind of like Graham Bonnets vocals, a lot of people always said this would be great if they didn't have to listen to him... well, this is the holy grail then, amazing instrumental versions of all the songs, definitely a must have for the early Yngwie fans (pre-Eclipse IMO, at which point he as never the same again).

By the way, I believe Yngwie's influence is VASTLY underrated... the number of players who adopted his style FAR exceeds someone like Eddie Van Halen. The vast majority of European metal would sound completely different without him.
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on April 30, 2015
A great album(& their best) for anyone who has ever been a fan of Gram Bonnet, Yngwie Malmsteen or even the Richie Blackmore group-Rainbow.
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on July 7, 2014
This is Yngwie's Best work!! He had groove on this. And Graham Bonnett was good on vocals also.
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on April 17, 2015
Excellent band and an excellent album. Graham Bonnet and Yngwie Malmsteen both in fine form and a very enjoyable ride!
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on January 28, 2016
This is a real guitar hero.
1 helpful vote
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