Yngwie J. Malmsteen: "Facing the Animal" Album Review and Commentary

Updated on May 25, 2020
CELEBSFAN78 profile image

Ara is a Journalism graduate from California State University Northridge who is looking to always explore his writing opportunities.

Facing the Animal: Front Album Cover Featuring the Great Yngwie J. Malmsteen

"Facing the Animal" Songs List

  1. Braveheart
  2. Facing the Animal
  3. Enemy
  4. Sacrifice
  5. Like An Angel- for April
  6. My Resurrection
  7. Another Time
  8. Heathens from the North
  9. Alone in Paradise
  10. End of My Rope
  11. Only the Strong
  12. Poison in Your Veins
  13. Air on a Theme (instrumental)

How Did Yngwie Malmsteen Get This Far?

Swedish neoclassical guitar sensation Yngwie J. Malmsteen entered the late 1990’s on a very high note. He had released two quality albums that adopted more of a hard rock style. These were Fire and Ice and The Seventh Sign. He had enlisted the vocal help of Michael Vescera (ex-Loudness) and Michael helped add power to Yngwie’s music with his towering voice. In 1997 and 1998, Yngwie released his heaviest work yet called Facing the Animal. Joining Yngwie for this album was Mats Leven (vocals) Barry Dunaway (bass) and Cozy Powell (drums).

Braveheart, Facing the Animal, and Enemy

The first song Braveheart starts with some lead guitar before developing into a heavy rock tune. The song is about sticking to your guns, sticking to your beliefs and not allowing anyone to shatter your self-esteem. As long as you stay confident, your soul will be saved and you will not be afraid of those that don’t like you. Confidence is a skill that has to be learned. Mats Olausson shows some impressive keyboard tapping at the end of the song. Next we have the very catchy title track Facing the Animal that is about someone that is so madly in love that they will do what they can to show the love of their life that they love them. Even if it means that they will kiss them twice after their eyes are closed, they will do it to show their love. Enemy is the next song in the album and this one has always been one of my favorite Yngwie songs of all time. The song is about a relationship that became so dysfunctional that the two people involved could never agree on anything. The man tried to be anyone but himself. He was starving for love and affection. But now he has opened up his eyes to realize that the future is now. He is no longer waiting for a miracle but instead he has both feet on the ground looking forward to a brighter future. This song may be Mats Leven’s best vocal performance!

Mats Leven Swedish Singer from Gothenburg


Other Good Songs Include Like an Angel and My Resurrection

Sacrifice is about a person that is ready to defend themselves if they are threatened. He gets the feeling that he is walking on a sort of wasteland where he sees neither beauty nor truth. The world keeps on turning but he seems to be involved in this same bad cycle. Like An Angel is a ballad song that was written for April, the love of Yngwie’s life at the time. The song is about someone that his finally found his true love and the person that he can now spend the rest of his life with. There have been so many songs written about love in the heavy metal genre that the list would be VERY long! My Resurrection is an awesome heavy song about a person that has been brought back to life and the evil that was in his soul is now gone and he is now a man free from pain. You could say this is a kind of rebirth for this man. Getting a fresh start in life is always a great thing! The album was produced by Yngwie and Chris Tsangarides, the same person that produced Judas Priest’s Painkiller album back in 1990.

How Yngwie J. Malmsteen Has Evolved As a Musician

In a span of 14 years from 1984 to 1998, Yngwie has evolved much musically. The first Rising Force album was a mainly instrumental effort showcasing Yngwie’s creativity, melody, and speed especially in songs such as Far Beyond the Sun. He has had keyboardist Mats Olausson since 1990 and Mats has shown himself to be more than competent and qualified to be playing in Yngwie’s band.

Favorite Song on Facing The Animal

What is your favorite song on Facing the Animal?

See results

"Heathens from the North," "Alone in Paradise," "Only the Strong," and "Air on a Theme"

Heathens from the North is the weakest song in the album. It is about warriors dressing up in their suits of armor and sailing the seas. They will go into battle showing their pride. They may never live to tell the story of their bravery even after much blood was shed. Alone in Paradise is about someone who feels like he is in a dream where he is literally alone in paradise. He wonders what he is waiting for as the years pass by and he feels like he is running out of chances. Only the Strong is about exactly what the title suggests: in this world, only those that have a strong character will survive in a world that is seen by many as being ruthless and cut throat. The album ends with a short classically influenced theme song called Air on a Theme.

What Happened After the Album's Release?

Cozy Powell would unfortunately die in a motorcycle accident. This would be the only studio album to feature Mats Leven on vocals. Yngwie J. Malmsteen would collaborate once again with Mark Boals as he would sing on the Rising Force Alchemy album in 1999 and War to End All Wars in 2000. The strongest songs on Facing the Animal are the mentioned title track, Braveheart, Enemy, Like an Angel, My Resurrection, and Only the Strong. So there are plenty of songs to really enjoy on this album written by one of Sweden’s best guitar players!

© 2017 Ara Vahanian


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, spinditty.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)