Rising Force was the first neo-classical metal epic I ever bought. I'd heard of Yngwie Malmsteen but up until then I'd held Eddie Van Halen in awe as the king of speed rock guitar. What Malmsteen introduced shook the guitar world and raised the standard of technical excellence forever. I bought the LP (thats about 12" of plastic with a hole in the middle for you youngsters out there) and I swear that when YJM ripped into the fist shredding run up the fretboard I actually checked the record deck was on 33 and not 45!
Malmsteen plays the guitar nearly as fast as a classical violinist plays a violin, and players such as Tony MacAlpine, Joey Tafolla, Vinnie Moore and Joe Stump followed in Malmsteen's footsteps to release neo-classical dirges of their own. As with most "new" styles others follow quickly to jump on the bandwagon and yes, certain players such as Macalpine are worth a listen bu YJM remains the inspiration for them all.
Its not metal, its not r'n'b, its not prog, its not fair! - did he sell his soul to the devil to play like that. Comparisons with Paganini ("Page Nine" according to Spike Milligan but I digress) are bound to be made. His style is actually classified as "neo-classical fusion", whatever that means. Unfortunately YJM has a reputation for taking himself far too seriously and to say he can be a tad pretentious wouldn't be too far off the mark. Listen without prejudice though and you'll hear a master technician at work.
Rising Force is definitely worth owning for the six instrumental classics alone--"Black Star", "Far Beyond The Sun" and "Evil Eye", to name but a few. On the 8 minute epic that is "Icarus Dream Suite" you can almost hear him disappear up his own backside and come out again!
If you don't play guitar: marvel at the sheer virtuosity of this man. If you play guitar: ditch the girlfriend, give up going out for 6 years and practice in your bedroom until your fingers bleed!