Neoclassical metal

MetalMusicArchives.com — the ultimate metal music online community, from the creators of progarchives.com

Neoclassical Metal is a sub-genre of metal music that draws strong influence from classical music in its playing and composition style. The most notable performer of the genre is Yngwie Malmsteen.

While neoclassical metal bands do exist, with a notable branch of the genre being neoclassical power metal, it is more commonly played by solo performers such as the aforementioned Yngwie Malmsteen. Instrumental artists are very common in the neoclassical metal genre.

Sub-genre collaborators (shared with Power Metal & US Power Metal):
  • DippoMagoo (leader)
  • adg211288
  • Sisslith

neoclassical metal top albums

Showing only albums and EPs | Based on members ratings & MMA custom algorithm | 24 hours caching

CACOPHONY Speed Metal Symphony Album Cover Speed Metal Symphony
CACOPHONY
4.22 | 17 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
JASON BECKER Perpetual Burn Album Cover Perpetual Burn
JASON BECKER
4.27 | 7 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
YNGWIE J. MALMSTEEN Rising Force Album Cover Rising Force
YNGWIE J. MALMSTEEN
4.08 | 43 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
YNGWIE J. MALMSTEEN Inspiration Album Cover Inspiration
YNGWIE J. MALMSTEEN
4.17 | 10 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
MARTY FRIEDMAN Dragon's Kiss Album Cover Dragon's Kiss
MARTY FRIEDMAN
4.09 | 13 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
YNGWIE J. MALMSTEEN Concerto Suite for Electric Guitar and Orchestra in E Flat Minor: Op. 1 Album Cover Concerto Suite for Electric Guitar and Orchestra in E Flat Minor: Op. 1
YNGWIE J. MALMSTEEN
4.11 | 10 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
TONY MACALPINE Edge Of Insanity Album Cover Edge Of Insanity
TONY MACALPINE
3.84 | 7 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
YNGWIE J. MALMSTEEN Facing the Animal Album Cover Facing the Animal
YNGWIE J. MALMSTEEN
3.83 | 8 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
TONY MACALPINE Maximum Security Album Cover Maximum Security
TONY MACALPINE
3.78 | 10 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
YNGWIE J. MALMSTEEN Alchemy Album Cover Alchemy
YNGWIE J. MALMSTEEN
3.75 | 10 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
YNGWIE J. MALMSTEEN Marching Out Album Cover Marching Out
YNGWIE J. MALMSTEEN
3.73 | 25 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
YNGWIE J. MALMSTEEN Trilogy Album Cover Trilogy
YNGWIE J. MALMSTEEN
3.71 | 23 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
This list is in progress since the site is new. We invite all logged in members to use the "quick rating" widget (stars bellow album covers) or post full reviews to increase the weight of your rating in the global average value (see FAQ for more details). Enjoy MMA!

neoclassical metal online videos

neoclassical metal New Releases

neoclassical metal Music Reviews

TONY MACALPINE Maximum Security

Album · 1987 · Neoclassical metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
SilentScream213
As per MacAlpine’s usual style, Maximum Security is a classy, lush guitar hero album that showcases a lot more than pure speed or technical proficiency (though MacAlpine has those in spades). Great attention is paid to the songwriting and atmosphere here, with keys playing a very prominent role. They switch between dueling with lead guitar melodies and adding thoughtful ambiance to back it. Not much needs to be said about the guitar work itself, which is mostly top tier quality if a bit generic as far as guitar heroes go. Every song (save the short piano solo) is very strong, and most even manage to be memorable in their guitar hooks, which is a hard feet in instrumental metal.

VINNIE MOORE Mind's Eye

Album · 1986 · Neoclassical metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
SilentScream213
Aside from perhaps Watchtower, this was the most technical, progressive, and impressive display of musicianship in metal as of 1986. Sure there were other guitar gods – Malmsteen, MacAlpine, to name a couple – and any one of them could be considered “the best.” Vinnie Moore could absolutely compete with the big names in terms of pure technical skill. However, Moore had two qualities that most guitar shredders lack.

First of all, Moore is not just a soloist – he is a brilliant songwriter. As far as instrumental metal goes, Moore doesn’t write songs that sound like no more than a showcase for his talent; they are complete compositions, entertaining throughout, memorable, sometimes catchy, sometimes evocative. I haven’t quite figured out why yet, but I do prefer my music to have vocals, and usually instrumental music feels like it’s missing something to me. Mind’s Eye does not. It is fully realized material that stands on its own.

Second of all, the backing band. This might as well be a supergroup – MacAlpine himself is on keys, just as proficiently filling the role as he does shredding solo – but every member is very, very skilled. Moore is obviously the bandleader, but he does not outshine the other members. They keep up, they are given moments to shine, and they constantly add unique elements under the masterful guitar playing. Not only are there no songs less than great, but there are really no moments less than great, as there is always so much going on in every given moment.

Unfortunately, it does have a ceiling. Instrumental virtuoso metal might not get better than this, but that style is still a limited, niche style best in small doses.

YNGWIE J. MALMSTEEN Marching Out

Album · 1985 · Neoclassical metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
SilentScream213
Yngwie’s sophomore solo album is much more traditionally structured like a regular album, with almost every song featuring vocals (strong vocals at that) and the improvised noodling is kept to a minimum. Depending on your taste, that can be a plus or a minus, but for me it’s a huge plus. Yngwie works best as support – he writes fantastic riffs, and his solos are excellent in small doses, rather than dedicating entire songs to him improvising. Although far from pop songs, the vocals feature some fantastically catchy choruses, and though the songs delve into anthemic arena rock territory, Yngwie keeps it interesting by ensuring the backing riffs are as technical and engaging as ever.

Definitely an improvement over the debut in my opinion, which was impressive but occasionally boring.

YNGWIE J. MALMSTEEN Rising Force

Album · 1984 · Neoclassical metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
SilentScream213
I’ve been a big fan of what Malmsgteen has done – both Steeler and Alcatrazz had great records with him. However, I think he works much better as a lead guitarist than a solo artist. By rights this album is musically, technically impressive, incredibly so, and there are great tracks. However, it does get boring listening to Yngwie solo for 40 minutes. He writes fantastic riffs and solos, but they are much better appreciated in between choruses and verses, rather than back to back.

The impact of this album is just as respectable as the talent within, in that it inspired the entire subgenre of Neoclassical Metal, and had a huge influence on the Japanese metal scene for some reason. However, I'd rather listen to almost any Yngwie-influenced Neoclassical Metal band than this album devoid of substance.

JASON BECKER Perspective

Album · 1996 · Neoclassical metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
siLLy puPPy
Tragedy is certainly no stranger to musicians across the centuries whether it be the untimely demise of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart or the much larger list of modern rock guitarists ranging from Buddy Holly, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Randy Rhoads or Kurt Cobain who met an untimely death before their time. Being snuffed out in your prime is one thing and as bad as it is, it has to be even monumentally worse when an artist is perched to be the best thing in his game only to suddenly be stricken with a disease that leaves him alive yet paralyzed and unable to play for the rest of his remaining life.

Such is the case of a young JASON BECKER who had taken the guitar world by storm with his insane technical shredding that found him on virtually every guitar magazine in the 80s. While creeping into the scene with Marty Friedman and their band Cacophony, BECKER cemented his status with his pyrotechnical guitar wizardry on his Shrapnel Records debut “Perpetual Burn” which found his neoclassical compositional prowess coupled with blitzkrieg guitar soloing taking him to the world of Ygnwie Malmsteem and beyond. The late 80s saw this fast riser at the mere tender age of 16, to be chosen as the next coveted guitarist for David Lee Roth following hot in the heels of Steve Vai.

BECKER’s success was all but guaranteed but then fate dealt a strange blow to this modern day Mozart. He quickly began to lose his motor skills and was soon diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or better known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. This could not come at a worse time and despite his efforts to record on Roth’s “A Little Ain’t Enough,” lost mobility so quickly that he was unable to tour. Struggling to comprehend his impending doom, BECKER was forced to make sobering decisions beyond his years and race the clock before his body would completely shut down and he would be unable to move even a single finger. 
That’s where this album PERSPECTIVE comes into the scene. Faced with his entire career stolen from him, BECKER had to take the little time he had left and dish out his magnum opus in a rather short time. This album displays an artist’s love of music and the process of losing his physical ability to move all the while the music keeps churning inside. At the beginning of recording PERSPECTIVE, BECKER had already lost a significant portion of his physical ability to play guitar and therefore took the show to the computer where he painstakingly composed the album and allowed other guest musicians to lend a helping hand.

What normally should’ve been divvied up into a lifetime of work suddenly had to be condensed into a single album and therefore PERSPECTIVE displays a completely different aspect of BECKER’s musical abilities. While already a proven composer albeit submerged beneath the cacophonous din and speed of his guitar shredding techniques, PERSPECTIVE finds BECKER in a much more relaxed and contemplative mood with not only the neoclassical leanings on display but a plethora of disparate musical genres joining in for good measure. The album includes a veritable who’s who in the music world with guests ranging from Steve Perry of Journey on guest vocals to fellow David Lee Roth drummer Gregg Bissonnette.

The album starts of with the rather odd sounding “Primal” which is about as non neoclassical guitar leaning as one could’ve imagined but instead an rhythmic African music inspired track that adds various strains of ethnic music from around the world. The guitar playing showcases BECKER’s last ability to play simple power chords before he would lose all guitar playing ability completely. The following “Rain” borrowed a guitar riff from the vaults and orchestrated it whereas the three tracks “End Of The Beginning,” Life & Death” and “Serrana” display BECKER’s love of classical music in his own unique compositional flair with multi-suite parts and outstanding musical dynamics, tempo changes and excitement. They are the crown jewels.

The album is rounded out by an outstanding a cappella version of a track BECKER had in the vaults called “Higher” and inspired by Bobby McFerrin, whose back up group Voicestra would find two members joining in for recording. “Blue” is a rather basic blues track which lightens up the thick atmosphere of the album and “Meet Me In The Morning” is a vocal led Bob Dylan cover. “Empire” is a Japanese soundtrack sounding piece. The album took nearly six years to finish and finally saw the light of day in 1996 well after the disease had completely crippled a young BECKER and left him in a wheelchair for the rest of his days but much like Stephen Hawking, his mind remained alert and continued to crank out music through his computer albeit at an infinitely slower pace than before.

PERSPECTIVE is point blank a testament to the human spirit. This album symbolizes the sheer will power to complete a project before the point of no return. It could be argued that this could be a better album than it is and those arguments would be quite valid however the point of PERSPECTIVE is not to display the talents of a normally talented composer but rather one who has been compromised beyond human comprehension. While not perfectly executed, PERSPECTIVE dishes out nine outstandingly brilliant tracks but most of all conveys his most tragic chapter in full emotional regalia.

Most of all, PERSPECTIVE displays what could’ve been. Once BECKER matured past his shredding stage, he was primed to become one of the best musicians on the scene whether it be for film soundtracks, classical performances or a continued interested in metal. This is one of the few albums that can literally bring me to tears as the notes touch deep in the soul. A perfect album perhaps not, but considering all that went into making it, the best possible album under the horrific circumstances at play. I’ve always loved this album for its uniqueness as it single-handedly unleashes nine distinct paths BECKER could’ve continued his musical talents. While only a teaser of what could have been, this is a brilliant life’s work for such a young artist faced with the impossible.

neoclassical metal movie reviews

No neoclassical metal movie reviews posted yet.

Artists with Neoclassical metal release(s)

MMA TOP 5 Metal ALBUMS

Rating by members, ranked by custom algorithm
Albums with 30 ratings and more
Master of Puppets Thrash Metal
METALLICA
Buy this album from our partners
Rust in Peace Thrash Metal
MEGADETH
Buy this album from our partners
Moving Pictures Hard Rock
RUSH
Buy this album from our partners
Powerslave NWoBHM
IRON MAIDEN
Buy this album from our partners
Dirt Alternative Metal
ALICE IN CHAINS
Buy this album from our partners

New Metal Artists

New Metal Releases

Auto Da Fe Heavy Metal
SCROLLKEEPER
Buy this album from MMA partners
Whoosh! Hard Rock
DEEP PURPLE
Buy this album from MMA partners
Subterra Atmospheric Black Metal
APOKRYPHON
Buy this album from MMA partners
S&M 2 Symphonic Metal
METALLICA
Buy this album from MMA partners
Djinn Melodic Black Metal
UADA
Buy this album from MMA partners
More new releases

New Metal Online Videos

Rush - Countdown
RUSH
Tupan· 1 day ago
More videos

New MMA Metal Forum Topics

More in the forums

New Site interactions

More...

Latest Metal News

members-submitted

More in the forums

Social Media

Follow us

Buy Metal Music Online