MARK BOALS & RING OF FIRE – All The Best!
The talented Mark Boals (ex-Yngwie Malmsteen, ex-Dokken, Raiding the Rock Vault) is undoubtedly one of the finest singers out there and the fact that he is not more well-known or popular is a damn travesty and totally beyond me. This 2CD greatest hits set houses tracks from the man’s solo offerings as well as the Ring of Fire albums that he did, and there are plenty of gems to be discovered and enjoyed here if you are into power metal or epic, melodic metal with a slightly bombastic edge to it.
In general, what characterizes the song material are those gorgeous vocal melodies courtesy of Mr. Boals himself and the incredible musicianship all around. Given that we are dealing with thirty tunes in total I think it is fair to say that some compositions are better and more noteworthy than others, but they range from above average to quite solid and further on to utterly impressive. The moving power ballads ala “Broken Heart” and “I’m Sorry” are some of the highlights to these ears, but again, there is a lot of quality stuff for you to dig into and digest here. Other standouts include “Perfect World”, “Darkfall”, and “Mother Russia” – all of which are steeped in mist and mystery. I could easily see those pieces appealing to fans of Black Sabbath’s marvelous “Tyr” LP or Dio’s brilliant “Magica” opus. I would even go so far as to say that the aforementioned “Perfect World” possesses a majestic “Kashmir”-like vibe in places.
In short, “All the Best!” is one of the more memorable and cool collections (or greatest hits) that I have come across lately, so check it out.