STEEL PANTHER's Russ "Satchel" Parrish says that Yngwie Malmsteen is "one of the most emotional guitar players of all time."
In a new interview with Music Radar, Satchel — who previously played guitar for Jeff Pilson's post-DOKKEN band WAR & PEACE before leaving to join Rob Halford's FIGHT — picked Yngwie as one of the 10 guitarists who blew his mind.
"He remains one of the most emotional guitar players of all time," Satchel said. "He had so much feel that people often dismissed because he was so fast. His note choices were amazing too… in my eyes, that made up for the fact his songwriting wasn't quite up there with VAN HALEN or AC/DC.
"I loved Yngwie when he first came out, but as time went on, I realized I only listened to him when I wanted to be inspired by awesome lead playing," he continued. "If I'm in my car just driving around, I'll probably to listen to something else. What I will say about Yngwie early on, when he was in ALCATRAZZ and made that first RISING FORCE record, is that he played in a way that nobody has been able to touch."
Satchel isn't the only high-profile rock musician who has offered his views on the legendary Swedish axeman in recent months. OPETH frontman/guitarist Mikael Åkerfeldt told Music Radar that Yngwie is a "fantastic" player but that his "records have been pretty fuckin' shit for a long time."
"I hate him as much as I love him," Mikael said. "I just want to shake him around, kick him in the ass and make him wake up to something.
"His records have been pretty fuckin' shit for a long time, but the guitar playing has always been great. The last one I loved was 'Odyssey'. After that, he went a bit cheesy and got really bad.
“I feel like he should take care of his career better and maybe calm down a bit, focus on writing great songs. He's not giving himself the credit he is due; he just wants to carry on playing neoclassical at full distortion. But I still love him."
Yngwie released a new album, "Blue Lightning", in March via Mascot Label Group. On the disc, Yngwie pays homage to those from the blues world who have fueled his artistic spirit for so long.
STEEL PANTHER's fifth studio album, "Heavy Metal Rules", will be released on September 27.