The mid 80s saw a slew of guitarists whom, obsessed with the neo-classical chops of Deep Purple/Rainbow guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, foisted upon the world various records that often seemed to do little more than regurgitate Blackmore’s more inventive playing at twice the speed. Yngwie Malmsteen is arguably the best known practitioner of the style and it’s no coincidence that his 1988 album ‘Odyssey’ remains the finest of all his albums thanks to the presence of an ex-Rainbow vocalist, Joe Lynn Turner, on most tracks. Roughly around the same time Yngwie was recording his masterwork, another shredder, Chris Impelliteri had also enlisted an ex-Rainbow voice – Mr. Graham Bonnet – for singing duties on his first full length studio album, ‘Stand In Line’.
When Yngwie Malmsteen left Alcatrazz in 1984, the heavy metal titans found themselves in the position of having to find a new guitarist capable of filling some incredibly huge boots. Just as importantly, if reports are to be believed, they were looking for someone much less likely to punch vocalist Graham Bonnet in the face. A few hopefuls auditioned for the difficult role, one of which was a massively talented young man from Connecticut.
His name was Chris Impellitteri. Graham was rather keen to give Chris the job, but as history has shown, he was outvoted in favour of the now legendary Steve Vai. Impellitteri, in turn, formed his own eponymously named band, and with huge input from vocalist and songwriter Rob Rock, self-released a debut EP in 1987.