Published on November 11th, 2020 | by Justin G.
Mark Boals And Ring Of Fire: All The Best!(Frontiers, 2020)
While vocalist Mark Boals may be best known for his work with Yngwie Malmsteen or his appearances on countless project albums, he also had a long-running solo career that morphed into the band Ring Of Fire. Boals was joined along the way by the likes of Doug Aldrich, Tony MacAlpine, Vinnie Appice, Virgil Donati and Erik Norlander, among others. After 20+ years, Boals and Ring Of Fire have plenty of material to fill the new 2-disc best of collection titled All The Best.
I love it when these best of sets are put together chronologically, since it gives you a feel for how the artist progressed over the years. All The Best goes one step further: Disc 1 features 16 tracks from Boals’ three solo albums, with five songs from his 1998 debut Ignition, six from 2000’s Ring Of Fire and five from Edge Of The World. Disc 2 features 14 tracks from the Ring Of Fire Band, including three songs from 2001’s The Oracle, four each from 2002’s Dreamtower and 2004’s Lapse Of Reality and three from the 2014 comeback album Battle Of Leningrad. It’s a great tour of the Ring Of Fire discography, showcasing Boals’ massive vocal talent as well as the caliber of musicians he surrounded himself with. It also shows the progression from melodic rock to power and neoclassical metal, which is an interesting sonic journey.
What we don’t get on All The Best are any new songs or rarities from Japanese pressings, etc. It would be nice to see a companion release some day that collects all of those. Still, the title is All The Best and this set definitely delivers those.
If you’re a hard core Mark Boals and Ring Of Fire fan, there’s absolutely no reason you need to buy this collection. If you’re like me and really like Mark Boals but don’t feel compelled to collect his whole discography, All The Best is the perfect solution. And if you only know Boals from his tenure with Yngwie Malmsteen, this set is the perfect introduction to what he has done since then.
Summary: Like the title says...all the best!