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Yngwie Malmsteen – Perpetual Flame Rising Force Records
Everyone’s favourite fury-unleashing, donut-disdaining, Strat-twirling Swedish shred god is back with Perpetual Flame, the first release on his own Rising Force Records. This one features former Iced Earth/Judas Priest singer Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens.

Pat Travers – Radio Active,Black Pearl, Hot Shot Lemon Records
Unbelievably, these classic Pat Travers albums from 1981, 1982 and 1984, respectively, arrive on CD for the first time in 2008. Come for the phrasing, stay for the flanging. These albums are from the period described as Travers’s commercial peak.

Tommy Emmanuel – Center Stage DVD Mel Bay
Come for the Beatles medley, stay for ‘Initiation,’ but maybe dip out for a wee when Tommy plays ‘I Go To Rio.’ The sound and video quality of this release are outstanding, with lots of close-ups of Tommy’s impeccable technique, which is great news for Tommy fans but quite heartbreaking for Maton guitar fans, as Tommy wails and wallops his beloved acoustic to within an inch of its life, then wallops it a few more inches for good measure.

Various – We Wish You a Metal Xmas…and a Headbanging New Year Eagle Records
‘Silent Night’ featuring Chuck Billy and John Tempesta (Testament), Scott Ian (Anthrax), Jon Donais (Shadows Fall) and Geoff Tate (Queensryche). ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen’ by Ronnie James Dio and Tony Iommi (Heaven & Hell/Black Sabbath). ‘Run Rudulph Run’ by Lemmy (Motorhead), Billy F Gibbons (ZZ Top) and Dave Grohl. What more do you need to know?

Faxed Head – From Coalinga to Osaka Mimicry
Okay, this freaks me out because on the way to work this morning I was listening to Mr Bungle’s ‘Disco Volante’ and I thought “I wonder if Trey Spruance is releasing anything soon.” Then I log on and find this. Yet another brilliant side project from the Mr Bungle/Faith No More/Secret Chiefs 3 guitarist.

Joe Satriani – Surfing With The Alien (Vinyl) Sony Legacy
If you’re a guitarist and you don’t have this album, there’s probably something wrong with ya – there, I said it. Sony Legacy rereleases this noodle-filled classic on vinyl to coincide with Satch’s current US tour. Read my recent Joe Satriani interview here.