Mark Boals is an American rock singer, best known for his work with Yngwie Malmsteen. He was born on December 5, 1958, in Youngstown, Ohio, United States. As a young child he learned to play the piano and bass guitar. Although Boals has never had any vocal lessons or training, as a teenager he gained experience as a vocalist in local groups. Boals is the founder and vocalist for the band Ring of Fire and serves as the vocalist of Danish neoclassical/progressive metal act Royal Hunt and the US progressive band Seven the Hardway.
In 1982, Boals joined Savoy Brown and in 1982-83, they were touring around Canada and the U.S. Together they had written several songs but they never recorded an album (had problems with concluding a contract with a recording company). Also during these years Boals performed in his band "Lazer".
Boals joined Ted Nugent's band as a bass guitarist in 1984 and toured throughout the U.S. In 1985 he joined Yngwie Malmsteen's Rising Force and performed on Trilogy. After leaving Yngwie in 1986, he gave up music for a time, trying to find himself in cinematography and working for Warner Brothers. In this period he recorded, with Mike Slamer, a soundtrack for the film White Water Summer (1987). He also appeared on Maestro Alex Gregory's "Paganini's Last Stand" (Priority Records, 1992) and Billionaires Boys Club's album "Something Wicked Comes" (1993).
Then in 1996, Yngwie Malmsteen called Boals and asked if he wanted to perform on several songs on the cover album Inspiration. Boals accepted, and resumed his role as vocalist with Yngwie Malmsteen for the album Alchemy. The band subsequently went on tour.
In March 2000, Boals won the No.1 Vocalist Prize in the Japanese music magazines Burrn! and Young Guitar. At the end of that year, on the same day, his second solo CD, entitled Ring Of Fire and Yngwie Malmsteen's War To End All Wars, with Boals on vocals, were released. However, after many years of musical magic and friendship, the team of Malmsteen and Boals had decided to move in different directions, and Boals formed a new band, Ring of Fire, named after his solo album. At the beginning of this year, Ring of Fire recorded their subsequent debut The Oracle album at the George Bellas Studios in Chicago. Alongside Boals were George Bellas, Vitalij Kuprij, Virgil Donati and Philip Bynoe.
In addition Boals has participated in two exciting projects of Lion Music in Finland. He appears on the Jason Becker tribute "Warmth in the Wilderness", singing a version of David Lee Roth's "Hammerhead Shark" with Lars Eric Mattsson. Speaking about Mattsson, in 2005 he also recorded an album War with Boals lead singing on track "Deep In The Shadows". As Malmsteen urgently needed a singer for his current tour, Boals has toured again with him in Europe, but only as guest vocalist.
Also Boals is featured on vocals on two songs, "Into The Light" and "I Will Always Be There", for the Empire CD Hypnotica (2001). Another cool project where Boals took part in, was "Genius Rock Opera" Trilogy by Daniele Liverani. There he was recording as the main character (Genius) on Episode 1: A human into dreams' world (2002) and Episode 2: In search of the little prince (2004). But he refused to sing on the last Episode because of personal reasons and was replaced by D. C. Cooper. In 2004 Boals recorded two songs for young Japanese guitarist named Takayoshi Ohmura. Ohmura's debut album, entitled "Nowhere To Go", features additional guest appearances by Doogie White (Yngwie Malmsteen, Cornerstone, ex-Rainbow) and Richie Kotzen (ex-Mr. Big, Poison). Commented Boals:
After I was asked by the representatives of Ohmura, I listened to his demo. I thought his music was good and he has a talent to play guitar, and I thought it'd be great to support this young Japanese musician. I also thought it would be great to share the vocals with the other singers, Richie Kotzen and Doogie White, so I recorded two songs here in L.A. and sent them to Japan.
Boals has also performed with Lana Lane, Indigo Dying, Empire and Chris Brooks.
In recent years Boals recorded 3 solo albums as well as three studio albums and one live DVD with his own band, Ring Of Fire. The latest project album is entitled The Codex, which Boals recorded with Magnus Karlsson in 2007. The album project marks the return to recording after a 3 years hiatus for Boals. In 2007 Boals started looking for a serious, permanent band situation and Royal Hunt became a perfect opportunity for a singer to exploit and expand his vocal abilities.
In 2008 Boals appeared on his first Royal Hunt album Collision Course... Paradox 2. Boals also appeared on Uli Jon Roth's album titled Under A Dark Sky on which he shared vocal duties with Liz Vandall. The band with Boals toured the world from July - December 2008. In 2009, he also worked with such bands like Vindictiv and Wolf, and completed work on the latest Royal Hunt album X which was released in January 2010. Mark is also currently handling vocal duties in the band Seven The Hardway featuring guitarist Tony MacAlpine which released a self-titled album in August 2010.
A press release dated June 19, 2011 announced that Boals would be recording vocals for the Wagnerian opera metal project Lyraka. 1
In 2012, Boals sang lead vocals for Joshua Perahia's band and their album, "Resurrection".
Since 2013, Boals is performing with Dio Disciples, replacing former Judas Priest singer Tim "Ripper" Owens.