July 13, 2024

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So much for making pop music in Japan. Ex-MEGADETH lead guitarist Marty Friedman unleashes his legendary neo classical heavy metal shred with 2014’s simply blazing “Inferno” solo album. The instrumental chaos begins with the out of this world album title track that finds Friedman at his finest, speeding up and down the fretboard in an absolutely furious display of guitar acrobatics. This track rocks a seriously sick riff too. Next up is “Resin”, which is a grooving, moody piece that gets your heart pumping. “Wicked Panacea” jumps out after that and features a guest performance by guitar duo Rodrigo y Gabriela. Holy shit, the solo Marty breaks out on this one is easily the most all out face-melters I have heard this year. He plays the notes passionately and moves at lightning fast speed all throughout this masterpiece.

The listener will be treated to some truly inventive songwriting thanks to Friedman’s exotic guitar jamming that is more balls to the walls than anything he has ever released as a solo artist. Along with Friedman’s powerful arpeggiated chords and super fast alternate picking style, there is fantastic drumming on this bad boy as well. The album was engineered by Chris Rakestraw (DANZIG, CHILDREN OF BODOM) and mixed by Jens Bogren (OPETH, AMON AMARTH).

Track six is a modern sounding ass kicker that will make you want to start head banging called “Meat Hook”, which features a guest appearance by Jørgen Munkeby (SHINING). It must be noted that other musicians appearing on the record include Alexi laiho (CHILDREN OF BODOM) and Dave Davidson (REVOCATION). The next rockers come in the form of “Hyper Doom”, “Sociopaths”, and “Lycanthrope. Each delivers in its own way. Overall the vocals on this album are pretty killer. But no doubt, it’s the technical as all fuck guitar go off from the virtuoso Friedman that mainly leaves your mouth dropped wide open.

Perhaps the best part of the album for me personally, however, is that Marty collaborates on track eleven’s “Horrors” with the one and only Jason Becker — the famed metal guitar God who was unfortunately diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, a.k.a. Lou Gehrig’s Disease) at the unbelievably young age of twenty, right after joining VAN HALEN crooner David Lee Roth’s solo band for the gold-selling album “A Little Ain’t Enough” in 1991. The track “Horrors” lives up to all my big expectations and is hands down the most radical, eerily designed guitar piece I have heard in quite some time. The heavy metal party concludes with “Inferno (reprise)”, which is more of Marty kicking your ass with his fingers. Any fan of MEGADETH and classical guitar playing will want to add this gem to your collection. It is one of the best albums of the year and will be talked about for many years to come it is that outstanding.


[starreview tpl=16]
(Prosthetic Records/2014)

1. Inferno
2. Resin
3. Wicked Panacea (feat. Rodrigo y Gabriela)
4. Steroidhead (feat. Keshav Dhar)
5. I Can’t Relax (feat. Danko Jones)
6. Meat Hook (feat. Jørgen Munkeby)
7. Hyper Doom
8. Sociopaths (feat. David Davidson)
9. Lycanthrope (feat. Alexi Laiho & Danko Jones)
10. Undertow
11. Horrors (co-written by Jason Becker)
12. Inferno (reprise)