Marty Friedman is surely one of most popular metal guitarist around there. His career indeed interesting. The story begin with his duet with the legend Jason Becker in the '80s, for this one he played neo classical shred metal, with some sort of 'exotic' scale licks. Then comes to the story of Megadeth, thrash metal is happened to be in his blood at that time. After departed from Megadeth, he begin his adventurous solo career. In his earlier solo albums, such as "Introduction" and "Scenes", you will never guess the guitarist is the same guy playing for Dave Mustaine. These are albums that best describe as the electric guitar in the New Age ala Kitaro. Those are also albums I like very much, must have albums in every shred lover dictionary. Rather then, Marty begin his 'fourth' styles, his own signature style, combining modern metal, J-Rock, New Age and kind of electronic music. In which he begin with "Music for Speeding", "Bad DNA", "Loudspeaker", and finally this new album, "Inferno". To cut the story sort, this latest album, Inferno is indeed his most serious attempt to conquered this style.
Lots of guest guitarist / vocalist are in this album. Look at their name you'll realize the choice is as experimental as his music. Alexi Laiho is the best known name. He invited to play in a metal-core laden track in "Lycanthrope", his other co-partner is Danko Jones. Danko is musician in a Canadian group simply called Danko Jones. Lycanthrope itself is heavy, leaning toward thrash metal and fit the growling vocal in used there. The other vocal tracks are "I Can't Relax". It is in ultra fast and can categorized as modern rock. Then a bass-liner "Sociopaths" featuring David Davidson from Revocation, also an aggressive thrash - death style. Although we prefer instrumentals, these three tracks are not bad at all. Marty surely has interesting song writing to prove.
On the instrumentals, "Meat Hook" is the most exciting. Can you imagine Marty's exotic-obsessed scale meets metal meets jazz. This is only happened with Jørgen Munkeby as the guest musician, he is Norwegian jazz fusion-ist. this is again most grinding track around. Then listen to "Wicked Panacea" , a track where Marty jammin' with Mexican flamenco duo, Rodrigo and Gabriela. It's marked the interesting Latin meet Exotic theme. On the original Marty Friedman - "Kitaro" style, the best track is the slow "Undertow". This is also the special track where drummer Gregg Bissonette and bassist Tony Franklin is in the line up.
Speaking about drummer, Jeremy Colson of Steve Vai fame is on board. His fresh and aggressive style is best fit Marty's music. Long time bud Jason Becker contributed composition in "Horrors". This is Cacophony era shred, that neo-classic nylon licks rules. Marty Friedman's owned signature style tracks most recommended is "Steroidhead", this is very Djent-ism, low string riffs track. This song played together with Keshav Dhar, Indian instrumentalist. Then if you not shuffle the track list, the first two songs should be "Inferno" and "Resin" , the first mentioned is ultra fast shred opener. The second is mid tempo Scene-era intro, then developed into fast and staccato licks.
Inferno re-instate Marty Friedman. First, he is still the fast guy, able to shred all the way as needed, listen "Hyper Doom". Second, he still consistent with his signature exotic scale, we can quickly identified in every licks. Third, he is also one hell of writer, putting all obscured ideas and boxed it with interesting composition. Inferno is at least bring interesting idea to his "fourth" style, read first paragraph again. The number of imported talents make this album a value plus, bring in names to watch and find out why Marty asked them to play in his album. Fans of Marty Friedman and shred guitar, and fans of Megadeth, this should bring Marty back on the map.
Favorite tracks: Meat Hook, Undertow, Wicked Panacea
Metal Harem class: ********** nine stars out of ten
Buy it Here - Amazon
Marty Friedman - Inferno (2014)
03. Wicked Panacea (feat. Rodrigo y Gabriela)
04. Steroidhead (feat. Keshav Dhar)
05. I Can't Relax (feat. Danko Jones)
06. Meat Hook (feat. Jørgen Munkeby)
07. Hyper Doom
08. Sociopaths (feat. David Davidson)
09. Lycanthrope (feat. Alexi Laiho & Danko Jones)
10. Undertow (feat. Gregg Bissonette & Tony Franklin)
11. Horrors (co-written by Jason Becker)
12. Inferno (reprise)
Marty Friedman - guitars
Jeremy Colson - drums, vocals, Steve Vai
Alexi "Wildchild" Laiho - guitars, Children of Bodom
Gabriela Quintero - guitars, Mexican guitarist duo
Rodrigo Sanchez - guitars , Mexican guitarist duo
David Davidson - guitars, Revocation
Jorgen Munkeby - Norwegian jazz solo artist
Keshav Dhar - Indian multi instrumentalist, Skyharbor project
Danko Jones - Canadian jazz trio