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Full Throttle Rock

Album Review: Marty Friedman - Inferno

Posted on September 7, 2014 at 10:05 PM

Marty Friedman – Inferno

Written by Dave Smiles


Inferno is the twelfth solo album from Marty Friedman. I have to admit I haven’t heard the previous eleven. With the exception of some of his Cacophony material I’ve only heard his work with Megadeth. I know after leaving Megadeth in 2000 he moved to Japan and ventured into pop territory, so I pretty much lost interest. I’m happy to say after hearing this album he’s back to metal in a big way.

The trail blazing instrumental Inferno sets the tone for the album, it’s hard, fast and heavy with the blistering solos you’d expect form Friedman. The follow up track Resin has some of the cleanest rests I’ve ever heard within such a fast riff. Within the space of four and a half minutes we’re taken through a few different moods from full shred to ominous atmosphere.

Wicked Panacea features the awesome duo Rodrigo Y Gabriela who I’m a huge fan of. The energy they produce with acoustic guitars is amazing; add to this Friedman’s killer guitar tone, heavy riffing and shredding (God damn, what a solo at the end!!!) and you’ve got an amazingly dynamic track. One moment you’ll be kicking back with an acoustic section, then you’ll be head banging to an awesome riff. The only drawback is I almost forgot whose album I was listening to.

The various sections within Steriodhead flow seamlessly into each other, especially the laid back solos that contrast with the frantic main riff. This one features guitarist Keshav Dhar from multicultural progressive rock band Skyharbor. On the strength of the playing on this track I’ll be checking out his band.

What sets this apart from other ‘shred’ albums is the addition of guest vocals. I Can’t Relax and Sociopaths feature Danko Jones and David Davidson from Disturbed respectively. The latter bringing the modern ‘barking vocals alternating with clean vocals’ style. Lycanthrope once again features Danko Jones, this time in the role of unwilling bystander or victim. The main vocal duty on this track goes to Children of Bodom front man Alexi Laiho who’s an awesome guitarist, but his vocals don’t do much for me personally. However, he is perfect to voice a song about werewolves with his tear your throat out style.

If the modern vocals aren’t your thing the tracks Meat Hook has plenty of dexterous shredding and has a killer keyboard solo from multi-instrumentalist jazz musician, Jørgen Munkeby. Underow contains no guests and gives Friedman a chance to kick back a bit and lay down some tasteful playing.

For many the highpoint of this album will be the collaboration with Friedman’s old Cacophony band mate Jason Becker. The track, Horrors, kicks off with a haunting guitar melody mingled with violins. The instrumentation on this track, with melodies accentuated by punchy guitars, sections seamlessly flowing into each other and the various textures, makes this a phenomenal composition.

A killer album that puts Friedman back on the metal map; the 49 minutes just flew by in a fury of notes and various styles.

Categories: Album Reviews

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