Released: 2006, Mascot Records
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall
Ex- Megadeath member Marty Friedman has now got his own solo career with instrumental guitar albums. Friedman is huge in Japan and when this album was released there it took the #20 position on the national chart immediately. The first edition of the album also sold out the first day of the release. This album is apparently Friedman’s most aggressive album yet; it captures his unique style, talent, and dynamic playing according to the bio. I have to admit, my expectations weren’t that high when I received the album in the mail. I’m not and have never been a fan of instrumental albums, but this one was a surprise and opened my mind.
LOUDSPEAKER is a mean metal album that’s really heavy and sometimes it feels like I could be listening to a Friedman-era Megadeath album. Friedman plays with enormous feeling and he’s extremely intense and skilled. A few of the most known guests that appears on the album are Steve Vai, John Petrucci (Dream Theater), Jeremy Colson (Michael Schenker, Steve Vai), and Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big, David Lee Roth, etc).
All 11 tracks are written by Friedman. One song has a Japanese title and one track includes lead vocals. The material feels really solid and heavy and again, it’s nothing like what you would imagine finding on an instrumental album. My personal favorite tracks are “Elixir”, “Street Demon (Santa Rosa Wrecking mix)”, “Black Orchid”, “Paradise Express”, “Viper”, and “Coloreas Mi Vida”.
This is truly an amazing album and definitely the best instrumental album I’ve heard for a really long time. Don’t get scared by the fact that it’s instrumental; if I’m convinced of its greatness then I’m sure you’re going to be blown away. This is a lesson in how great guitar should be played and every aspiring guitarist out there should check out this album.