Reviewed: February 2018
Released: 2017, Prosthetic
Reviewer: Manos X
Marty Friedman is a name easily unidentifiable to 95% of the metal fans out there. Friedman starting his music career around 1982 with Vixen (changed name to Aloha and then to Hawaii) releasing two albums ONE NATION UNDERGROUND and THE NATIVES ARE RESTLESS after that he formed Cacophony with then guitar prodigy Jason Becker. From that moment on Friedman’s name is written with golden letters in the metal history. The two seminal albums he released with Cacophony brought him a record deal led to his superb release DRAGONS KISS as a solo artist.
His career could have stopped there and would still be considered as influential but best was yet to come. In 1990 he joined the thrashers Megadeth solidifying one of the best lineups they ever had. Creative juices were flowing like never before and superb albums like RUST IN PEACE, and YOUTHANASIA were released but also uneven ones like COUNTDOWN TO EXTINCTION or CRYPTIC WRITINGS without forgetting the horrible RISK.
Marty decided to change completely his life by quitting Megadeth and moving to Japan where he started a new career as a TV persona but without never neglecting that he is a musician first. He continued releasing albums as a solo artist inviting a huge array of musicians. However, up to his previous one INFERNO (released in 2014) I have to say that his persistence of exploring other genres drifted him further and further away from his metal roots. But in the end of 2017 Marty is back with his latest release titled WALL OF SOUND
Don’t know what kind of state of mind Friedman is these days but this ageless looking musician (56 year old and still looking same as when he started) but his latest release is indeed a mothefuckin wall of sound. Friedman’s guitar is taking no prisoners. His lead work tasty sensitive as always feels rejuvenated with ultra strong doses of heaviness. Big riffs and thrash tempos fly all over this album without of course forgetting of bringing plenty of mellow moments. But his leads still the show and pull the rug out of the majority of guitarists out there. Without being the fastest/tightest picking guitarist or an arpeggio neoclassical hunger going through and endless maze of scale after scale, Friedman is treating his guitar exactly like a human voice. Creating emotions like sadness, joy, rage all accompanied by strong doses of grandeur.
Production is absolutely fantastic bringing the guitar in the center while leaving plenty of room for the rest of instruments to breathe and allow the array of stellar musicians to showcase their skills. Friedman is without a doubt the start in both guitars & bass here but it would be a crime not to mention the simply stellar drum work of Anup Pastry who also played in the Jeff Loomis’s EP REQUIEM FOR THE LIVING
Have to say that I was never a fan of instrumental music mostly because after a point since most albums sound like pure showmanship to my ears. Marty Frieddman’s WALL OF SOUND easily overshadows 95% of instrumental albums out there mostly because this guy knows that melody and good composition is so much important than a pointless display of skill.
Can’t believe that finding an album could touch me so much as DRAGONS KISS did 27+ years ago. Marty has done it again. Buy or die!