1 of 1 thought this review was well written
Without a doubt, Marty Friedman is one of the most creative and talented guitarists to grace heavy metal. Beginning with the speed metal virtuoso outfit "Cacophony" and followed by his excellent solo debut "Dragon's Kiss", Friedman was picked up by a little band called Megadeth for their classic "Rust in Peace" and several subsequent albums. Although occupied largely by his day job with Megadeth, Marty continued to release solo works. These however displayed a very different side of the legendary guitarist. While Dragon's Kiss was an in your face speed metal thrill ride, Marty's subsequent solo albums toned things down significantly, focusing on a much more lush classical guitar and keyboard sound. His 2003 "Music for Speeding" however returned to the guitar and drum heavy sound of his earlier works.
The 2006 follow up is "Loudspeaker", easily the best of Marty's metal solo albums. Containing a plethora of guests in the form of rock's best guitarists, Steve Vai to name just one, Loudspeaker rolls along happily to a fine mix of ripping riffs and amazing solos by Marty and friends. The first three tracks are very much in that vein providing us with a fine mix of heavy chords and catchy leads. Elixir and Black Orchid being a fine example. Despite their catchyness as individual tracks, they do suffer from relatively similar structures and tempos, creating a somewhat meshing effect in the first few minutes of the album. The tracks basically run into eachother and unless one is listening closely, it can seem hard to pick out where one ends and the next starts, but that could be a good excuse to listen to the album some more :)
That being said, the album certainly does not suffer from a lack of variety. Paradise Express is a good example of a song that starts heavy but develops some fantastic melody, both catchy and complex at the same time. In a similar vein is Glycerine Flesh, arguably my favourite track on the album. It moves at a nice mid tempo and the leads that weave through it weave through the brain just as effectively and do not wish to leave.
The album's epic track "Stigmata * Addiction" provides a nice mix of the more melodic with the thrashier and coupled with the lush closers "Coloreas mi Vida" and "Devil Take Tomorrow" provide a very satisfying end to a very satisfying album.
I cannot stress enough just how impressed I was with this release. Of course as with all things it isn't for everyone but it's a taste worth acquiring. Friedman brilliantly combines the melodic style and groove of masters like Satriani together with his own speed metal background to create what in my opinion is one of the most enjoyable and creative instrumental rock releases of recent years. Highly recommended.