Cacophony
Go Off!


4.5
superb

Review

by Slaytan USER (16 Reviews)
November 15th, 2007 | 24 replies | 6,654 views


Release Date: 1988 | Tracklist


2 of 2 thought this review was well written

Cacophony's sophomore album, Go Off! showcases an immense amount of development in a very short time. Unfortunately, this is also the last album they managed to produce, seeing as shortly after its release Marty Friedman joined Megadeth, and Jason Becker teamed up with David Lee Roth.

Much like its predecessor, Speed Metal Symphony, Go Off! is undoubtedly one of the most important albums in shred guitar, and in its very basic form, one helluva album.

First off, I have to mention that the production on this album is better than on SMS, but is still no better than average overall. The reverb that plagued their debut has been toned down, but is still present to a certain extent. It has been removed from the vocals and guitars, but remains a factor on the drums. Much on the feedback that was present on SMS is missing from this album, which is good because all of the instruments can be heard clearly now. The guitars still sound a bit thin at times, but that can be overlooked due to the amazing skill that is present. In short, the production on Go Off! is a small step up from their debut.

One thing that hasn't changed is the undeniably amazing skills of the guitarists, and co-founders, Marty Friedman and Jason Becker. Their melodic skills improved, and this is evident on tracks such as "E.S.P" and "Black Cat," where the guitar work is atmospheric and adds a new level to the respective songs. One thing that has never been a problem with either guitarist is the feel of their playing, and it comes across as very strong on this album. They are intelligent enough to know that certain songs call for certain types of solos. On the title track "Go Off!", they mix sweep picking, with melodic, lyrical runs, and harmonized shredding; on paper it sounds like this would truly be one cacophony (no pun intended) of a lead line, but it comes across as very well written and executed. One downside to the track is that the guitars in the introduction sound very thin and annoying. The neo-classical element has been toned down slightly on this album, and in turn is traded off for a more straight forward rock sound, but is still apparent on a few select tracks.

The rhythm work on this album has also been stepped up. On SMS, there were a select few great rhythms, and for the most part everything was just good, but on Go Off! the tracks are riddled with aggressive riffs and fills. "X-Ray Eyes", the opener of the album is reminiscent of the opener "Savage" from SMS, and much like it, starts out, and ends on an aggressive note. "Sword of the Warrior" is in my opinion, the most aggressive track Cacophony managed to write in their short stint as a band. This is largely in part of the drumming, which unlike their debut is undeniably great.

The drumming on this album was handled by Deen Castronovo, despite having Kenny Stayropoulous' picture on the liner notes. Double bass is used throughout the album, and it used well. as opposed to having a steady roll for the entirety of the album, it is used only to accent the guitar riffs or add to the wall of sound under the solos. The fills on the album are good, nothing special, but solid nonetheless. On tracks like "Sword of the Warrior" and "Stranger" the drumming fits like a glove, combining just the right amount of technicality with a simple 4/4 beat.
Quote:
Deen's drumming is incredible. ~ Jason Becker
Unlike the first album however, the bass isn't consistently present, and shows up in only a few spots. Unfortunately, there's not much more to say about it.

The vocals on the album are much better as well. Throughout the album they are in tune and powerful. Peter Marrino's vocal style matches the musical aspect of the band very well, and really drives home the lyrics he is delivering. On the down side, the lyrics he delivers aren't all that great.
Quote:
Don't mess with the black cat
Don't mess with the black cat
If you believe in superstition ~ Lyrical excerpt from "Black Cat"
Overall this album is a step up from their debut Speed Metal Symphony musically and vocally. The guitar work is phenomenal and the drumming is great. The vocals aren't too shabby either. Unfortunately the lyrics and bass leave something to be desired. I'd recommend this to any fan of Jason Becker or Marty Friedman's solo work, speed metal, neo-classical metal, or just badass music in general.


Cacophony was...
Marty Friedman - Lead Guitar, Rhythm Guitar
Jason Becker - Lead Guitar, Rhythm Guitar
Peter Marrino - Vocals
Jimmy O'Shea - Bass
Kenny Stavropoulous - Drums (Deen Castronovo played drums on this album)

Recommended Tracks:
"Go Off!" - The title track off the album is also an instrumental. It starts off with some harmonized sweep picking that has a thin sound to it, but it only lasts for about 30 seconds. The rest of the track is a trade off of classic solos between Becker and Friedman.

"Sword of the Warrior" - the most aggressive Cacophony track, IMO. It begins with a drum fill, and the aggression just continues and climbs until its end.

"Images" - Jason Becker's favorite track off the album. It begins with a light guitar lead, and then continues on into a melodic guitar clinic by Mr. Becker.

Overall: 4.5 out of 5



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user ratings (52)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
CoRpSeSlAyEr
November 15th 2007



855 Comments


Jason Becker was just simply amazing to say the least. It's such a shame that he's got ALS.

Slaytan
November 15th 2007



1186 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

You said it.This Message Edited On 11.15.07

rattlehead42147
November 15th 2007



1345 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

i can't believe you like SMS a bit more but, too each his own. i seriously tried to figure out the title track here but the production is so bad + 2 guitars playing at once its awfully hard. i mean the production isn't that bad, but its not polished enough to distinguish each individual note when i slowed the song down on my Boss Micro BR.

great review, my vote is yours.
edit: have you seen the cacophony live videos? Jason is even better than on the album but the vocals are much much worse. absolutely abysmal.This Message Edited On 11.15.07

Slaytan
November 15th 2007



1186 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Thanks man. I do like SMS more, even though I think this album is much more accessible. Also, you might want to edit your sound off on this album; Jason was 19, not 16. Just a heads up.This Message Edited On 11.15.07

Slaytan
November 15th 2007



1186 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

edit: have you seen the cacophony live videos? Jason is even better than on the album but the vocals are much much worse. absolutely abysmal.

Yeah, I actually watched a few of them earlier. The guitars were jaw dropping.

Zoo
November 15th 2007



3759 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I enjoyed SMS more, as well.

rattlehead42147
November 15th 2007



1345 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Thanks man. I do like SMS more, even though I think this album is much more accessible. Also, you might want to edit your sound off on this album; Jason was 19, not 16. Just a heads up.

really? then somebody lied to me :upset:
ok he was actually 18. but yeah definitely not 16, don't know where i got that number from.
/soundoff edited, that was a really gay soundoff from before i really understood the site anyway, i basically wrote "Yeah! these guys rock!" lolThis Message Edited On 11.15.07

Slaytan
November 15th 2007



1186 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Haha. We all started at the same place...

...rather slow night on Sputnik...

Confessed2005
November 16th 2007



3314 Comments


Cacophony is an awesome band name. I should probably check some of this stuff out.

botb
November 16th 2007



9655 Comments


Yep, jason becker has one of the saddest stories i've ever heard. It's remarkable that his medical condition has been stable since 1997 though.

Slaytan
November 16th 2007



1186 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Yeah, imagine what he'd be doing know if he could still play...it would be insane.

Monticello
November 16th 2007



805 Comments


He's still writing stuff I heard. Anyway, from what I've seen, all Becker ever did was shred. I've never heard a primarily slow song from him which I would generally prefer. But I haven't heard his solo stuff so I can't talk. I much prefer Friedman

rattlehead42147
November 16th 2007



1345 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Cacophony is an awesome band name. I should probably check some of this stuff out.

do so. and i was so pissed when i found out about this band because i picked that for a band name when i was 14, then i got Rust In Peace a year later and found out about Marty's pre-Megadeth band.
marty and jason beat me to the punch by a decade and a half.
@Monticello
yes most of his stuff is shred but it's not mindless like a lot of guys, its always based around a great melody. if you watch people like Rusty Cooley he tends to get a little bit too focused on technicality and forgets about the melody.

Tyler
Emeritus
November 16th 2007



7926 Comments


Becker didnt just shred, not at all...maybe in shit shittastic crapsack of a band but his solo material was always ridiculously focused. Perpetual Burn balances shred (title track) and ambiance. Now he composes more classically oriented tracks using his chin and eyes and some weird ass software.

Monticello
November 16th 2007



805 Comments


Fair enough then.

rattlehead42147
November 16th 2007



1345 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Becker didnt just shred, not at all...maybe in **** shittastic crapsack of a band but his solo material was always ridiculously focused. Perpetual Burn balances shred (title track) and ambiance. Now he composes more classically oriented tracks using his chin and eyes and some weird *** software.

truth. but i really hope you don't think this band is crap cause you could not be more wrong. Really most of his stuff is shredding but its the fact that he's tasteful about it. there is a lot of non shred stuff on Perspective. i dont care much for Persective though, PB is much much better.


Slaytan
November 16th 2007



1186 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

"Images" off this album is a great blend of shred and melody, all by Jason Becker.

Tyler
Emeritus
November 16th 2007



7926 Comments


i dont care much for Persective though, PB is much much better.

Of courser Perpetual Burn is better, dude was paralysed when he composed Perspective. But Perspective is way more mature and better composed, it's just not executed as well.

And yeah this band really does kind of suck ass. This Message Edited On 11.16.07

botb
November 16th 2007



9655 Comments


Jason Becker's fucking incredible. Altitudes is one of the most beautiful songs i've ever heard.

rattlehead42147
November 18th 2007



1345 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Of course Perpetual Burn is better, dude was paralysed when he composed Perspective. But Perspective is way more mature and better composed, it's just not executed as well.

It is more mature but it doesn't live up to Perpetual Burn for me. For obvious reasons. But if Jason was able to play it himself it probably would have been even better than PB.




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