Inferno (Deluxe Edition)
Release date: September 4, 2015
Marty Friedman is quite the accomplished guitarist. His early years were spent with Mike Varney at Shrapnel Records. There he had the opportunity to hone his skills and to make some impressive albums as part of a duo named Cacophony with ALS survivor Jason Becker. Those albums were brought to the attention of Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine, which landed Marty the lead guitar slot in Megadeth and in that role he helped to create some of their most memorable songs. Upon leaving Megadeth Marty moved to Japan and immersed himself in the culture. He hosted a television game show where he was known as Mr. Rock and Roll. He has never stopped writing and that proof is evident on his latest release Inferno.
The title track, and subsequently the final track, is a fret board exercise which any fan of Marty’s will appreciate. While the first version is very intense and reminiscent of some of Marty’s earlier work, the reprise is very soulful and almost balladry. “Wicked Panacea” with Rodrigo y Gabriela shows off a flamenco side rarely seen in Marty’s playing. “Lycanthrope” with Alexi Laiho (Children Of Bodom) and Danko Jones hearkens back to Megadeths “Rust in Peace” days and proves that he’s still a metal virtuoso. “Undertow” gives the listener a chance to hear and experience Marty’s tender side. While there are many classic shred moments on here Marty isn’t afraid to let his soulful side show through.
The bonus tracks on this album are amazing. “Jasmine Cyanide” is a full throttle rocker. This song could be played anywhere from the local watering hole to a sold out stadium. The unexpected moment though is at the 2:30 mark. While in the middle of a scorching solo, everything stops, except for some very well executed and placed two hand tapping reminiscent of Joe Satriani. It changes the complexion of the song for just a brief moment before exploding back in with a ferocity that slams you in the chest. “Ballad of the Barbie Bandits” on the other hand is one of Marty’s most soul touching moments. This track will take the listener on a euphoric journey through space and time. This track does not let you down at all. Just when you think he’s taken you as high as you could go Marty raises you again all the way to the upper echelon. Incredibly written and executed.
All in all these collective tracks showcase many of the sides that make up Marty Friedman. No matter what your preference is there’s something on this album for everyone. Whether it be soft and soulful, instrumental, or metal driving mad Marty delivers with the tenacity that we have come to expect from him. The easiest way to sum this up is this. Marty Friedman goes past, present, and beyond with one fell sweep arppegio!
Reviewed by Dave 1340