Released by: Prosthetic Records
Release date: Out Now
01. Self Pollution
02. Sorrow and Madness (featuring Jinxx of Black Veil Brides)
05. For A Friend
06. Pussy Ghost (featuring Shiv Mehra of Deafheaven)
07. The Blackest Rose
08. Something to Fight (featuring Jorgen Munkeby of Shining)
09. The Soldier
11. Last Lament
The name Marty Friedman typically conjures up his tenure in Megadeth, mostly because during his time in the band he played on some of their best and most successful albums The Big four icons has ever released (most notably his first appearance on Rust In Peace.) I was lucky enough to know his name from prior to this, with his Speed Metal band Cacophony featuring him and Jason Becker trading some of the most stunning guitar leads ever laid to tape. He’s also made a name for himself with his solo work as well. He’s spent the better part of his later days in Japan, soaking up the culture and enjoying a presence in the music world at a level that is not likely seen by guitar shredders in the U.S. I’m a longtime admirer of his music no matter what project he is aligned with and getting the opportunity to speak about his latest album Wall of Sound is an honor.
His solo music has always been rather eclectic, a departure from his earlier bands, demonstrating the depth of his abilities. Certainly, when he gets heavy the tunes are heavy as anything he’s done prior, yet when he gets soft it’s some of the prettiest music around. Wall of Sound is a culmination of everything that Friedman has aspired towards musically. From the blistering, hard-hitting opener “Self Pollution” to the progressive “White Worm” with its lithe licks and chugging riffs to the seemingly Gary Moore inspired “The Blackest Rose” demonstrating some tasteful bluesy chops, Friedman has outdone himself. One thing I have always admired about Friedman’s instrumental work is the lyrical structure of how he approaches a song. As opposed to many of his peers he doesn’t necessarily make every track balls-out attempt at showing off his obvious technical prowess. He’s as much a songwriter as he is a shredder, and I think that truly sets him apart from the pack.
Moving away from some of his most recent outings where he has tapped into his take on Japanese pop music, Wall of Sound is more of a straightforward heavy metal instrumental album (minus the track “Something To Fight For.”) Marty Friedman has a back catalog of some of the most influential music around, but Wall of Sound might be one of his finest moments. His playing is top notch, his songs are masterful and intriguing, and Wall of Sound is damn near a perfect guitar driven album. If there were a Big Four of Shred, it’s safe to say Steve Vai and Joe Satriani secure two of those slots, but I think Marty Friedman is much deserving of taking one of the remaining.
Written by: Chris Martin