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Marty Friedman “Drama” Album Review By Antoine Karam

MARTY FRIEDMAN band

Marty Friedman‘s latest endeavor, Drama, emerges as a rich tapestry that weaves together the threads of illustrious career with fresh, dynamic sounds. Known for his virtuosic guitar playing that has travers the realms of neo-classical, thrash metal, and pop culture, Friedman doesn’t just revisit his musical roots on this album; he reimagines them.

From the outset, ‘Drama’ pulses with a life force that is palpably Friedman‘s own. The opening track, “Illumination”, serves as a seamless bridge from his foundational work in ‘Scenes’ to the present, enveloping the listener in a landscape that is at once familiar and revelatory. The track’s delicate balance between technical prowess and emotive storytelling sets a high bar for the album, a challenge to which every subsequent track rises with gusto.

“Triumph” and “Mirage” stand out as exemplars of Friedman‘s ability to craft songs that are as intellectually compelling as they are moving. Each composition on ‘Drama’ is a world unto itself, inviting exploration and repeated listens. Yet, it’s on tracks like “Thrill City” where Friedman flexes his musical muscles, delivering intricate riffs and solos that are sure to delight fans of his heavier work with Megadeth and Cacophony.

However, it’s not all familiar territory. The inclusion of a vocal track, “Dead of Winter”, marks a poignant shift in the album’s texture, offering a glimpse into Friedman‘s versatility and willingness to expand his instrumental lexicon. While this foray into vocal music adds diversity, it might leave listeners divided – some may find it a refreshing change, while others might prefer Friedman‘s signature instrumental compositions.

Instrumentation on the album is top-notch, with contributions from Wakazaemon on bass guitar, Gregg Bissonette on drums, Mika Maruki on piano, synthesizers, and keyboards, Hiyori Okuda on cello, and Miho Chigyo on violin. The ensemble’s synergy is palpable, creating a lush backdrop for Friedman‘s guitar work. Recorded in Italy, the access to vintage guitars alongside modern signature models imbues the album with a sonic richness that is as diverse as it is captivating.

‘Drama’ closes with “Icicles”, a track that encapsulates the album’s emotive breadth and technical excellence. It’s a song that could easily become the soundtrack to one’s most introspective moments, showcasing Friedman‘s unparalleled ability to convey deep emotion through his instrument.

‘Drama’ stands as a testament to Marty Friedman‘s ongoing evolution as a musician and composer. It is an album that will likely resonate with long-time fans and newcomers alike, offering enough complexity to reward deep listening while remaining accessible and engaging. However, the venture into vocal music may not be to everyone’s taste, reminding us that experimentation comes with risks.

Overall, ‘Drama’ earns a solid 8.5 out of 10. It’s a compelling addition to Friedman‘s discography, showcasing not only his technical prowess but his profound musical sensitivity. Whether ‘Drama’ will become a fan favorite like ‘Scenes’ remains to be seen, but it undeniably cements Friedman‘s status as a modern guitar luminary.

As Friedman prepares to tour extensively for ‘Drama’, one can’t help but anticipate how these new tracks will come to life on stage. Will the live performances sway those on the fence about the album’s vocal tracks? Only time will tell.

Get your copy here: https://frontiers.shop/products/marty-friedman-drama-cd

MARTY FRIEDMAN album

‘Drama’ Track List:
1) Illumination
2) Song for an Eternal Child
3) Triumph (Official Version)
4) Thrill City
5) Deep End
6) Dead of Winter
7) Mirage
8) A Prayer
9) Acapella
10) Tearful Confession
11) Icicles
12) 2 Rebeldes (Dead of Winter) (Spanish Version)

Band Members: 
Marty Friedman – Guitar
Wakazaemon – Bass
Gregg Bissonette – Drums
Mika Maruki – Piano, Keyboard & Synth
Hiyori Okuda – Cello
Miho Chigyo – Violin

Produced By: Marty Friedman 
Studios: Newsin Audio Design, Italy 
Woodcliff Studios, USA
NK Sound & Sunshine Studios, Japan
Recorded By: Luigi Stefanini, Frank Rosato, Takao Nakazato, Atsuo Akabae, Kenjiro Naka
Mixed By: Alexander Backlund and Jay Ruston
Mastered By: Koji Tanaka at Victor Creative Media, Tokyo
Guitar Technician & Sonic Guru: Franco Piona

Vocals on “Dead of Winter”: Chris Brooks (Like A Storm)
Vocals on “2 Rebeldes”: Steven Baquero Vargas
Bass on “Mirage”: Or Lubianiker
Rhythm Guitar on “Thrill City”: Naoki Morioka
Keys and Synth on “Sanctuary”: Takuro Iga
Drums  on “Thrill City”: Chargeeeeee
Additional recording: Yukiko Takada, Jordan Rudess, Naoki Morioka, Maki Furugaki, Chris Brooks, Matt Brooks, Kent Brooks, Brian Becvar

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