Review | Marty Friedman – Drama

Frontiers Music srl

In 1992 master guitarist Marty Friedman (Cacophony, Megadeth) released his second solo album ‘Scenes’ and right from the start I was truly addicted to that album. The eight instrumental tracks on that album showed the true arrival of one of the most important and best guitar pickers from the neo-classical guitar genre. Even now, thirty-two years later, I still cherish that album and I listen to it more than once a year.


 ‘Drama’ is Friedman’s newest solo album and the eleven new tracks truly revisit the wonderful atmospheric musical elements of ‘Scenes’. Just listen to the beautiful, captivating opening, also being the first single ,,Illumination” and you will get goosebumps all over. What a way to open a new album. Follow up ,,Song For An Eternal Child” is even better as the guitar melody here is again heavenly. This is a sort of guitar track that only mister Friedman can come up with!


Marty Friedman plays his guitar melodies with so much feel and inflection that you cannot believe how gorgeous and amazing his guitar picking sounds. Third track on the album is the already familiar ,,Triumph” (also on the ‘Scenes’ album), which is labelled here as the official version. I definitely liked the old version but this new one even sounds better. Different orchestration, more acoustic guitar and of course that formidable addictive chorus/ melody.


Then Friedman delivers a rather heavy track called ,,Thrill City” which features a detuned guitar riff and a rather uplifting melody with lots of vibrato and thrash beats. However, I do prefer the more melodic tracks on ‘Drama’. Like for example a song called ,,Mirage”, which definitely reminds me of the ‘Scenes’ album; or ,,A Prayer” again featuring a true uplifting melody. But, Marty, saves the best for last as ,,Icicles” is THE best song of ‘Drama,’ packed with mournful crying guitar passages and of course lots of goosebumps melodies. Sometimes reminding me of the song ,,Be” from Friedman’s album ‘Introduction’. This is 100% beautiful music, and my air guitar moves are doing overtime here…. oh, I wish I could play like that….


Friedman’s impressive guitar playing is backed up by Wakazaemon (bass guitar), Gregg Bissonette (drums), Mika Maruki (piano, synthesizers and keyboards), Hiyori Okuda (cello) and Miho Chigyo (violin) and this album was recorded in Italy, where Friedman had access to a treasure trove of vintage guitars along with his modern signature models.


‘Drama’ is a must for guitar lovers as Friedman delivers an unforgettable guitar experience. If you, like yours truly, liked the ‘Scenes’ and ‘Introduction’ albums, you will cherish this one for sure. ‘Drama’ features complex emotions, interesting melodic twists and turns and most of all stunning, goosebumps guitar melodies. This is my go-to album without a shadow of a doubt. Friedman is more than a superb guitar picker and ‘Drama’ will do a lot of overtime in my CD-player this year as it is already one of the highlights of 2024! So, play it LOUD, bring out your air guitar and enjoy!!!

Release date: 17 May 2024



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