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3.17 | 2 ratings | 1 review
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Album · 2024


1. Illumination (6:37)
2. Song for an Eternal Child (5:14)
3. Triumph (Official Version) (5:08)
4. Thrill City (4:12)
5. Deep End (3:58
6. Dead of Winter (5:21)
7. Mirage (6:30)
8. A Prayer (3:53)
9. Acapella (1:23)
10. Tearful Confession (5:09)
11. Icicles (5:46)
12. 2 Rebeldes (Spanish Vocal) (5:19)

Total Time 58:30


- Marty Friedman / guitars
- Guests / Other instruments

About this release

Drama [p] Digital file, Streaming
2024 Digital File Frontiers
2024 CD
Drama Streaming
Lossless Digital

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siLLy puPPy
As one of rock and metal’s most distinct guitarists on the scene since the 1980s, MARTY FRIEDMAN has remained one of the most creative musicians beginning with his days with Cacophony, crafting neoclassical classics like “Dragon’s Kiss” and of course bringing Megadeth to the highest ranks of the world of metal music. Despite his contributions to the world of shredding and guitar virtuosity, FRIEDMAN has also displayed a firm command of exquisite compositional creation with emotive albums such as “Scenes” and “Introduction.” After relocating to Japan, FRIEDMAN has also delivered many albums worth of J-pop inspired metal and has proven that his relentless pursuit of new avenues of exploring where the guitar playing can go is virtually limitless.

Now well into his 60s and nearly four decades after his work with Jason Becker in Cacophony, FRIEDMAN is still going strong and returns in 2024 with his latest solo extravaganza, DRAMA which finds him back in the role of guitar god after seemingly exhausting his love of Japanese themed music set to the world of metal music. DRAMA is a near hour’s run of FRIEDMAN doing what he does best and that is namely delivering sharp melodic hooks in the form of some of the most phenomenal guitar playing moves in the known universe. Like most of his solo offerings, DRAMA is a mostly instrumental affair but also finds a couple tracks, “Dead Of Winter” and “2 Rebeldes” with vocal contributions.

Also joined by drummer American Gregg Bissonette of David Lee Roth, Joe Satriani and Steve Vai fame, DRAMA also finds some classical music support from cellist Hiyori Okuda and violinist Miho Chigyo. as well as offering emotive orchestrations with Japanese pianist / keyboardist Mika Maruki adding beautiful textures to his melodic tunes. Long abandoning the one-dimensionality of pure shredding, DRAMA offers a collection of mostly mid-tempo tracks that implement some of the now familiar exotic scales FRIEDMAN is famous for and while shredding seems to be MARTY’s laser preferred mode of guitar expression these days, he still has the ability to crank out some amazingly virtuosic moves however always in the context of the melodic composition at hand.

In many ways DRAMA sounds like a collage effect of some of FRIEDMAN’s 90s work with a mix of alternative metal riffing, slower clean guitar playing on various musical scales that are melodic and in the case of this album an emphasis on emotive atmospheres and subordinate instrumentation. Personally i prefer the instrumental tracks as the vocal ones don’t work for me (i assume FRIEDMAN is the singer) however many of the melodies and styles seem a bit recycled and there is even a reprise of the track “Triumph” in an updated form that first appeared on the 1992 “Scenes” album. Overall this album is a bit too much of what’s been done before for my tastes. I haven’t really been blown away by anything FRIEDMAN has done since the 2002 album “Music For Speeding” but it’s a well played and well performed album. A little too mellow overall and i wish there were more upbeat metal moments. It’s a good album but not one i would call essential in the FRIEDMAN canon. Great to hear him still doing his thing though!

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