MARTY FRIEDMAN

Heavy Metal / Progressive Metal / Non-Metal / Thrash Metal / Neoclassical metal / Hard Rock / Alternative Metal • United States
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Marty Friedman (born December 8, 1962 in Washington, D.C.) has become recognized worldwide as a guitarist and composer of consummate skill and a style of playing that is instantly recognizable as uniquely his. Marty is a self-taught guitarist famous for his natural improvisation abilities and for pioneering the fusion of exotic Eastern musical scales with Western musical styles such as neo-classical, thrash metal and later on into rock, pop, jazz, metal and anything in between. Going beyond traditional scales, Marty often arpeggiates the chords he is playing over, his picking technique is unorthodox and his bends and vibrato are very distinctive.

He was the lead guitarist for the thrash metal band Megadeth for a period of almost ten years (from February 1990 to December 1999). During this period, perhaps its most successful, Megadeth released a string of gold and platinum albums. At the same time, Megadeth's musical style became less
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MARTY FRIEDMAN Discography

MARTY FRIEDMAN albums / top albums

MARTY FRIEDMAN Dragon's Kiss album cover 4.11 | 14 ratings
Dragon's Kiss
Neoclassical metal 1988
MARTY FRIEDMAN Scenes album cover 4.00 | 4 ratings
Scenes
Heavy Metal 1992
MARTY FRIEDMAN Introduction album cover 4.29 | 6 ratings
Introduction
Non-Metal 1995
MARTY FRIEDMAN True Obsessions album cover 3.00 | 4 ratings
True Obsessions
Heavy Metal 1996
MARTY FRIEDMAN Music For Speeding album cover 4.43 | 3 ratings
Music For Speeding
Hard Rock 2003
MARTY FRIEDMAN Loudspeaker album cover 2.67 | 3 ratings
Loudspeaker
Heavy Metal 2006
MARTY FRIEDMAN Future Addict album cover 2.75 | 4 ratings
Future Addict
Heavy Metal 2008
MARTY FRIEDMAN Tokyo Jukebox album cover 2.25 | 2 ratings
Tokyo Jukebox
Heavy Metal 2009
MARTY FRIEDMAN Bad D.N.A. album cover 2.88 | 4 ratings
Bad D.N.A.
Progressive Metal 2010
MARTY FRIEDMAN Tokyo Jukebox 2 album cover 1.75 | 2 ratings
Tokyo Jukebox 2
Non-Metal 2011
MARTY FRIEDMAN Inferno album cover 3.62 | 4 ratings
Inferno
Thrash Metal 2014
MARTY FRIEDMAN Wall of Sound album cover 4.12 | 4 ratings
Wall of Sound
Progressive Metal 2017
MARTY FRIEDMAN B: The Beginning - The Image Album album cover 4.25 | 2 ratings
B: The Beginning - The Image Album
Alternative Metal 2018
MARTY FRIEDMAN Drama album cover 3.17 | 2 ratings
Drama
Progressive Metal 2024

MARTY FRIEDMAN EPs & splits

MARTY FRIEDMAN live albums

MARTY FRIEDMAN Exhibit A: Live In Europe album cover 2.50 | 1 ratings
Exhibit A: Live In Europe
Heavy Metal 2007
MARTY FRIEDMAN One Bad M.F. Live!! album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
One Bad M.F. Live!!
Progressive Metal 2018

MARTY FRIEDMAN demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

MARTY FRIEDMAN re-issues & compilations

MARTY FRIEDMAN Tokyo Jukebox Vols. 1 & 2 album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Tokyo Jukebox Vols. 1 & 2
Heavy Metal 2012

MARTY FRIEDMAN singles (0)

MARTY FRIEDMAN movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Exhibit B: Live In Japan
Heavy Metal 2007

MARTY FRIEDMAN Reviews

MARTY FRIEDMAN Drama

Album · 2024 · Progressive Metal
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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!

MARTY FRIEDMAN Introduction

Album · 1995 · Non-Metal
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While still in Megadeath, guitarist MARTY FRIEDMAN continued to release solo albums on the Shrapnel Records label after the success of his 1989 shredding bonanza “Dragon’s Kiss” but due to an incessant touring schedule during Megadeth’s most financially successful chapter of its existence he began to burn out on heavy metal and had a major need to use his solo albums to explore a completely new musical dimension that he had never entered before. This began with the 1992 album “Scenes” which to his fans’ surprise eschewed the lightning fast guitar antics that had made him a worldwide celebrity and instead ventured into the world of Japanese melody inspired new age which found him collaborating with the great Kitaro of all people. “Scenes” was quite the departure from his usual repertoire and although brief moments of metal lite still drifted in to the overall equation, the album was clearly designed to be pacifying and soothing as if composing the soundtrack for a Japanese tea garden only with a touch of what came before just to put his personal stamp on it.

Not having gotten the mellowness bug fix quite satiated on that album, FRIEDMAN returned two years later with his next excursion into the world of new age ambient flavored music only taken to the next level with several additional musicians and an upgrade in the compositional fortitude. INTRODUCTION came out at the end of 1994 pretty much released simultaneously with Megadeth’s “Youthanasia” album and once again featured fellow band member drummer Nick Menza in the percussionist’s seat.Along for the ride were pianist / keyboardist Brian BecVar and a few classical musicians including Sachi McHenry on cell, Charlie Bisharat on violin and Nick’s father Don Menza playing the Japanese woodwind shakuhachi who himself was a famous saxophonist as a member of the Buddy Rich band as well as playing with Elvin Jones and Louie Bellson. The end results followed in the footsteps of “Scenes” but INTRODUCTION was a completely different type of album with only a quiet, calming placidly shared as the commonality. FRIEDMAN claims most of the music was written during his endless flight schedule and created so he he could listen to it in order to pacify his hatred of flying.

Defying any true categorization, INTRODUCTION came off as some sort of progressive post-classical minimalist new age lullaby album with intricate melodic developments borrowing an idea or two from traditional Japanese folk musical forms as well as incorporating traditional pop techniques of the American 1950s. The album featured eight distinct tracks that added up to 42 minutes of playing and basically revolved around a catchy intricately deigned melodic flow that implemented the creative use of timbres and musical cadences as the primary methodology of spicing everything up with extended compositional build ons to simulate a verse / chorus / bridge style of compositional flow. The music was sparsely decorated with various pairs of instruments showcasing subtle variations in the same recurring melodies that retained the lullaby effect whether the music delivered an atmospheric new age moment, Western classical minimalism or the occasional moments into the world of guitar based rock that featured the bass and drums with an occasional guitar lick erupting into virtuosity.

The piano based opening “Arrival” sets the stage with alternating parts that allow the music to reprise the same melody only set to differing instrumentation and dynamic shifts. The tracks that follow all offer distinct personalities that showcase FRIEDMAN’s virtuosity delivered in impressive finger-picking skills that culminated the most complex Italian inspired melodies on “Mama.” The creative drop in and drop out effect of the Japanese flute, the violin, cello, piano and rock parts maintained an unpredictable framework within the overall continuity of the melodic process with a few moments of time signature deviations added for the element of surprise. “Bittersweet” began with a detached Japanese flute that slowly ratcheted up the melodic deliveries before with a lugubrious orchestral effect slowly upped the intensity while ultimately culminating in one of the most impressive clean guitar picking solos on the entire album.

“Be” on the other hand begins as one of the most placid tracks of the lot only to make a complete shift into the world of rock with the most dynamic electric guitar workouts on the album. “Escapism” on the other hand nurtures a brilliant compositional flow only to feature an extended improv in rancho relaxo mode only with clever guitar licks offering soul piercing note bends and FRIEDMAN’s obvious deeper connection to the very essence of melody itself. As the album progresses each and every track only offers an utterly instant ear worm with Japanese inspired melodic hooks with MARTY’s most tasteful of guitar bends that sound like their narrating a greater tale behind the scenes. The album culminates in the rather distinct sounding “Siberia” which offers guitar tones and drumming techniques not heard throughout the album. The album delivered all the compositions in surprisingly good taste while maintaining a basic new age placidity without really falling into that world whatsoever. This is the kind of intricately designed mellow music that Buckethead has been striving for for decades and never even come close to the sheer genius of the compositional fortitude laid out on these eight outstandingly beautiful tracks.

Fearing that he was alienating his fanbase completely at this stage, FRIEDMAN would never release these kinds of mellow albums again with future albums returning to the heavy metal basis for shredding and general songwriting. While this album may sound like an absolutely disastrous proposal it is pulled off with so much class it brings tears to my eyes when i experience it. The tasteful use of melodies and how they are forged into a unique compositional wholeness evokes the world of the classical musical geniuses of yore and FRIEDMAN after proving his top dog status as one of the top neoclassical and thrash metal masters of all time displayed how his talents went well beyond such confines of heavy music. This is an album i always think i’m going to outgrow after many years but every time i put it on i’m really just blown away like a was the first time i heard it. If i had only one complaint about the entire album it would be the lazy drumming techniques on the rock oriented sequences but even then they don’t distract from the overall goal. This is an all-instrumental affair with only the beautiful track “Luna” offering an uncredited female voice narrating some poetic prose in the Japanese language thus showcasing FRIEDMAN’s fascination with the Japanese culture almost a decade before he would permanently relocate there. Pure genius this one!

MARTY FRIEDMAN Scenes

Album · 1992 · Heavy Metal
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New age metal anyone? Well here is one of the few examples of such a combo and perhaps one of the greatest style shifts between first and second album in all of rock history, well at least in the metal world. MARTY FRIEDMAN needs no introduction and stunned the world with his outstanding unique style of neoclassical shredding skills with his days with Jason Becker in Cacophony on his solo debut “Dragon’s Kiss” which was more than enough to win over Dave Mustaine and earned him a spot as lead guitarist in Megadeth creating some of the tastiest thrash metal ever to grace the ear drums. After a few years with Megadeth touring and creating metal music MARTY said that he burned out on the whole metal thing and needed a break from the style and wanted to experiment in other styles. The result of this desire was realized when he hooked up with composer and producer Kitaro, a fairly well known Japanese new age artist who has released a ridiculous amount of albums.

SCENES is a strange anomaly of a musical experience. It is first and foremost a guitar album but this is way different than what Shrapnel Records was known for. Much more known as a shredder’s paradise which gave FRIEDMAN exposure to the greater musical world, SCENES is not only a departure for FRIEDMAN from his metal-centric reality but for the label as well and the best part of which is that the notorious crappy tinny shoddy production values that Shrapnel Records was famous for is thankfully missing here. This album is crisp and clean and every tiny sound being magnified into its full potential.

The music is a strange hybrid of exotic Eastern inspired cleanly played guitar scales with symphonic atmospheres shrouding every single note. The guitar playing is very tasty and instead of MARTY’s usual million notes a second methodology, he plays slow to mid tempo arrangements that after fully unfolding accompanied by lush symphonic orchestral type arrangements only then explodes into a harder edged rock and metal with his electrified solos. Everything though is quite calculated and slave to the melodic developments. Nothing is left to improvisation or “unwelcome” notes. There is a clear Japanese influence on this one signifying FRIEDMAN’s ever growing fascination with the Oriental world and musical styles even to the point that his future wife Mimi also contributes vocals in Japanese on “Realm Of The Senses” the most obvious Oriental sounding track of the lot. In case you are familiar with “Dragon’s Kiss” the last song “Triumph” on here is indeed a new age version of “Thunder March.”

If you could possibly entertain the notion of one of metal’s greatest lead guitarists exhibiting his talents in a subdued dreamy atmospheric Eastern parade of beautiful and catchy melodies exercising as much restraint as his off-the-leash shredding then you should definitely check out SCENES for it is an extremely tasty and well thought out album that is as far as i know utterly unique in its experimentalism crossing unlikely metal shredding guitar sounds with symphonic new age sensibilities. I would rate this higher because the guitar playing, the melodic developments and Brian BecVar’s atmospheric keyboards are top notch but what holds this back a wee bit for me is that long time associate Nick Menza’s drumming style is a little too obsequiously laid back to the guitars and sometimes the keyboards can sound a little cheesy (especially on “Valley Of Eternity.”) This is an album i fell in love with a long time ago and have listened to it countless times and it still instills the same thrill and awe that i experienced the first time around. A long time favorite that i love to break out now and again

MARTY FRIEDMAN Future Addict

Album · 2008 · Heavy Metal
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FUTURE ADDICT is the eighth album by MARTY FRIEDMAN who, of course, played with Cacophony and Megadeth but has actually released more solo albums than with either of those bands. MARTY is known for his virtuosic neoclassical shredding skills, of course, but he has been fairly eclectic with his solo releases. While his debut “Dragon’s Kiss” and other releases such as “Music For Speeding” focused primarily on shredding up a storm, he has also released the new age meets metal album “Scenes,” an eclectic symphonic album and right up there with his unpredictable repertoire is FUTURE ADDICT which is mostly a collection of remade versions of songs from his entire career only re-themed into J-pop themed metal. The music actually sounds more like some kind of progressive punk in its presentation. This album has a collection of guests helping out. MARTY of course contributes the guitars, but Jeremy Colson helps out on vocals and drums while Billy Sheehan also joins the party with Masaki sharing bass duties. Jeff Loomis also contributes some guitars and Elizabeth Schall helps out with backup vocals.

While these are all remakes there are three new tracks and two of them begin the album. “Barbie” sound like a grunge version of the “Rosemary’s Baby” theme which is very short at only one minute and then abruptly turns into “Simple Mystery” which is a heavy alternative rocker. The closer “Tears Of An Angel” is the other original track and it is the odd track out as it sounds more like a melodic symphonic guitar song like off of “Introduction” and sounding unlike the punk infused metal rockers that constitutes the rest of the album.

This album went over like a pile of doggy doo in the punch bowl when it was released. This album totally rubbed MARTY’s fans the wrong way and i can actually understand why. For one thing he does the unthinkable by punkifying sacred cows such as “Tornado Of Souls” from Megadeth’s magnum opus “Rust In Peace,” Cacophony tracks like “Burn The Ground” and “Where My Fortune Lies” as well as tracks from his entire career including his very first band Deuce. A novel idea and one worthy of exploration and i have to say that i do not find this album as hideous as the rest of the metal world seems to. While it is probably the nadir of MARTY’s discography it is an interesting listen to hear a virtuoso play J-pop inspired punk of his prior musical output. The production is pretty raw and obviously designed to be that way. It is very weird to hear punk like creations that also have neoclassical guitar solos inserted.

While some of the tracks are admittedly of bad taste and should have been axed from the playlist, the overall effect is not the brutal rape of the eardrums as many would have you believe. True Colson isn’t the cream of the vocal crop but does lend an interesting amateurism to the mix. MARTY seems to have succeeded in sounding like a garage revival band of sort breaking that spell only with some of the technical wizardries that he can’t refrain from. This is a decent album although i’m the first to admit it’s probably my least favorite of his lengthy disco. Tasty riffs, nasty solos and the J-pop punk energy is certainly there. Maybe he’s just completely gone Japanese after living in Tokyo and hosting TV shows like Rock Fujiyama and Jukebox English for a little too long. It certainly made him whacky for this one but hey, he’s constantly reinventing his sound so fear now. I personally like this, at least most of it.

MARTY FRIEDMAN Inferno

Album · 2014 · Thrash Metal
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MARTY FRIEDMAN displays his most diverse album yet on his 11th album INFERNO. The secret to the wide array of sounds on this one is not only does MARTY mine his entire output of the past for sounds and ideas but also includes a whole army of guest musicians to make a highly successful solo album that doesn’t sound as such. Despite it officially being a solo album this is a true collaborative effort of many different talents on board with MARTY on board as the official director of the project. I can suspect that he may have gotten this idea from Buckethead’s “Enter The Chicken” from 2005 which takes this same approach.

As with his usual solo albums INFERNO displays aspects of thrash and progressive metal with his unique virtuosic neoclassical solo skills in full display. MARTY has been a favorite guitarist of mine for some time because he doesn’t rely on technical skills alone but rather deftly intertwines them with brilliant ideas with emotional depth well beyond the average guitar wankery. There is flamenco / metal fusion on “Wicked Panacea” with Rodrigo y Gariela, industrial metal sounding pounding on “Steroidhead,” the punk inspired “I Can’t Relax,” the John Zorn meets groove metal track “Meat Hook” with Jørgen Munkeby delivering an absolutely killer sax frenzy, the death metal meets melodic trad on “Sociopaths” with David Davidson screaming on vocals, the sublime guest vocals of Alexi Laiho of Children Of Bodom on “Lycanthrop” and “Horrors” which somehow compiles guitar action from Jason Becker who is now paralyzed from Lou Gehrig’s Disease (probably an archival thing).

If you love the high energy intensity of his debut “Dragon’s Kiss” and the Cacophany albums with all the influences from the experimental fusion albums ranging from “Scenes” to “Tokyo Jukebox” then you will love this. I have to say that MARTY FRIEDMAN never rests on his laurels and despite an album or two that gets bogged down in a pool of stagnate reservoirs, more often than not MARTY knows how to up his game delivering some seriously intensely creative metal guitar with smokin’ sizzlin’ solos that blow away most of the competition. I personally think this is one of MARTY’s best despite having a very consistent discography on his hands.

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