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Cacophony is a United States neoclassical speed metal/shred band formed in 1986 by guitarists Marty Friedman and Jason Becker. The band also featured Atma Anur on drums and Peter Marrino on vocals, although the main focus of their music was the guitars. Cacophony is often recognized for its technically challenging, neo-classical metal elements.

Their first album, the predominantly instrumental Speed Metal Symphony, fused classical and hard rock styles with Friedman's preference towards exotic scales (especially obvious in the song "The Ninja"). It featured exceptionally fast, melodic and technical music that could only be equaled by other virtuosos such as Yngwie Malmsteen. It has been heralded as one of the most awe-inspiring instrumental guitar albums of all time. The title track, "Speed Metal Symphony", was an incredible combination of amazing lead solos and fast rhythm guitar.

Their second album Go Off! was a commercial failure. Besides Becker, Friedman and Marrino, it
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CACOPHONY Speed Metal Symphony album cover 4.20 | 17 ratings
Speed Metal Symphony
Neoclassical metal 1987
CACOPHONY Go Off! album cover 3.08 | 9 ratings
Go Off!
Neoclassical metal 1988

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CACOPHONY Modal Magic / Go Off album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Modal Magic / Go Off
Neoclassical metal 1989

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CACOPHONY Speed Metal Symphony

Album · 1987 · Neoclassical metal
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siLLy puPPy
It's safe to say that this is a showcase for the absolutely phenomenal shredding abilities of Jason Becker and Marty Friedman to show off their chops of highly technical playing with fast tempos, melodic solos, neoclassical scales and dual guitar harmonizations all under the guise of the band CACOPHANY. They recruited Peter Marrino on vocals and Atma Anur on drums. Marty covers both guitar and bass duties at least on the record. Criaig Swain was recruited for live performances. This band only put out two albums, this one being the first.

This is one of those love/hate albums for me. I am a fan of (good) shredding and neoclassical dual guitars doesn't get any better than this. Musically this is a bonafide masterpiece of neoclassical shredding unmatched by no others. The compositions are brilliantly written and executed perfectly at a speed of light pace. There are two major downsides. First of all the production is absolutely horrible. It is so tinny and weak that you'd swear they recorded it on a home-owned cassette recorder of the day. The second is that I find some of lyrics kinda goofy and not on parr with the seriousness of the music and i'm not really a fan of the vocal abilities either.

Where this album shines in all its glory is during the solo breaks which include the two entirely instrumental tracks “Concerto” and the title track. I have learned to put up with the negatives for a healthy dose of dual guitar ferocity that is some of the most incredible collaborative shredding i've ever heard to this very day. This would have been a masterpiece if it was entirely instrumental.


Album · 1988 · Neoclassical metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
siLLy puPPy
Major drop in quality on this 2nd release. Everything I didn't like about the debut album actually got worse here. The vocals got more irritating. The lyrics got even goofier and the songwriting really fell by the wayside. There was also a lineup change. Jimmy O'Shea was added for bass duties and Deen Castronovo was the new drummer.

The only reason to get this album is for the two phenomenal instrumentals “Go Off!” and “Images.” The rest of the album is highly ridiculous and quite forgettable. After this album Marty would go on to join MEGADETH and Jason would join up with DAVID LEE ROTH before being diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease.

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