(Austin Weber reviews the new solo album by Marty Friedman.)
Unfortunately, to some Marty Friedman is just “that guy” who played guitar and contributed to several of Megadeth’s best records, which is absurdly high praise in itself. But often his mind-blowing neoclassical efforts in Cacophony go undermentioned or unknown by modern fans, as does his continually solid solo career — a career that has shifted toward more Japanese releases and Japanese cultural efforts since his relocation there some time ago. The man has an unreal discography behind him, and yet Inferno is not a showcase of solo showboating or an example of resting on past achievements and styles.
Inferno is more than a scorching storm of guitar pyrotechnics or a cliche title. Ultimately, its intensity serves as a reminder that Marty Friedman isn’t done blowing minds yet, and the beautifully emotive feeling in his playing is alive and well here. Some modern updates such as Meshuggah groove influences find their way into a few tracks, but the leads and soloing over the top of those grooves put most all to shame.