May 262014

(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. Continue reading »

Apr 302014

Prosthetic Records will be releasing the new Marty Friedman album Inferno on May 27 in North America (May 26 in the UK/EU and May 23 in G/A/S). Within the last hour, a brand new song from the album named “Meat Hook” started streaming on YouTube. This song includes Jørgen Munkeby of Norway’s Shining playing saxophone and providing vocals. Friedman says this may be his favorite song on the album, and you can understand why — because this song is fucking fantastic.

It includes not only borderline unhinged skronkiness and eye-popping shred from this duo but also a beautiful melodic saxophone part. The sound captures elements of both Shining’s Blackjazz sound and Friedman’s, and it’s amazing how well the combination works. Mind=blown.

After the jump listen to “Meat Hook” and then check out what both Friedman and Munkeby have to say about it in separate video statements. Continue reading »

Apr 242014

For the second day in a row, I was disconnected from the internet for almost the entirety of Wednesday, with very little time to listen to music or write about it — and the same thing is going to happen today. But I did manage to find a few new things last night and this morning that I wanted to recommend. And here they are…


This Portuguese band have been around for 17 years, but this is their first appearance at NCS. They have a new EP entitled Larvas coming our way in May via The Czech Republic’s Bizarre Leprous Productions. It includes 13 tracks and more than 30 minutes of destruction. Four of the songs are new, six of them are live recordings from the band’s performance at the Obscene Extreme Festival in 2013, and the remainder are remixes by other artists of tracks from the band’s last album Gorefilia. Continue reading »