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This album is the perpetuation of one of the best metal guitarists ever in his highest peak. Soon after Friedman joined forces with guitar legend Jason Becker in the guitar driven band 'Cacophony', he launched his solo career with this astonishing debut album called 'Dragon's Kiss'. There is something more than the usual neoclassical sequences in this album that is pretty uncommon with most of the 80's shredding albums. Friedman doesn't hesitate to experiment with different music styles in the same album, which resulting in a very unique and varied instrumental exhibition.
'Saturation Point' contain many neoclassical themes and has a strong sense of the Cacophony's albums due to the harmonized couple of lead guitars. 'Dragon Mistress' has a dominant vibe of Egyptian scales and an exotic mood with some highly technical sweeping solos, pretty catchy track that became one of Friedman's most well known hits. The seventh track, 'Forbidden City', is the most progressive of this album. Eight minutes lengthy composition with beautifully melodic clean guitars interlude that leading the song to an extravaganza of high soaring guitars and fast thrashy riffs. 'Thunder March' is one of my favorites here. This one has a lesser emphasis on technique and contain some pretty melodic themes that sound like epic battle hymns. This is indeed a wonderful march and great closing to this album.
Following this album, Marty Friedman joined Megadeth and collaborated in some highly regarded metal classics that helped to define the genre. This is in my opinion, his best solo effort and a must have for any shredding fan. I feel no need to stretch with words how wonderful this album is, just go listen to it in yourself. 'Dragon's Kiss' combine different musical styles with highly technical metal in a progressive oriented song structures that will force you to hit the replay button as much as you can.
Perfection is a word that is rarely utilized when refering to an album in its entirety. With Dragon's Kiss, there is simply no alternative to describe this amazing and masterfull work of art. Marty Friedman's debut solo effort is probably the best instrumental "METAL" album of all time. Every song is intricately woven together piece by piece with incredible structures and amazing guitar solos. The greatest thing about this album is that its so far ahead of its time, and although it was released in 1988, it still sounds alot fresher than what Yngwie and Vai have been doing in recent years.
Another highlight is the untouchable drumming by the ever-so humble Deen Castronovo. Deen's probably one of the hardest working studio musicians in the industry in terms of drummers. One must at least respect Deen's desicion to go from playing in Bad English, to straight forward speed and thrash metal music.
As always, being a Sharpel label recording, this album was produced by Mike Varney, who I believe brought the best out of Marty's expertise. Even later during Marty's time with Megadeth, the intensity of his talent was never as prevalent as on the Shrapel recordings. Especially this album and the two Cacophony releases.
Any one who is dazzled by technical guitar work will appreciate this album from beginning to end.
Highlights on this album; All 8 of them!
This is one of my favorite shred albums by the former Megadeth guitarist or any guitarist for that matter. While Malmsteen is thought to be the king of shred nowadays, Marty Friedman's tasteful solos and well written compisitions are a force to be reckoned with. While Malmsteen may very well be the fastest shredder in the world, Marty Friedman is perhaps the most techniquely advanced and melodic in the guitar virtuoso genre. "Forbidden City", one of the album's best tracks, displays Friedman's versatility and his rank as a terribly deft guitarist. He begins in a pseudo-ballad intro but switches immediately to that recognizable heavy metal shred. His skill at his instrument is displayed throughout the whole album but this track is the highlight of the album. There is one major problem with this album that will trouble listeners who are not big guitar fans, there are no vocals. This like most Malmsteen, Poland, and Holdsworth albums is just a practice in wankery. This is not unbearable wankery though. It's taken in moderation. It won't be as overbearing and out of place as Petrucci's shreds. But I must remember to mention this was not a single person effort.
Jason Becker was another aspiring guitarist who worked with Friedman. Since being diagnosed with ALS(aka. Lou Gehrig's Disease)a rare degenerative disease that leads into paralysis and usually death he has been put out of commission but he was great while he was active.. He was not the dominant creative force of the album but his contribution is irrefutable. To play with Friedman is the ultimate test that most guitar "heros" today could never dream of today.The chemistry with Friedman is unbelievable, he matches Marty's skill nearly perfectly. This is a must have for any fans of Marty Friedman or shred in general. It's pretty hard to find so you will have to either check a rare CD store or order it online from various CD stores.I cannot stress enough how much I enjoy this album. It stays fresh with each listen.