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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.