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great but not as good as the 1st one. - 87%

overkill67, September 3rd, 2004

Once again Marty Friedman and Jason Becker took about 50 albums worth of guitar riffs and solos and fused them together to make one monstrous guitar driven album. Much like the album before this one, the guitaring is amazing and the structuring of the solos is like something from another world. This is about as technical as technical gets when it comes to guitar playing. This album however, unlike the bands debut is a little less focused in terms of a consistent style of music, there are a few hints of mainstream, shall I say "glam" influcence on this album, with songs like Stranger and ESP which, musically are fabulous, but the lyrics are a bit cheesy as is Peter Marino's somewhat annoying vocals. The thrash/speed metal influence is still ringing strong in songs like Sword Of The Warrior and X-Ray Eyes...which aside from the instrumental pieces are by far the most memorable songs on this recording.
My advice to the listener that wishes to aquire this album is as such; Expect to be dazzled and mezmerized by the incredible musicianship that is prevalent throughout the entirety of this album...However, don't expect to be turned on by the vocals, and by point of fact be sure to keep an EXTREMELY open mind to this guys voice, otherwise your expectations of this album may not be met.