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The tech-freak's wet dream - 100%

FuryoftheBlade, February 26th, 2006

Bear in mind that the rating of this is slanted by the fact that it is reviewed by a guitarist and this is an album made to display the prime of technical double lead, and that the reviewer will be mostly talking about guitars the whole time.

Before hearing this album, I was aware of Marty Friedman's stint in Megadeth, and the Jason Becker's prodigal 5th Caprice rendition, and hearing this album blew everything else away. This is what Nitro would have been like if Michaelangelo could write songs and not spend all day being ambidextrious and upside. Jason Becker was only like 16 or 17 on this album. Amazing.

The drums and bass in the album are your standard 80s metal rhythm section: Bass following the guitars with random fills, and drums playing a somewhat straight beat with certain sections and fills where seen fit. Not the main focus, but they don't throw anything off at all.

The vocals are lower range. Think a lower range version of Yngwie's first singer (I think it was Jeff Scott Soto, or something). Once again, not the main focus, but not horrible to the point of ruining the album or the main focus.

GUITARS = ABSOLUTE FUCKING MADNESS on this album. Friedman and Becker take full on advantage of their abilities and the characteristics of double lead guitar playing. We're talking the vast majority of leads, solos, and fills being harmonized is some sort of way, be it diatonic thirds, stacked fourths, diminished, and so on. And not just harmonized scales, but harmonized arpeggios, harmonized tapping, even the rhythm parts complement each other sometimes. And even the simple power chord sections are being played, they're still pretty catching and they leave you in anticipation for what's next.

Although every song on this album is virtually flawless, the first four happen to my favorites as compared to the others. My personal favorite is "The Ninja," with the clean opening. Also, be aware that a lot of this stuff is neo-classical inspired or it features the use of unorthodox eastern scales thanks to the mighty combination of Marty Friedman's and Jason Becker's gigantic musical toolboxes.

Recommended to all metal guitarists.