Marty Friedman: Inferno

Former Megadeth axeman makes new alliances in madness

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He may have one of the strangest picking techniques out there (what the hell is going on with that right hand?!) but there’s no denying when Marty Friedman plays guitar, the world listens.

Inferno sees the ex-Megadeth gunslinger returning to heavier roots with an impressive cast of collaborators including Rodrigo y Gabriela, Alexi Laiho and Danko Jones spread across a heart-palpitating 50 minutes of instrumental /and/ vocal-led tracks. Of course, it’s Marty’s signature approach of contorting all the wrong notes into the right ones that makes this such an invigorating listen, bringing more exotic flavours to the glowing ember of molten steel.

Incomprehensible bursts of chromatic insanity are added to Meat Hook courtesy of Shining (NOR) mischief-maker Jørgen Munkeby and his saxophone, who then trades licks with Marty over a halftime breakdown that screams pure Queen nostalgia in all its euphoric glory. Co-written by Jason Becker, Horror sees Marty reunited with the ex-Cacophony bandmate who became one of the most tragically inspiring figures of our world to create a neoclassical masterpiece. There’s been a fair few solo efforts since his 1988 debut on Shrapnel Records, but Inferno is definitely the one to check out.

Amit Sharma

Amit has been writing for titles like Total GuitarMusicRadar and Guitar World for over a decade and counts Richie Kotzen, Guthrie Govan and Jeff Beck among his primary influences. He's interviewed everyone from Ozzy Osbourne and Lemmy to Slash and Jimmy Page, and once even traded solos with a member of Slayer on a track released internationally. As a session guitarist, he's played alongside members of Judas Priest and Uriah Heep in London ensemble Metalworks, as well as handling lead guitars for legends like Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols, The Faces) and Stu Hamm (Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, G3).