A night of entirely instrumental acts? If you’ve read some of my previous reviews on instrumental music (there aren’t many), you understand that I went into this concert with some reservations. The list of instrumental metal albums which I love from start to finish can probably be counted off on one hand. However, with the powerhouse line-up of ex-Megadeth/Cacophony guitarist, Marty Friedman, returning to his hometown of Baltimore; Chris Letchford-led Scale The Summit; and The Fine Constant, founded by Sarah Longfield, I decided the chance was one worth taking.
I was well aware of all of these bands prior to this, though I had rarely if ever dabbled in their work. The Fine Constant was the most recent of these three that I had come to know, built upon the incredible talent of Sarah’s guitar wizardry. Joining her on stage were drummer, Steve Meyer, and recent touring addition of fellow guitarist, Dave Dunsire. Only slightly surprising, there was no bass player, but with each playing 8-string guitars, the lower register was taken care of without any reason to notice. The two blazed through complex tunes, trading lead melodies while the other rumbled riffs underneath. By the end of their short set, the crowd was screaming for any more music that they could convince this trio to dish out, but unfortunately for those adamant fans, the show had to transition.
Scale The Summit’s name first appeared on my radar during the days of MySpace. I was quite impressed by Chris Letchford’s ease of the instrument. He and the other two members of his trio did not disappoint on August 6, at Baltimore Soundstage. The bassist, Kilian Duarte, in particular, was quite expressive. I’ll let the photos below demonstrate my point. As of the writing, you can purchase 5 of their albums digitally for only $29.25, as well as picked up their new album, In A World Of Fear, for only $5 digitally.
Marty Friedman’s tenure in Megadeth saw some of my favorite releases from one of my favorite bands. His guitar playing has always been transcendent, whether it was along Mustaine, or in Cacophony with the amazing Jason Becker. Thus it is to my detriment that I have yet to explore his solo material. But from my crash course prior to the show, and the stunning demonstration I received upon arrival, I can tell you he has certainly not lost his touch. The amount of energy erupting from the stage was built not only upon the strength of the music, coated lightly with Rust In Peace-era Megadeth instrumentals, but also upon the extraordinary talent of his fellow musicians. Perhaps more impressive to me than any other artist that night was bassist, Kiyoshi Manii, who seemed to epitomize energy for the entire hour and a half the group commanded the stage. Do yourself a favor and catch these three amazing bands as they currently tour the US on the “Wall Of Sound Tour,” and pick up Friedman’s newest solo album, released August 4, which shares the same name.