Album Review: “Drama” by Marty Friedman

Marty Friedman - Drama - CD

Marty Friedman’s newest solo release, Drama, is an emotional work driven by guitar virtuosity and classical arrangements. “Illumination” opens the album with somber piano and a blend of classical and jazz guitar phrasing. Marty’s melancholic paints a picture of one waking up in the morning in the midst of a sad or troubling event. Pianist Mika Maruki plays an amazing solo that intertwine’s Marty’s lead during the final third of the track that makes for a great climax.

The somber tone continues on “Song For An Eternal Child” with a weeping cello solo over a low piano line. The composition changes directions several times, but never sounds awkward or overly grandiose. Thrill City is the heaviest track on Drama, with a crunching opening riff that abruptly ends when the drumming kicks into high gear. The track is upbeat and a departure from the minor despondency of the prior tracks. “Deep End” is a slower track with soaring guitar work over a sorrowful piano line as if someone is trying to break free of a depressive state. “Mirage” is the longest track on Drama and epic in scale. It is both tranquil and heavy as Marty shreds up a storm while the bass, drums and keys provide a strong rhythm section.

The aptly titled “Acapella” is a Spanish meets arabesque guitar composition that is both riveting and haunting. The ballad “2 Rebeldes” closes the album and is the second of two tracks on Drama featuring vocals. It has a slight 80s hair metal vibe, but it retains the overall sound of the record. Marty’s guitar lead concludes the track and album in appropriate fashion.

The overall mood of Drama is one of introspection and sadness. It is not a gloomy record, but it evokes a sense of vague melancholy. It showcases Marty’s ability as a musician to convey these feelings on guitar. Drama is not all sad as a track can sound optimistic at the drop of a note. The musicianship is incendiary as Marty has recruited impeccable talent on this record. The production is fine and it is readily apparent that the guitar takes center stage on this record.

Drama is a roller coaster ride of emotions and fans of instrumental guitar and world music will like this record. Marty can still shred like he did during his Megadeth days and has built on that since then. Check this record out and see what the drama is about.

Check out Marty Friedman’s official website here: https://www.martyfriedman.com/

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