Marty Friedman - "Bad D.N.A." CD Review (Prosthetic Records) ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Friday, August 24, 2012

Marty Friedman - "Bad D.N.A." CD Review (Prosthetic Records)

Going back to my college radio days – at one time it was really ‘cool’ to be into Brian Eno. Trying to go with the flow, I picked up one of Eno’s ambient CDs and it seemed like background music…pleasant background music but none of it stuck with me. Unfortunately, most instrumental/soundscape albums leave me with a similar feeling as the ones that I have listed to recently have either been “boring background music” or highlight a musician’s technical prowess – which again is pretty boring, once you get past the first few minutes.

Getting back on track with this review, last week Prosthetic Records reissued former Megadeth guitar-shredder Marty Friedman’s 2010 all-instrumental solo disc, Bad D.N.A. This eleven-track disc was previously released only in Japan (on Avex Trax) and there was apparently a bonus track that was part of an early pressing that is included on this reissue. As I hadn’t kept up with what Friedman had been doing post-Megadeth, Megadeth fans should be “warned” that the majority of songs on this disc are of a prog-metal bent that is similar in sound to, but a bit more AOR-oriented than, Dream Theater.

The disc’s first five tracks are all of a similar bent – Friedman shows off his technical prowess and he shreds and takes flying runs better than most guitarists out there. Unfortunately, as a “three-chord” guitarist, these tracks all start to sound the same after a while and the only one that stood out was “Glorious Accident” as the riffs got a bit thrashy. Friedman shifts gears completely on “Random Star”, which starts with some slow jazz leads and electronic burbles before kicking into a mid-tempo prog-rock number. Moving on from there, “Picture” is a rock power-ballad with some soaring Eric Clapton style leads. Friedman jumps back into the shredding prog-rock that started out the disc on the next two tracks – “Battle Scars” is the standout of these two tracks as it combines grinding riffs with soaring, memorable melodies. “Exorcism Parade” is both the best and most striking cut on the disc as Friedman combines thrash riffs and soaring leads with some off-kilter noodling. “Time To Say Goodbye”, which is a Andrea Bocelli cover, has similar soaring lead but the instrumentation around these leads just isn’t as striking.

While this disc isn’t my cup of tea – it is probably a (serious) guitar player’s wet dream. Check out the videos below and see for yourself.

Marty Friedman