• 9/10
    MARTY FRIEDMAN - Live In Europe - 9/10


Mascot Records
Release date: August 19, 2008

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Somehow Exhibit A-Live In Europe came in under the radar without making any huge waves. Even the most ardent Marty Friedman fans were caught off guard to some extent. They knew it was coming eventually but didn’t know when. It is quite obvious that even after one listen, this album has enough energy, passion, and aggressiveness to it that it captures the true essence of a Live Marty Friedman performance and will not disappoint.

Marty landed his gig with Megadeth back in 1990 and is where most of his notoriety comes from. Even today he is still referred to as the “ex-Megadeth guitarist.” During his 10-year (1990-2000) stint with the band, 5 studio albums beginning with Rust In Peace (1990) and ending with Risk (1999) were recorded. Over 10 million albums were sold during this timeframe.

In an interview with in March 2007, Friedman stated that he got tired of playing Metal music and felt that he couldn’t develop as a musician. He also claimed that Megadeth was not aggressive enough. Leaving Megadeth turned out to be a great move on Marty’s part. It enabled him to embark on a new solo career that many dream of but can’t pull off.

Friedman proved to know what he was doing all along. He is a self-taught guitarist for the most part and non-complacent when it comes to his talent and skill level as a musician. He is known for his improvisational touch and for fusing an Eastern musical feel with Western musical styles such as Neo-Classical, Thrash Metal, and Progressive Rock. One of his more commonly known techniques he often uses is to arpeggiate chords using a picking technique called sweep picking.

His solo career has flourished exceedingly well in the Far East, especially in Japan where he now resides. The only thing left was to learn and speak the language which he has mastered. In his case this turned out to be quite advantageous since he has become a major force in the Japanese music scene, appearing on Japanese television (not to mention his own programs), and writing as a columnist for a major Japanese music magazine and a national daily newspaper. Furthermore, he travels the world giving clinics, performances, and master classes in numerous countries around the world.

Exhibit A-Live In Europe comes from the culmination of the 2007 Loudspeaker European Tour. His bandmates and fellow musicians on this album are Ron Jarzombeck (guitar), Chris Catero (bass), and Jeremy Colson (drums). Indeed, Jeremy Colson is the big name here being Steve Vai’s drummer since 2003. The US release date for this CD is August 19, 2008. It showcases the talent and captures the mood and spirit inside the soul of Marty during one of his live performances. It is heavy and melodic at the same time. It has the energy one would expect. It has the aggressiveness along with the passion. It shows just how much Marty Friedman has grown as a musician since his Megadeth days. The album has 16 tracks and takes up 61:27 minutes of play time. The tracks fly by, one after the other, in a huge guitar fest of sound giving the album an Instrumental sound overall.

All of the material on this album comes from Marty’s solo discography except for “Hound Dog” and possibly one other track-something new that wasn’t found on his other solo LP’s. The onslaught begins with track 2, “Elixir,” a strong opener that hints at what is to follow. “Gimme A Dose” is pretty heavy in its own right but then along comes “Street Demon” without missing a beat and blows everything out of the sky. Heavy as hell in all respects with a slight Prog-Rock influence considering all the changes that are incorporated into the song. It even sounds like Billy Sheehan takes over on bass at about 1:30 into the tune. If that isn’t him, then a new set of ears will have to be added onto Santa’s list for X-mas. “It’s The Unreal Thing” starts out with a bang with a strange twist soon after. Real nice, deep, rich bass throughout this track.

“Fuel Injection Stingray” is a smokin’ tune and has some of the best Friedman licks of the bunch. “Tibet” starts out making you think you’re at a Steve Vai concert by mistake. This tune might be the highlight of the album and one of the most underrated tracks on here. It is quickly followed by “Angel” which is another gorgeous track and makes a perfect fit right where it is. Marty plays this tune with such feeling it’s hard to put into words. “Ripped” is a scorcher just in case some fans missed the other tracks that came before. Some real cool sounding guitar work is found throughout this one. The bass is so deep during some parts you almost miss it. “The Ballad Of The Barbie Bandits” is the new material found on the album and is a decent closer so to speak being the last track before “Hound Dog.” In any sense it is the last Instrumental tune of the bunch before “Hound Dog.” These were more or less the tracks that stood out, now go enjoy!

One thing can be said of the live performance found on this album. Should Jeremy Colson ever decide to leave Steve Vai, he and Marty Friedman must get together and form their own supergroup. The guy is almost inhuman behind the drum kit and they sound great together.


  • George Fustos

    George was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. He has engineering degrees in Chemical and Electrical Engineering. He favors Metal, Rock, Hard Rock, Classic Rock, Blues, and even some Jazz and Motown (depending on the tune). He used to dabble with the bass quite some time ago. His most influential bassists are Jaco, Billy Sheehan, Stu Hamm, Geddy Lee, and John Entwistle (RIP Ox). Band-wise he's really into Rush, Tool, early Metallica, Pink Floyd (including Waters and Gilmour as solo artists), The Who, Iced Earth, Iron Maiden, Halford, Joe Satriani, certain Judas Priest, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Albert Collins (Blues guitarist), Motörhead, and a German band called Skew Siskin that Lemmy says in an interview as being "the best band out there today."

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