Marty Friedman’s ‘Wall of sound’: A track-by-track overview upon first listen

  1. marty wall of sound japan
    Available on Amazon

    Everyone’s heard ‘Self pollution’ by now, which in my opinion is Marty Friedman’s best heavy opener since he started the tradition with ‘Elixir’ from 2006’s ‘Loudspeaker.’ Almost every five seconds, a new idea appears, and it’s no wonder he has said in articles that he’s proud of every note on the new album: that’s how well thought-out it is. I think Marty’s finally gotten the right mix of heavy and melodic within the same song.

  2. ‘Sorrow and madness’ begins with Jinxx’s awesome solos, alternating with Marty’s overdrive ones. Cacophony-like in its whimsical structure, some parts will in fact remind you of the track ‘Speed metal symphony’ from three decades ago, although it’s all completely fresh-sounding.
  3. At first, ‘Streetlight’ with its opening guitars sounds like a ballad, but then the drums come in, and it works as a heavy song as well.
  4. Whiteworm, tempo-wise, is less thrashy than Marty’s other heavy tracks. Chick Corea-like pianos come in amid the heaviness. ‘Wall of sound’ really has everything!
  5. ‘For a friend’ begins reminiscent of ‘Amazing grace,’ and then Marty does his thing. The progressions aren’t as wild as the other pieces in this album, but I love the leads.
  6. Hearing the first riff of ‘Pussy ghost,’ you kind of go, “Ohhh, that’s why.” Creepy in a similar way to ‘Stigmata addiction,’ but with more facets to it.
  7. To be clear, any comparisons I make here with his older stuff are meant as analogy and not so much to insinuate derivation. Like with ‘The blackest rose,’ it doesn’t really sound like the first part of ‘The ninja’ from Cacophony’s ‘Speed metal symphony’ album, but some elements here and there sure remind me of it. Probably the most orthodox track of the album, which is actually what I like about it.
  8. Known from hereon as ‘the one with the vocals,’ ‘Something to fight’ is the least Marty-sounding track, indeed being co-written by Jorgen Munkeby. I love what Marty does in the solos, and there is a crazy saxophone somewhere there for good measure.
  9. Hiyori Okuda’s cello intro for ‘The soldier’ is wonderfully haunting. A track that could almost fit in ‘Introduction,’ piano and all.
  10. I love the arpeggiated leads in ‘Miracle,’ a rather straightforward Marty ballad. I also really enjoy the piano work towards the end.
  11. ‘Last lament’ is a dramatic finish to what I consider a more accessible album than ‘Inferno.’ Reminds me of ‘Mata kimi ni koi shiteru’ from ‘Tokyo jukebox 2.’

I’m going to enjoy listening to this again and again. As Marty said, if you love his stuff, you’re going to love it. If you hate his stuff, you’re going to really hate it.


After hearing Marty Friedman on ‘Youthanasia’ in 1995, Paul has devoted the past two decades of his life to showing people how to play Marty’s Megadeth solos, as found in paulspurpose.com/mega, which leaves him with very little time for anything else.

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