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Speed Metal Symphony
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on October 12, 2001
I've been a fan of neo-cassical shred guitar since its beginings and I will say that this CD has some of the craziest dual guitar work EVER - next to the band "Racer X." However, when I first got this CD I was expecting an instrumental album that would take me on a musical epic journey. Unfortunately that wasn't the case. Instead, this album has typical song structures with verses and a chorus. The singer on this album sounds like someone doing a parody of a heavy metal singer, and the majority of the songs are written without much thought; fairly primitive in musical structure (except the solos and the instrumentals "Concerto" and "Speed Metal Symphony." The song "The Ninja" has a really cool intro but then those vocals come in :PThis CD is good for about 3 songs. I've always told myself that a CD is worth owning if it has at least 3 good songs, so buy it if you feel the same way. However, I think that Jason Becker's solo album "Perpetual Burn" is MUCH MUCH better. Also check out Yngwie Malmsteen's "Concerto for Electric Guitar And Orchestra In E flat Minor Op.1 - Millennium" for the best representation of neo-classical shred guitar.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on April 30, 2000
An absolute orgy of power chords and solos...but even that description is oversimplified,and may conjure images of mindless noise,as nothing is further from the truth. "Classical" music never sounded so good. Your pulse will thump like a jackhammer as you marvel how clever and creative this stuff is,and laugh at how serendiptious it is to combine classical melodies with depleted urianium grade metal--and how great it works. Judged by "song" standards,a couple of tracks seem uncohesive...but it doesn't matter,as you're still euphoric from those ephonious riffs.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 16, 2005
This album is difinitely on the required listening list for Neoclassical rock guitar history 101. A collaboration of two of the finest guitarists in the 80's shred scene, Speed Metal Symphony delivers the goods on hyperfast classically influenced guitar playing.

Two tracks, "Concerto" and "Speed Metal Symphony" are instrumentals, and are also the highlights of the release. The lyric laden "pop" songs on this record just don't seem to have the same impact, although the guitar lead on "Desert Island" probably set the world speed shred record at the time. Speed Metal Symphony shows a "Cacophony" at their best in the extended instrumental form, as the title would suggest.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on February 16, 2005
Let me the say that the vocals on this cd may be painful at first, yet you get over them very quickly, except for a few spots. Even so, they do not lower my score for the album, and at times are quite catchy.

Savage - Good riffs, good solos, catchy, purely driven madness to start this insane album. 93/100

Where My Fortune Lies - the intro is absolutely nuts, and the highlight of the song. Probably my least favorite after this, yet the solos are still out of this world. 87/100

Ninja - what a great song! The intro is one of the greatest things I have heard in my life, and this song may actually have you humming along at points. NINJA! Very well laid out, and the solos at the end are the best so far on the album. Brilliance. 97/100

Concerto - Amazing once again, and Becker the 17 year old prodigy showcases himself throughout. He proves he is the master of sweeping and arpreggios all over this album, and this song is an insane instrumental that captures melodies like none other. More notes played in 4 1/2 minutes than in George Harrison's entire career. 98/100

Burn the Ground - fastest on the album solo wise in fact Becker is so fast it is hard to believe that its human. Very melodic too except when there are vocals, the song is kinda of disgusting. 87/100

Desert Island -another amazing song very well laid out with great solos and great riffs. The outro is the perfect intro to Speed Metal Symphony. The vocals are actually good on this song, like Ninja., an entertaining song. 97/100

Speed Metal Symphony - nine minutes of shredding and arpreggios and all kinds of melodic madness that is beauty to any shredder's ears. Everything about this song is good. 97/100

There isn't much to say about this album except Becker and Friedman show they are true masters of their instruments and are able to play in a melodic and listenable way. I would recommend this over Yngwie Malmsteen, who has not improved since his first album.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on November 26, 2004
Cacophony's "Speed Metal Symphony" contains some INTENSE lead guitarwork. The harmonized sweep arpeggios and speed picking runs are insane! The rhythm guitar,vocals and composition,however,are AWFUL. In addition- The album sounds like it was recorded on an 8-track tape machine in someone's garage! ("Speed Metal Symphony" is a novelty of sorts in the neoclassical guitar world.)

The lead guitar heroics on this album can't be denied. The song "Speed Metal Symphony" is jaw-dropping in terms of technique and overall dexterity. If you yearn to hear classic mid 80's-style shredding guitar TO THE EXTREME, then pick this album up...just don't expect to be impressed with the rhythm guitar,vocals,compositions and production.

FINAL REPORT CARD-

A (for lead guitar)

F (for everthing else)

*The album still gets a 4 star rating for its "novelty!"
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on July 25, 2006
And thus began Cacophany, a project band to showcase two blokes by the name of Marty Friedman and Jason Becker. On this album the pair are joined by Atma Anur on drums and Peter Marrino on vocals (Friedman laid down the bass tracks). All up this release is very evocative of it's makers, two guys who could play an arpeggio in their sleep but have little to say and perhaps little experiene to really present themselves in the best possible light.

The production here is a little dull, even after remastering. This stunts the record somewhat as do the unexpressive vox. And this latter hurts the albums connectivity, Marrino just not being able to project a personality into these fairly lacklustre mid 80's takes on metal.

Having said that the boys can play, check out third track Ninja. Interestingly the actual solos aren't credited though at times it's easy to pick which chap is playing. The trade offs are great on some tunes, such as Concerto and not toally one dimensional. On later releases both guitarists have played better and were able to grow musically for the better but debut Cacophony is probably best left for hardened fans of these buys due to the limitations discussed above as this disc is a little stunted.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on November 1, 2001
Let me say first that the vocals are, indeed wretched, but that's not why someone would buy this album. The reason to buy this album lies with the two maestros responsible for creating it, Jason Becker and Marty Friedman. There have been many albums that feature masterful and over the top guitar playing, but they all pale in comparison to this masterwork. Not just "Bach-n-Roll" scales and arpeggios as so many other shred albums seem to be, like the works of Malmsteen, or the high speed hard rock of RacerX, but a deep exploration of other influences. You hear some Bach here, some Stravinski there and some Philip Glass in another place, nearly all of it being delivered with a completely satisfying level of technique, feel and brutality. Simply put, there is not another album ever recorded that is quite like this. If you like guitar solos, this album is the last word.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 31, 2008
This is the best neoclassical guitar album ever along their second album and jason becker perpetual burn and i dont need anyone else agreement. The song concerto and speed metal symphony or songs like the ninja, where my fortune les shows how talented these 2 guitarist are both at song writting, speed and technique. Its hard to believe that Jason Becker was only 17 at the time. The guitar harmony between the two and the sweep arpeggio are just flawless.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 13, 2010
This album is awesome. I bought it a few years ago and am still blown away every time I play it on my player. Jason & Marty's guitar work is on a whole new level and I love how it seems like they're always trying to out-due each other on this album. Highly recommend this album to any true metal-head.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 6, 2009
If you are into to fast guitar playing, classical music, or anything all around Badass, BUY THIS ALBUM. Amazing guitar work these guys are what Satriani and Vai are credited for being. If you want to check it out youtube concerto and see for yourself.
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