Speed Metal Symphony review by Cacophony

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  • Released: Jan 1, 1987
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 6
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 7.7 Good
  • Users' score: 9.7 (62 votes)
Cacophony: Speed Metal Symphony

Sound — 9
Cacophony is the result of combining 2 of best shred guitarists ever born. These being Marty Friedman (Megadeth) and Jason Becker. This album is recognized worldwide for it's amazing technicality and dual guitar parts (the album was made while Becker was only 17 which is an amazing feat). The guitar parts are a absolutely amazing to listen, from dual arpeggio sweeps to tight rhythmic riffs. It can be distinctly heard that many of the songs were composed by Friedman because of the oriental scales used. The main song where this can be heard is in 'The Ninja'. The intro is based around some Japanese Pentatonic scale (forget the name, someone wish to enlighten me). Although this album does deserve nothing but praise I feel that some of the albums are lacking the 'X factor', i.e. 'Burn the Ground' and 'Desert Island".

Lyrics — 6
I haven't been able to find the lyrics written for this album which is annoying. I feel the lyrics do complement the music very well as does the singers aggressive vocals. The singer in most of the songs is spot on but on a few is lacking the required vocals (i.e. 'Desert Island').

Overall Impression — 8
This album is by far the better of the two they released. That is mainly because with 'Go Off' they tried tfor a bit more of a compositional approach. The best songs are by far 'Savage', 'Where my Fortunes Lie', 'The Ninja' and 'Concerto' (instrumental piece). Not surprisingly there are the first 4 tracks on the album. I absolutely love listening to the improvised guitar duals. They are so chaotic but surprisingly nice to listen to. I think the thing I hate most about it is the cover art. It's so bland. If this album was lost I think I probably would buy it but it is almost impossible to get because they aren't too well known in the mainstream music. It is a must have album for all shred fans simply because you it's so damn inspirational.

19 comments sorted by best / new / date

    yes!! finally a review for this album. i was gonna write one myself but i couldn't be bothered! awesome! i love this album! by the way the scale is the hirajoshi scale(japanese pentatonic)- just ask your teacher about it.
    hey garthunkle i dont gewt why u didnt give this amazing cd a better rating- not that you aren't entitled to ur own opinion but i think that in some cases you could have given this album more credit where it is due. for instance you say that songs such as 'desert island' lacked the x factor- well maybe but have you heard the section at 30! i mean come on that bit is awesome and very musical. also what annoys me is that most people are ranting on about this being a monument to shred-which it is- but it is much more than that as it is very musical and thouroughly enjoyable to listen to; and probably still would be even if it was played on a xylophone!i think that becker and friedman alone are much more musical than the likes of malmsteen, and combined they are awesome! oh yeah and dont forget that becker wouldn't be anything without marty's guidance and inspiration- he said it himself!
    don't get me wrong... becker is one of the greatest guitar players out their but friedman (in opinion) was the ine who put cacophony on the pedistool... and whats with everyone raggin on Yngwie to? He's a fukn god!! oh yeah... Herman Li can suck every cock in America. Dragon Force sucks ass!
    Marty has a very cool style. I love his melodies and use of exotic scales. Jason has insane technical ability and he had insane potential. Perpetual Burn is my favorite solo album of all time (though Jeff Loomis's upcoming album may just take that spot). Shame Jason got such a terrible disease. I couldn't imagine how amazing he could've gotten.
    Man, if you think Dragonforce is intense... Cacophony puts Herman Li to shame, and then some. This is my 2nd favourite shred-tastic cd. Behind Go Off!, because that song has the most insane guitaring EVAH!
    You can definately while hearing the tracks of this album distinguish Friedman from Becker. While Becker is very good and my alltime favorite guitarist, Friedman has very unique style and tone.
    I never really liked the album. My bass instructor played for them on their first album..... he unfortunately was not as cool as I would have thought. Though I must say they are awesome guitarists
    Finally... they are my favourite band ever ( becuase jason becker was a part of it ) i bet if he was still able to play he would have been more famous than malmsteen
    the one thing I didn't find right, was that you seem to have a thing against desert island, that happens to be my favorite one, well not favorite, but favorite vocal, tied with Ninja, even if it got a 7.7, i think we all agree this is one damn amazingly good album
    To the people who are saying wtf only 7.7 I didn't just review the guitar parts but the whole album including the singing which at some parts really isn't that amazing. I also think that Marty Friedman is more prominent on this album than Becker.
    SpeedCacophony wrote: by the way the scale is the hirajoshi scale(japanese pentatonic).
    Thx i'd learnt it but forgot the name. P.S. If u don't like my review write your own
    Banana King
    I'm suprised it only got a 7.7 But yeah, Becker completely dominates in this album. There is no doubt that Becker would have been more famous than Friedman if he was still able to play.
    It 20 years, but it has been done! 7.7? I thought this album was amazing! Becker is ****ing amazing.
    wow what a weird time to review this album, so long ago this came out. haha, but this album is great if u want to just listen to insane guitar playing, but that is pretty much the album. i dont think your suppose to pay attention to anything else except the extreme technique that these guys have. I love both of them
    La Qotsa
    Bit late on the review here :p: But yeah, nice to see one. Very good shred band.
    man, im 16, and i would kill to be as good as jason was when he was 17. He might be, and probably is, my favorite guitarists. As a guitar player i give this album a straight ten. Although i really dont care for the vocals on some songs like desert island. And some of the lyrics are goofy and stupid, again desert island. I am a huge classic thrash fan and i think a few of thier tracks could be considered speed or thrash, like burn the ground. And marty friedman, who this album introduced me too, is now one of my favorites also. Great Guitar Album.