Perpetual Burn review by Jason Becker

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  • Released: Jan 1, 1988
  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.8 (62 votes)
Jason Becker: Perpetual Burn

Sound — 10
This album is an absolute masterpiece, not just in terms of guitar playing but in terms of general compositional and arranging skills. Jason Becker is truly an amazing guitarist and this album showcases that it in its peak form (due to Jason's infliction and battle with ALS). Since he was never the most famous guitarist around, I decided to get this album by special order, which proved to be well worth it and then some. I was opened up to some of the most incredible shred and general guitar music of all time. His guitar tones alone on the opening track are just so powerful and the riffage is quite innovative. The sounds on this album range from classical guitar styling, to jazzy sounds, to neo-classical shred! Honestly, I don't think there are many guitarists out there who can top Jason's ability to compose in any genre!

Lyrics — 9
This album is 100% instrumental, so I'll use this section of this review to rate the composing & arranging!

Overall Impression — 9
This album surely destroys all of Jason's work with Marty Friedman in "Cacophony", so fans of those albums will practcally wanna throw them away! Also, this album is inarguably among some of the best guitar-based or instrumental albums of all time, so it's not just for shredders. Honestly, I believe that every song is equally well-written and performed, but my favourites are the first 4: "Altitudes", "Perpetual Burn", "Mabel's Fatal Fable" & "Air". There's no filler on this record. "Air" is probably the most heartfelt song on the album though. He dedicated it to his parents and arranged/composed it in such a way that any lover of any music style would find it very moving. And of course, the title track that has some of the most difficult, most complicated sweep-arpeggio progression of all time! Not to mention the fact that it blazes with incredible speed throughout the track! Nothing bad can be said about this album except for maybe the fact that there weren't many more like it made by Jason. I guard this album with my life, so it will never leave my posession, and other owners of it probably feel the same way too. Perpetual Burn is seriously worth ten times its weight in gold.

12 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Absolutely astounding album. It's truly a shame that he was stricken with ALS, however Jason is still alive today and continues to write and compose music. What a legend.
    i think that in many ways that ALS has freed his ability to compose music, as he has total control over what he does, and can approach it form a pure compositional level rahter than playing fast licks on a guitar- not that he did. don't get me wrong, i'm not saying that Jason having als is a good thing, what i'm trying to say is that it appears that he has simply been able to write beautiful music regardless of his illness. i think that his album is far more than 'shred', its just a limitless repetoire of beautiful composition, amazing playing and tone and imaginative playing and orchestration. some advice to those who have not heard Jason or Cacophony or Friedman: it is simply the best thing you can do to yourself in your musical journey as it will change the way you play and approach your music and insrument- it certainly did for me.
    Neo-classical shred doesnt get better than this(sorry yngwie and vinnive moore!)
    can't believe noone has written a review on cacophony's speed metal symphony album. It's essentially becker and friedman shredding it out. If you love shred, you will love songs like speed metal symphony and concerto. Amazing instrumentals
    amazing album by an amazing guitarist....jason becker - probably the best guitarist there ever will be.
    Great Album from Great Virtuoso ..... my Fav song for Jason becker is Altitudes a 5 star song.... i recommand this album for any neo-classic Metal Fan.
    I'm with lord_abyssium, this album is the benchmark of shredding. The melodies aren't as soulful or expressive as say vai, but this album will have you saying "he just did what?????" multiple times. A must have for any guitarist that is serious about their solo's! The title track and Air are the picks of the bunch IMO.
    Cacophony got me into listening to becker, this album made him my favorite guitarists. Dweller in the cellar and the title tracks are my favorites. No words to describe it... no words.