"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."
Guitar Wizardry at its best
Shredwood | Washington D.C. | 02/16/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"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."
Eric B | 05/01/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"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."
Eric B | Canada | 01/16/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"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."
Shred Metal Symphony
Paul Lawrence | Australia | 07/26/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"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."