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A Review of the Album "Dragon’s Kiss" the Awesome Solo Album by Marty Friedman

Updated on April 2, 2020
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Ara is a Journalism graduate from California State University Northridge who is looking to always explore his writing opportunities.

Dragon's Kiss is More Than Just an Awesome Instrumental Album

The word awesome sometimes doesn’t give enough credit when it comes to describing the 1988 album called "Dragon’s Kiss". This is the 1988 debut solo album by American guitarist Marty Friedman. The album has only 8 songs but they are 8 quality songs filled with hooks, creative genius, passion, and just downright superb guitar play.

The song Saturation Point with its thunderous drumming starts off this musical masterpiece and even the word masterpiece sometimes isn’t enough to describe this musical work! Right away let me say that Dragon’s Kiss is an entirely instrumental album with no vocals. The only other well-known musician to contribute on this album is the one and only Jason Becker who also was having one of the best years of his life in 1988.

The Back of the Cover for the Album Dragon's Kiss


What is One Example of Superb Guitar Play in the Album?

One example of this superb guitar play is in the song called Namida or tears in English. It is a progressive sounding song at first but then Marty Friedman starts his lead guitar work almost right away. It has this sort of atmospheric feel to it.

Dragon Mistress is the Best Song in the Album

It is still a classic and the jazz influenced song Dragon Mistress is the best song in the album. The song starts out with some rough riffing before developing into a speed metal classic. Starting at around the 2:27 mark of the song we hear a jazz influenced part that is nothing short of a total masterpiece! Masterpiece cannot even begin to describe this song Dragon Mistress!

The Songs Evil Thrill and Anvils

Next we hear the slow, heavy song Evil Thrill. The song is a thrill because it speeds up as the picking kicks in and the guitar melodies really show for the first time. The album’s style is very similar to the album called Go Off! The song stylistically is at least in some way similar to the song Go Off. The classical, slow expression through the guitar work lets us know that Marty is trying to express something. What that something is I cannot really say but it sounds nice nonetheless.

However, the song Anvils is of a different style. This song is fast with a dirty guitar tone but it still fits in the context of the album and shows Friedman’s versatility.

Jason Becker Lends His Guitar Playing Talents on This Album

Making a guest appearance on this album is the very famous Jason Becker. He performs guest solos on the songs Saturation Point and Jewel. Jewel is a slow, passionate display of lead guitar and it may remind you of the guitar playing passion in the song Altitudes that Jason wrote that same year 1988. What a way to start off the year 2018 by presenting to you a review of the instrumental albums that has stood the test of time!

Guitarist Marty Friedman in Tokyo, Japan in 2009.
Guitarist Marty Friedman in Tokyo, Japan in 2009. | Source

The Song Forbidden City and Final Thoughts About Dragon's Kiss

Forbidden City starts out with beautiful, progressive style guitar work. Marty Friedman just doesn’t focus on speed. He uses creativity and passion as well. Near the end of the song is a part that Friedman wrote that is one of the best musical parts in his composing history. It sounds exotic enough to have a sort of Middle Eastern sound to it. "Dragon’s Kiss" is one of the finest instrumental albums ever written and I see very little that is wrong musically with it.

"Dragon Mistress"

Favorite Song On the Album Dragon's Kiss

What is Your Favorite Song on the Album Dragon's Kiss?

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© 2018 Ara Vahanian


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