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A Review of the album Perpetual Burn the finest work by guitarist Jason Becker

Updated on January 8, 2018
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Ara is currently an Accounting student at Glendale Community College in Glendale. CA. His main goal in life is the enjoyment of it.

Perpetual Burn: front album cover featuring the talented Jason Becker

On the cover for Perpetual Burn is guitarist Jason Becker. He would have his career cut short by ALS or Lou Gehrig's Disease but when he could play fast, he was one of the most exciting guitar players in the world.
On the cover for Perpetual Burn is guitarist Jason Becker. He would have his career cut short by ALS or Lou Gehrig's Disease but when he could play fast, he was one of the most exciting guitar players in the world.

Track Listing for the album Perpetual Burn

  1. Altitudes
  2. Perpetual Burn
  3. Mabel’s Fatal Fable
  4. Air
  5. Temple of the Absurd
  6. Eleven Blue Egyptians
  7. Dweller in the Cellar
  8. Opus Pocus

Perpetual Burn Is An Album That Shows a Few of Jason's Biggest Musical Influences

Perpetual Burn is the 1988 solo album and finest work by guitarist Jason Becker and for that reason alone, it deserves a review! The title track for me is one of the most memorable songs in Jason’s entire career for its brilliant melodies, tapping work, and distortion. If you don’t enjoy any other kind of American metal and rock because it might be too heavy and intense for you to handle, Perpetual Burn will be the exact opposite. Perpetual Burn is sure to keep your interest level high. Mabel’s Fatal Fable starts with some interesting, dirty lead guitar style riffing and then speeds up. This song will have Yngwie J. Malmsteen interested for sure. For Becker, Yngwie J. Malmsteen is one of his influences and you can hear through the guitar playing that Becker was influenced by him. Malmsteen started his career in 1976 and that time Jason was just a young boy. Well, by 1988 and 1989, Jason could have felt that he was on top of the guitar playing world. Next we have the song Air, one of the most beautiful classically influenced written works ever. Whether this is coincidence or not, the great classical musician Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) also had acoustic guitar works.

Perpetual Burn Turns 30 Years Old in 2018 and That's An Important Milestone

In 2018, it is 30 years since the release of Perpetual Burn and it is one of the best instrumental albums not just in the history of rock and metal, but for the United States heavy metal scene as well. Jason Becker in the 1980’s was one of the four best American born guitarists along with Marty Friedman, Joe Satriani, and Vinnie Moore. I mention the names of these four men because they were influential in how they made instrumental music popular.

The Contributions of Guitarist Marty Friedman

Marty Friedman does some guest guitar work the three songs that come after Air. Marty Friedman and Jason Becker are known to heavy metal fans for being part of the US neoclassical speed metal band Cacophony. That band only lasted for a few years because the members went to focus on their own works. But the beauty of the album Perpetual Burn should be appreciated for its melodies and just the passion that Jason shows in his guitar playing. This is especially the case for the album’s opening song Altitudes! Eleven Blue Egyptians has an Egyptian influence in the guitar playing. At least that’s the way that I hear it.

The Song Perpetual Burn

The Beautiful Song Air

The Importance of the album Perpetual Burn and Jason Becker

Perpetual Burn is an important work in the history of instrumental rock and metal albums first of all because prior to this album being released, you really didn’t have too many albums of its kind. It is fair to surmise that Becker and Friedman revolutionized the genre of heavy metal by introducing their brand of classically influenced shred and speed metal. Friedman though would slow down and get softer for his solo albums Scenes and Introduction. Perpetual Burn is an outstanding release and should still continue to inspire guitar players from all over the world for its overall excellent songwriting, melodies, and riffing. This is American neoclassical speed metal at its best! However, this would be the last time that we really hear Jason play this brilliantly as he would be diagnosed with ALS in 1989. He would work on another album called Perspective which would not be released until 1996. But on Perpetual Burn, Jason Becker showed that he was one of the best guitarists in the world. He could play slow and make it sound good. He could play soft and make it sound good and he could delight you with his melodies and speed.

The last song in this brilliant album is the one called Opus Pocus which has a slow, classical influence to it and I can sense that Jason is letting out his creativity in this song. The best songs in this album are pretty much all of them!

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The Song Called Eleven Blue Egyptians

Drummer on the album Perpetual Burn

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Mabel's Fatal Fable

© 2016 Ara Vahanian

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