Forgotten Heavy Metal Albums: Cacophony "Go Off!" Featuring the Contributions of Marty Friedman & Jason Becker
Go Off! (Album Cover with Marty Friedman and Jason Becker)
"Go Off!" Songs List
- X-Ray Eyes
- Go Off!
- Black Cat
- Sword of the Warrior
- Floating World
Go Off! Is Famous Because of Marty Friedman and Jason Becker
There are albums that deserve a review and well thought out analysis because they are albums that most people will forget about. This is the case for the album Go Off! Released by US speed and shred metal band Cacophony, "Go Off!" It features the excellence and guitar wizardry of Jason Becker and Marty Friedman. The album was released in 1988 and also has Peter Marrino on vocals and drummer Deen Castronovo on drums. He would also play the drums on Marty Friedman’s first solo album called Dragon’s Kiss.
Note: Go Off! Is just one of those albums that even in 2019 reminds me how grateful I am to still be alive and we will get to that near the end of this review.
Go Off! the Songs X-Ray Eyes and E.S.P.
Before we get started here, let’s address the vocals on the album. Peter Marrino sounds somewhat like a raspier version of Randy Rampage (ex-Annihilator). He strains his voice without the high pitched screams of other vocalists but still he is at best an average vocalist and I’m probably being generous with that description. When he yells “I’m gonna take you down,” it is an incessant repetition that may drive some listeners crazy. That is in the song called E.S.P. The song is basically someone that has an extraordinary vision and he can see everything. The one great thing that most people can count on as being reliably excellent is the lead guitar work especially in the first song X-Ray Eyes where Friedman and Becker trade leads that are done so beautifully that words cannot describe. Peter Marrino starts with the words “you got X-Ray eyes,” (Becker, 1988). Then to follow that up, the next verse is solid as well as the song keeps on going like a proper speed metal song! As good as the song is, it is the lead guitar work in it that is the most memorable part in it. This is nothing less than absolute guitar play at its best. This song is so great that you will in all likelihood want to replay the guitar parts all over again. In case anyone is confused here we were referencing the first song X-Ray Eyes in this sort section after we briefly addressed the two instrumental songs that are on this album.
The Songs Stranger and Go Off!
Stranger is a blues rock style song about someone being chased by a stranger in their dreams that they cannot hide from this person that is chasing them. The album has two instrumental songs in it. They are Images and Go Off! Jason Becker would experiment with these kinds of songs on his solo album Perpetual Burn. Go Off starts with some fast and exciting lead guitar work before the riffing comes in and then we have a sort of classically influenced part after that. As the song nears the end, we hear a lead guitar part that resembles something on the album called Perpetual Burn.
The Excellence of the Song Black Cat
Black Cat features three types of sounds in the beginning. They are the sound of a waterfall with the water gushing down, guitar riffing, and the roars of a lion. The lion is part of the MGM logo that has been a part of American popular culture and there is even the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas. We are digressing here but you get the point. Black Cat is a humorous kind of song telling us to never mess with a black cat and it brings up the superstition that a black cat crossing your path symbolizes bad luck. The song also has some great melodic sweeping style leads as well. The song also has some kind of guitar work that reminds me of the type that you will hear on the song Jewel (Dragon’s Kiss song #6).
Best Thing About Go Off!
What is the best quality about the album Go Off!?
How is the Rest of the Album Go Off?
Next comes the speed metal classic Sword of the Warrior. The song is basically about a warrior that is brave who loses his mind and is ready to compete and to show that he can win any duel. The song has some off the most memorable interlude work that you will ever hear. As the song says: “we won’t forget the sword of the warrior.” Floating World is the one song we did not discuss in this review. The song is about someone looking out the window and he wants to discover something but his heart beats faster and he has a fear that has never known. There is something waiting out there and he seems to be having some twisted dream. Peter Marrino’s vocals are slightly better in this song and the lead guitar work makes up for the rest of the song being average. Go Off! would be the last album for Cacophony because Jason Becker would depart the band to do his own solo work. Marty Friedman would join Megadeth in 1990 and his career would really reach super mainstream heights. This album is one that may be forgotten by many rock and metal fans and it is a pretty darn solid work for the 40 minutes that it is.
Go Off & 1988 was Also the Last Year That Jason Becker Was Fully Functional & Healthy
Although we could not have known this at the time, 1988 would also be the last year in Jason Becker’s life that he would be fully functional because in 1989 he would be diagnosed with ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease as the illness would gradually strip away his ability to play a guitar and walk. As I listen to this album in 2019, I am so grateful to be alive and healthy and those of us that are healthy should do what we can to appreciate that health.
What are the Strongest Songs in the Album?
The strongest songs are X-Ray Eyes, Black Cat, Sword of the Warrior, Images, and Go Off! This album is one of the best in the history of US speed metal and should be enjoyed even by guitar players all over the world. Go Off! could be considered one of those albums that gave rise to other similar kinds of albums such as Vinnie Moore’s Meltdown (1991).
Becker, M. F. (1988). X-Ray Eyes [Recorded by Cacophony]. United States.
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The song called "Go Off!"
© 2016 Ara Vahanian