"Inferno," the new studio album by guitar legend MARTY FRIEDMAN, debuts at #133 on this week's Billboard Current 200 chart and #186 on the overall Top 200. These mark FRIEDMAN's first-ever solo chart appearances. In addition, "Inferno" is #4 on the magazine's Heatseekers chart, #10 on the Top Metal/Hard Rock Albums chart, #24 on the Top Independent Albums chart and #64 on the Top Rock Albums chart.
Over the course of his highly influential career, FRIEDMAN has released a dozen solo albums in addition to his high-profile stints in Cacophony -- a pioneering guitar act that saw him memorably trade licks with Jason Becker -- and Megadeth, with whom he earned seven Grammy nominations and sold millions of albums during his 10-year tenure.
In 2003, FRIEDMAN -- a fan of Japanese popular music and culture who was also fluent in the language -- moved to Tokyo, where he quickly built a name for himself in the country's domestic music industry. As Billboard reports this week, he also became the "Ryan Seacrest of Japan," a ubiquitous television personality who has hosted numerous programs and served as a frequent guest on scores of others. In addition to his estimated 600+ TV appearances, he's also appeared in national commercial campaigns, published books, written magazine and newspaper columns and performed live at such prestigious venues as the Tokyo Dome and Budokan.
While FRIEDMAN continued to write and release new music overseas on a regular basis, many of his Japanese solo releases fell under the radars of American fans. "Inferno," however, sees FRIEDMAN remind the world why he's widely considered to be the best thrash metal lead guitarist of all time. Recorded primarily in Los Angeles with Chris Rakestraw (Danzig, Children of Bodom) and mixed by Jens Bogren (Opeth, Amon Amarth), the album features what FRIEDMAN considers to be his most intense and aggressive playing to date. In addition, the album includes "Horrors," his first songwriting collaboration with Becker -- who has courageously battled ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) for more than two decades -- since the Cacophony days.
"Inferno" also features notable guest appearances by Rodrigo y Gabriela, Revocation guitar whiz David Davidson, Children of Bodom front man Alexi Laiho, acclaimed rocker Danko Jones, Shining mad scientist Jørgen Munkeby and Skyharbor guitarist Keshav Dhar. Dhar's bandmate Anup Sastry -- who has also performed with Intervals and Jeff Loomis -- plays drums on the majority of "Inferno," and recently posted a play-through video of the track "Sociopaths," which can be viewed at this location.
In other news, FRIEDMAN appears on this week's episode of Fuse's "Metalhead to Head" alongside Ben Weinman (The Dillinger Escape Plan). Check out the two-part video at this location.