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Cacophony

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United States (1986 – 1989)

There are at least two Cacophony

1. Cacophony is a United States neoclassical speed metal/shred band formed in 1986 by guitarists Marty Friedman and Jason Becker. The band also featured Atma Anur on drums and Peter Marrino on vocals, although the main focus of their music was the guitars. Cacophony is often recognized for its technically challenging, neo-classical metal elements.

Their first album, the predominantly instrumental Speed Metal Symphony, fused classical and hard rock styles with Friedman’s preference towards exotic scales (especially obvious in the song “The Ninja”). It featured exceptionally fast, melodic and technical music that could only be equaled by other virtuosos such as Yngwie Malmsteen. It has been heralded as one of the most awe-inspiring instrumental guitar albums of all time. The title track, “Speed Metal Symphony”, was an incredible combination of amazing lead solos and fast rhythm guitar.

Their second album Go Off! was a commercial failure. Besides Becker, Friedman and Marrino, it featured a new bassist and a new drummer. The drums were played by Deen Castronovo, however the picture of new drummer Kenny Stavropoulos was included on the back cover. Go Off! featured a more song oriented approach, valuing songwriting as much as display of skill. The guitar playing is more technical and the harmonization of the lead lines and solos resulted in interesting double harmonies that wildly differed from the common “Iron Maiden harmony style”.

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