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Mike Martin / Press

“While there is no denying his chops, his compositional skills on some tracks here deserve special recognition. “Living the Good Life” is an uptempo rocker with a melody that’s instantly hummable. Guitar drives the song and Martin’s journey through modulations are gorgeous, calling to mind Larry Carlton’s more melodic pieces. The song also lets Martin show off his harmonic talents as he glides through a chord solo. The title cut mixes metalesque riffing with a loud, melodic solo. It also shows another talent of Mike’s, the layering of guitars. He likes to put down tracks that sound great together. And it wraps with shredding that’ll make you run for the hills. “The Trouser Trout” is a funky pop tune with more of that layered guitar sound that he has obviously perfected. His ballad work shows considerable influence from some of the finest popsters from the past on cuts like “Lavender” and “Salute.””

“Rating : 7.0 Mike Martin is a blast of a guitar treasure, as anyone who has seen Fozzy could attest heartily. So it’s no surprise that he’s created a gorgeous instrumental guitar album at a level arguably reached only by John 5 and Steve Vai, the latter – along with the fluid, new agey side of Eddie Van Halen – of which is felt all over this plush, tone-rich disc. As the album progresses, Satriani comes to mind as well, sort of in the joyous, sinewy quality to the soloing, as well as the hummability (check out ‘Living The Good Life’). With ‘Epiphany’ you’re also in that yearning Satriani/Vai place. What’s great testimony to Martin as an artist is that he doesn’t shred on this record, despite (well, this is my opinion) being pretty much the most explosive, fastest, musical, and intelligent of structure shred king I’ve ever seen. Grade-wise, there’s a hard ceiling to a minimally utilitarian record like this for me, and Mike hits that.”

“Mike Martin, guitar slinger for hire, has been playing his instrument of choice for more than two decades — and it shows on 2 of 5, his first solo record featuring material written over a period of several years. He's applied his rock, classical, metal, jazz, folk and world-music influences into a series of bands and side projects, including Fozzy and Stuck Mojo, but he's never really had the creative freedom to simply play what he wants. Until now. The all-instrumental 2 of 5 is a musical melting pot of ideas that showcases Martin's clean playing and extensive reach. In fact, in the liner notes, he calls the record "my declaration of independence." "Prelude" and "Epiphany" sound darker and more mysterious than any other track, climaxing with a soaring solo that's the best piece of guitar playing on the whole record. Martin sums up his hefty style by mixing power chords with massive shredding on "Infection." more on: http://www.seaoftranquility.org/reviews.php?op=showcontent&id=4418”

“As a member of the band FOZZY, Mike Martin has had the opportunity to tour the world. But, for the past 15 years, Martin has been performing around the Southeastern United States while writing material for “2 Of 5.” I like to explain my views like this - there are the musicians who play during their songs, and there are the musicians who actually form the song as they play. Mike Martin is a guitar player that has a great feel for melody. Never overplaying or exploiting the melody for a moment in the spotlight, Martin is one of the few players that can write great songs. Joe Satriani and Jeff Beck are the cream of the crop when it comes to rock guitar instrumental music. Mike Martin reminds me of these two guys. He has the poise and perfect tone of Beck, and the overall sound and feel of Satriani. Sounding like Satriani may be taboo for many of you out there, but let me tell you this - Satch isn’t such a bad guy to sound like. More on: http://www.areuonsomething.com/”

“Fozzy guitarist goes into smoother territories on solo effort Having played with Fozzy, Stuck Mojo, & many other wild tinged metal outfits that lurk upon the extreme, axeman Mike Martin brings a rich thick blend of smooth metal styles to the table, in the vein of Satriani, Edward Box, and early Uli John Roth. You can call it an alter ego, but there is nothing egotistical about this album, for which the playing flows with a sense of melody, and not all this overzealous shredding; just pure plectonic grooves. Martin's intellect of harmonious compositions is found all over the record; he covers all the bases he needs to in his own way on 2 of 5. Playing his six strings like a singer would sing the song, Martin chooses his own type of musical focus to portray harmonious passages of compositional intellect when it comes to playing music on his own terms. Score: ****”

“Rating: 10 out of 10 This genius guitarist has shared his talent in such bands as Fozzy and Stuck Mojo, so you know in order for him to play in those two bands alongside maniac fretman Rich Ward, he’s got to be good. This album proves it hand over fist!!! First of all, coming from a former drummer, I have to say that instrumental, guitar wanking albums don’t do a damn thing for me, however, 2 Of 5 is just so musically perfect you can’t deny the power it uses to hold your attention. Mike has crafted the album meticulously with emphasis being put on the perfect song order to completely become wrapped up in this thing. It’s so good and so brilliantly performed (his guitar playing is phenomenal!!!) that you have to listen to it all the way through. For fans of Steve Vai and Joe Satriani all the way, although I will say that 2 Of 5 is, in my humble opinion, better than any output I’ve heard from the former two since their debuts. more on: away-team.com”

“The title is an allusion to "Star Trek", and this guitarist's trek may become stars-studded. Today it's almost a rule: if you're a rock guitarist with a classical background your music is interesting to listen to but it rarely brings pleasure - it's an intellect-versus-pure joy game. Fortunately, Mike Martin counts jazz and folk amongst his influences as well as hard rock and doesn't bind himself to any particular style on this album, a fine collection of instrumental pieces. The centerpiece, though, is "Epiphany", the best example of what Mike's capable of in terms of composition. Starting Bach-like, it builds on riffs but it's the lyrical, spiral way up through both speedy and relaxed soloing to the climactic resolution. There's no showing off, there's genuine feelings on display. it's 4 - not 2 - out of 5. more on: http://dmme.net/reviews/reviews33.html#mikemartin”