finally, a new studio album by Commander Vai. it's good to know Vai retained most of his Live in London Astoria line-up, but there's a new drummer on-board...
if this is your first Vai experience, your jaw will drop after hearing the commander's unbelieveable technical capacity. however, although a new offering is in store, much of the materials in here sound jaded.
the album opener will leave you awestruck. this instrumental has an incredible synth/ guitar doubling this side of Dream Theater. i'm not too keen with the tracks involving vocals. yes, Vai's vox is more than decent but they aren't captivating to say the least. nevertheless, it's good to hear peculiar guitar blips & squeaks which are signature Vai peculiarities peppered all over this release. there is also much more dabbling in synth, sitar & accoustic tones this time round.
after listening to this album 3 times, i'd say that this offering saw Vai having no obligations to over-dwell on shred. there were lush moments when passages were stretched to good measures. but all the technical intricacies are still present in this album, further stamping his status as an undisputed guitar authority. the guitar tones on offer here are very polished, i hear lots of Breed tones in action- that's the new Bad Horsie JEM maybe? however, the low notes aren't as well captured on record IMO, they are more fuzzed out rather than being sweetly driven. 8)