Utilizing strategically placed grit and throaty attention to detail, Satch preaches to the choir with phrasing that sighs, moans, and screams. Excellent production and orchestration runs front to back as his panned guitars soar with mellifluous vibe and upper-midrange honk and phrasing.
Carrying over band members from Unstoppable Momentum, Satriani has Mike Keneally on guitar and keys, drummer extraordinaire Marco Minnemann, and Bryan Beller on bass. Guests include drummer Vinnie Colaiuta and bassist Chris Chaney.
The 15 songs run the gamut from mind-warping rockers, dreamy ballads, and everything in between. Broadening his palette of guitar techniques, Satriani offsets his patented legato and shred concepts with traditional blues-based techniques that include clawed double-stop bends and fingerpicking.
Satriani’s music has always included sing-able melodies, lyricism, and mindfulness of the song, but this new album takes things up a notch with a sub-textual narrative that carries the listener on a soulful journey deepening with each track. Highlights include, “On Peregrine Wings,” “Shockwave Supernova,” and “Stars Race Across The Sky.”
This article originally appeared in VG‘s October ’15 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.