Shred AOTM: Professor Satchafunkilus and the Musterion of Rock


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Axegrinder#9
03-29-2008, 08:51 PM
So, I've acquired my copy of Satch's new album and since I don't really hang out much here at the shred forum anymore, I thought it'd be nice to write a fresh review on this album.

As fair warning, I just got the album today, so these are purely first impressions, but I'm going to make them as detailed as possible. I initially thought of avoiding the song by song analysis, but ended up going with it anyway. I'll try and offer a cohesive perspective on the album as a whole.

Professor Satchafunkilus and the Musterion of Rock

The album starts off with an ominous dark vibe as "Musterion" kicks off. To draw a comparison, it reminded me sort of the song "Belly Dancer" or "Oriental Melody" from the SBM album. There are definitely some interesting moments in the song, Satch's playing is quite twisted ;) The song retains a format similar to most of Satch's "standard" more rock oriented songs - all in all an interesting album opener.

"Overdrive" continues almost where "Musterion" left off - however, it gives the listener the feeling of really settling into the album. Heavy rock-solid guitar arrangements over a pretty basic drum and bass groove. However the layering of guitar sounds really thickens up the mix, and Satch is playing those memorable hooks and big sounding chords! This is the first kind of "take notice" stereotypical Satch solo. A very pronounced minor tonality and some really nice melodies. A pretty guitar heavy and dramatic closure to the song leading straight into...

"I Just Wanna Rock" - whether a reference to the old Twisted Sister song, I don't know, but it is what it says it is. This is very similar to "Crowd Chant" off Super Colossal. Straight up bare bones rocker, which is spiced up by Satch using a Talk-Box - this is definitely going to be one for the audience.

And this is where things get real hip ~ from ZZ's dissonant tenor lines which segue into "Professor Satchafunkilus". It's all about the funk! Satch's layered melodic guitar lines pretty much tell the listener to get off the seat and move one's posterior on the downbeat. Very hip and funky, funkier than "The Snake" off his first album or "Cool#9". This is a real funky tune which I have no doubt Satch is going to use to build off to an Satchanormous jam when he plays it live! Some real sneaky and hip soloing going on there too and the song drops out to ZZ repeating his melodies - works just brilliantly.

and "Revelation". We could have done without this one. Nothing new here at all. Satch doing some soulful soloing over what sounds like a backing track. Without letting my feelings for Satch as one hip dude coming into the way, it's a pretty boring track. Nothing new here, though to its credit the song ends with some really nice soloing from Satch and picks up in intensity. But overall, disappointing given its name, anything but a revelation.

"Come on Baby" is the trademark love song that is there in every Satch album. Again, it is what is says it is. It has been done before, but there's some inventive and nice soloing in there, and the main melody is really nice almost 60ish hippie sounding.

"Out of the Sunrise" is yet again something that I personally could've done without on the album. It's pretty much like a nondescript 80s sounding track with Satch soloing on top of it, probably the lowest point of the album. Its only saving grace is when Satch breaks off into the solo halfway into the song, but it still ends with the hateful cheesy melody lines.

Thankfully Satch keeps it real by breaking into "Diddle-Y-A-Doo-Dat" with a real prog sounding intro in odd time with harmonized guitar lines which quickly segues into a down and dirty drum and bass groove. There's almost a nod to the Jeff Beck group in the way Satch explores the melodies. The shortest song in the album, it almost brings the listener back on track to let us know Satch means business. What's really unique about this song is the presence of a dirty organ arrangement - something that I've never in the past 6 years of listening to Satriani, ever really heard!

And we're down to the last two songs on the album. Middle eastern percussions and an open stringed melody line lead into "Asik Vaysel" which is in my opinion the album's highlight. This is pure quintessential Satch doing his thing. The mystical intro leads into a straight up shred fest as only Satch can do it. Reminiscent of a live version of "Circles" in terms of song structure, but similar to "Surfing with the Alien" or "Flying in a Blue Dream" in terms of energy. Insane soloing and some great melodies and grooves.

"Andulasia" starts off in a similar manner, stripped down acoustic melodies interweaving through each other with some beautiful acoustic soloing before we get hit with this wall of transcendental guitar noise as the band kicks into full flow. Satch takes over the proceedings and blows you away like only he can. Great way to wrap up the album, you gotta listen to it to feel the energy and the vibe.

So that's about it for first impressions on the album. I'd give it a 4 out of 5 rating. The songs which stand out, definitely grab the listener and gets 'em involved into Satch's playing. However I could have done without the fillers in the album. It's not like they are bad songs, but Satch being Satch makes us have rather groovy expectations. However this album has great potential for repeat listens and though Satriani doesn't necessarily break new ground, he does his thing with panache and style. I had secretly hoped for Dave LaRue to be playing bass on the album rather than Matt Bissionette - I do NOT dig his bass playing, and Dave La Rue works incredibly well with Satch. So I was disappointed that Satch enlisted Matt Bissionette still. Therefore even though you have a drum powerhouse like Jeff Campitelli slamming the skins, the energy from the band is not at its optimum. However that said, I'm sure when they play live, the situation would be rectified. This is not Satch's best album, but it's ultimately pure Satch, so it by default makes it something worth getting your hands on.

Professor Satchafunkilus has entered the building :devil:

Axegrinder#9
03-30-2008, 12:33 PM
haha reaally am I the first one to have heard it in its entirety?

shenanigans
03-30-2008, 01:49 PM
I had no idea it was already out.......

wasp2020
03-30-2008, 03:19 PM
The guys at satrianiforum.com are discussing over it...nice review though. Personally I really like Revelation (the second chorus is at least, definitely something he's never done before) and Out of the Sunrise works very well for it's intention (watch the podcasts)

Liam.
03-31-2008, 09:09 AM
Great album, got it this morning :D

flamencogod
03-31-2008, 11:12 AM
really chill album, better than his last two in my opinion.

Blayney
03-31-2008, 12:57 PM
Last two tracks are what I payed for :D

RockFreak000
03-31-2008, 01:12 PM
awesome, im getting this.

bassmanjoe08
03-31-2008, 01:33 PM
It dont come out till tomarrow over here, hopefully the ****hole that is my local CD store will have it.

Axegrinder#9
03-31-2008, 03:51 PM
Just a quick note! Most people seem to like the songs that I personally thought were the weakest tracks in the album : "Revelation" and "Out of the Sunrise".

So please feel free to critique and assess the review so we may get to what the albums all about!

Blayney
04-01-2008, 11:03 AM
I think Revelation has been done before, it doesn't sound fresh at all. Out of the Sunrise is awesome though!

Blayney
04-01-2008, 08:24 PM
He also says that in the DVD, whilst dressed in tin foil haha

Axegrinder#9
04-01-2008, 10:28 PM
He also says that in the DVD, whilst dressed in tin foil haha

that Satriani... :p:

Jumeriah
04-02-2008, 02:40 AM
I personally thought that revelation was a good song. I get people are saying said the rhythm part of the song sounded elementary at best and lacked in overall creativity ( because it does ). But the solos in the song are charged with such raw emotion that it more than made up for the somewhat stale rhythm work. It reminded me alot of chords of life. So if you are looking for something new and revolutionary then yes you wont be thrilled with revelation I guess. But if you want to hear the guitar playing that made satriani a living guitar legend, you cant go wrong with revelation.

Blayney
04-02-2008, 07:21 PM
that Satriani... :p:
Indeed it is :D

agm_ultimatex
04-03-2008, 08:42 AM
I personally thought that revelation was a good song. I get people are saying said the rhythm part of the song sounded elementary at best and lacked in overall creativity ( because it does ). But the solos in the song are charged with such raw emotion that it more than made up for the somewhat stale rhythm work. It reminded me alot of chords of life. So if you are looking for something new and revolutionary then yes you wont be thrilled with revelation I guess. But if you want to hear the guitar playing that made satriani a living guitar legend, you cant go wrong with revelation.

I agree. Revelation is a very nice song. I also love Out of the sunrise. I havent gotten to into Satchafunkilis, im sure i will with time. Andulasia i havent listened to much to have an opinion yet, asik veysel is nice. Great intro, and just a nice rock song.

KEEP IT UP SATCH!

lotsofvolume
04-04-2008, 02:21 AM
It is incredible.
Love it so much, JS is my idol.

CJRocker
04-04-2008, 03:04 PM
This one didn't knock me over for some reason. Just underwhelming and doesn't bring anything new to the party, as well as just not being able to hold my interest. Maybe if I listen over it again I'll change my mind, but right now I would give it a 3 of 5 stars.

C.C. Deville
04-04-2008, 04:40 PM
i liked everything about this album, not as ear catching as super colossal and personally i really liked revelation haha

played[out]
04-04-2008, 04:46 PM
Professor Satchafunkilus and the Musterion of Rock...

wtf kind of title...

Axegrinder#9
04-04-2008, 05:56 PM
^ a title that is cooler than you.

and folks, I have been liking this album the more I've listened to it. definitely a keeper.

nan0
04-07-2008, 07:22 PM
Musterion - One of my favorites of the CD. It stands out for sure, great way to start out the album. When the lead guitar comes with the whammy "spanking" during the intro is nice. It has one of the bests solos in the album, it sounds so good with the wah-wah.

Overdriver - Another one of my favorites, I love the beginning riff. Some of the best riffs in the CD actually. The octave parts are very catchy. I heard him play it live and it's still stuck in my head. The pick scratching, I think, gives it a robotic/creature like sound.

I Just Wanna Rock - I understand how people can find it too repetitive, but it isn't too bad. The solo alone is worth listening too. I find it better than the crowd chant.

Professor Satchafunkilusv - I haven't gotten into this song really. It stands out for sure *his son ZZ starts the song out* so I don't really have any comments.

Revelation - I felt raw energy and emotion from this song. Especially from the middle on. Certain songs just stick out for me. Like Rubina and echo, songs that have even more special meaning. People call it "amature" I don't see how, music is music. There shouldn't be a limit if he wants to do it. The ending is epic, it's like he's pouring his heart out all over before the ending.

Come on baby - The Ballad of the album, it's very nice. The piano gives it a nice feeling to it. It's a very relaxing song.

Out of the Sun Rise - I like the gentile feeling this song has. I haven't heard this song enough to judge it good enough.

Diddle-y-a-doo-dat - I saw him play this live as well, it has a funny story. The song's style is pretty interesting. kinda Jazzy, makes you kinda wanna move.

Asik Veysel - The taping in the beginning is very nice and unique sounding. I like how it gets crazy as the song goes on ^^ the precussion is nice as well.

Andalusia - Saving it for last was a great idea. I like how it starts all spanish style, and shifts into solo city madness. Amazing. There's so much to this song it'll take too much space to write it all :/


My two cents. One of my fav albums oh his.

Resiliance
04-09-2008, 09:23 AM
I really don't like the album at all, to be honest. It's just so bland, and his tone sounds like he's found a newfound appreciation for the Marshall MG series.

:(

Axegrinder#9
04-09-2008, 02:17 PM
^no.

DaFjory
04-09-2008, 07:32 PM
Finally got mine and just giving it a first spin now. Up to Come On Baby, everything seems alright. Nothing amazing, but rather more 'safe'. I guess that's just how he operates now. All his best experimental stuff was churned out until EoC, and after that there wasn't really much more to explore. So much for a switch to fusion! Hah.

First track totally reminded me of Not Of This Earth and Oriental Jam. For a moment after those chords were done ringing out, I thought he'd start busting out the crazy legato runs from NoTE.

Oh yeah, and what exactly happened to the "15-minute, four-part, really intense song that involves some ensemble playing and some out-and-out jams"?

You lied to us, Satch. Ya bald-headed bastage. :p:

Axegrinder#9
04-09-2008, 08:58 PM
well "Asik Vaysel" & "Andulasia" are considered to be a unified concept - so he wasn't really lying ;)

nan0
04-09-2008, 09:12 PM
Dafjory, get off the crack. You're on the 6th song, not even finished yet and you're acousing Satch of lying >.>

I'm BLASTING Andaulsia on full volume head set right now (10th song btw) . For the Third time in a row. Finish the album before you judge it damn some people can be so phuck fack fudge packing stupid. -_-

Andaulsia is phacking driving me crazy, I must learn it NOW.

DaFjory
04-09-2008, 09:43 PM
^ Oh shoosh already. I was being light-hearted. Thought the smiley would've gave it away, so turn on your sarcasm detector.

Overall, a very good album. Well worth the extra wait I had to make in getting it online. It'll certainly get a few more listens, because that first track really drew me in. I'd rate it way above Super Colossal and SBM, but just about on par with ITLiS. That's basically 4 albums he's made in 6 years that sound similar, so one can't fault his consistency... It's just that I'd still like for him to really branch out into something wild like fusion/jazz/prog/heavy metal (more singing, please!)

Maybe some day. At least he delivered 'safely' once again. Bravo, Satch.

robbo1223
04-21-2008, 12:53 PM
I personally thought that revelation was a good song. I get people are saying said the rhythm part of the song sounded elementary at best and lacked in overall creativity ( because it does ). But the solos in the song are charged with such raw emotion that it more than made up for the somewhat stale rhythm work. It reminded me alot of chords of life. So if you are looking for something new and revolutionary then yes you wont be thrilled with revelation I guess. But if you want to hear the guitar playing that made satriani a living guitar legend, you cant go wrong with revelation.

Satch himself said that Revalation was written when he was contemplating death, which in my opinion makes it more powerful.

The entire CD is awesome, way better than Super Colossal.

robbo1223
04-21-2008, 12:56 PM
']Professor Satchafunkilus and the Musterion of Rock...

wtf kind of title...

It's a Satriani kind of title, and it rocks. It goes to show how light hearted and awesome he is.

Lin
04-27-2008, 11:53 AM
I'm a massive fan but IMHO this one is pretty mediocre. There are ten songs on crystal planet that i'd take over any of these. It really hasn't been that long since the superior Super Colossal and we only just had the Surfing reissue, so i'm unsure what this album is really for.

Asik Vassal is really cool, as is Prof, i agree. And revelation is better than you make out (though that title is such a rock cliché). Most of the rest are kinda mediocre. He could have got away with it if there were some good melodies, but ultimately i think he should have waited a bit longer and collected better material.

bassmanjoe08
04-27-2008, 12:46 PM
Finally got it, and love all but possibly 2 songs on it. Prof. Satchifunkilus and Come On Baby.Still, 2 good songs.
Its great to hear Satch lay down some reggae in Out Of The Sunrise, and I know this is going to be quite juxtapose to the general opinion, but my favourite track right now is I Just Wanna Rock. It puts the most images in my head when I listen to it.

Great album! Cant wait to hear it live!

Axegrinder#9
04-27-2008, 07:42 PM
Great album! Cant wait to hear it live!

second that!

The Virtuoso
05-05-2008, 03:03 AM
']Professor Satchafunkilus and the Musterion of Rock...

wtf kind of title...

A title that is cooler than you'll ever be :peace:

I just heard the album yesterday and it rocked! I'll have to give a few more listens though because one of my earphones was blown, so I was listening to it through one earphone lol.

100Roy001
05-10-2008, 11:21 AM
Very cool album, I keep coming back to it. At first listen, I thought it was quite mediocre except Musterion, Overdriver, and Andalusia. But I finally appreciate all songs, except Asik Vaysel.

Am I the only one who thinks it's the weakest song on the album? I can't listen to it for more than 3/4 minutes... I don't know why, because I absolutely love Andalusia.

sock_demon
05-13-2008, 01:24 PM
bought my copy this Saturday... and my God, it is too good.

I haven't even listened to the entire album yet but I find myself repeating Andalusia about fifty ( I kid you not) times a day.

Jackolas
05-18-2008, 04:14 PM
Anyone doubting this album needs to see them performed live. You will then be amazed!

RIP Back in Red
06-21-2008, 12:13 AM
I got it the second day it was out!!!!!!!!

Free to Guitar
06-22-2008, 05:25 PM
Musterion is good stuff. Doesn't rest for too long and it has a great feeling of mystery. JS usually starts his albums off with a "POW, BOOM, BAM!" song and when he doesn't, the song usually sucks. This is a big exception.
Overdriver is a standout track. Fun stuff. Not exactly innovative but a solid piece of work. Crunchy distortion(though John McLaughlin's end solo on Davis' "Right Off" has him beat there, I think).
I Just Wanna Rock is either a simple'n'fun rock song or crap, depending on the listener. I don't mind the simplicity, I think the voicebox vocals are cool. Again, not ground breaking.
Professor Satchafunkilus is cool. Although I question putting that tenor fluttering from ZZ Satriani at the beginning, I think it could have done without it, it lasts all of five seconds. You'll need a decent set of speakers and attentive ears to take in all the layers of guitar work. You'll be hearing licks you weren't aware of years from now. I'd say this is a standout track.
Revelation doesn't live up the name. Bland.
Come on Baby starts off interesting. Then it's just another sappy love song. Sometimes I like them but this has nothing to offer. Ain't bad, just ain't very exciting either.'
Out of the Sunrise is actually pretty good. I'm probably weird for disliking the previous track and enjoying this one but screw you guys. It's cool. Still nothing new.
Diddle-Y-A-Doo-Dat is a little different from Joe's usual texture, which is kinda nice. Pretty good song with a proggish feel. I think the uplifting, chorus bit is rather offputting though.
Asik Vaysel is also pretty good. It's too long by a bit but it's a jam you can get lost in.
Andalusia is the best track of the album. That's one thing most people seem able to agree on. It starts off with some lovely classical guitar-esque noodling and then proceeds to rock my face off.

Taking this album completely on its own, I'd give it 4/5 stars, but when you consider how much of this album is familiar territory for Satch fans, I have to take half a star. It's better than your average instrumental guitar album but doesn't add many essential songs to the Satch library. 3.5/5.

Shredx
07-06-2008, 04:51 PM
A good solid album, but I don't think it will have the same impact as surfing did.

But none the less its great :)

Satchafunkilus
07-09-2008, 06:11 AM
Ok, Im a huge Satch Fan I have heard bits and pieces of his new cd, where I live theres not many stores cause I live in a old train jucntion AKA LJ so when I go out I should prbably get it. I mean When awesome artists come out with new stuff i get sceptical i did when Ozzy came out with Black Rain and I just finally got that. So what do I do?

chubbyhoagie
07-13-2008, 03:46 AM
dude i didnt even know the satch had a new album out i've gotta get it.i have every other record of his and my favorite has gott to be crystal planet

Helter Skelter
07-19-2008, 04:21 PM
I like what I've heard from it.

zeemonkey
07-24-2008, 02:47 AM
i got my copy signed by joe satriani on april 2nd (day after release) cant help but brag. its sooo goood.

Wasp
08-05-2008, 01:52 PM
I like most of the songs on Prof. Satch., it has a nice mix of different styles. It grew on me after a couple of times, and the final two songs are just epic :)

DaFjory
10-09-2008, 01:06 AM
Unstickify this...?