Sound — 9
Although I was definitely taken aback at first listen, giving off a big "Ehhh", this is quickly becoming my favourite Satch record. It's a definite departure from the Is There Love In Space? /Super Colossal series of albums, which, although great and musical in small doses, were recorded extremely blandly and almost lifelessly. But this one immediately shows it's unique nature, with a weird, angular track like Musterion, with some tasty solo melodies and bizzarre chord progressions. Or how Overdriver, which might have been yet another typical Satriani blues rock song, is overtaken by strangeness in it's verses, walking the line between avant-garde and typical blues-rock, and with a wholly unusual song structure. You're never quite sure where the songs might be going, which is definitely refreshing. One just has to listen to the second chorus of Revelation, a ridiculously good rock ballad, to realize how adventurous Satch got with his ideas. Then you get songs like the Asik Veysel/Andalusia group which show off the incredibly dynamic playing Satriani excels at so well, but lately only really get to hear live. With this record, you get to hear every bend, every scratch, every nuance of the lead guitar, as if he was actually there in the room. The recording is really something special. And the same goes for the accompanyment, all the instruments, at any given time, are doing something organic, something musical, something interesting, which is incredibly refreshing from the backing-track stylings of Super Colossal. The Profesor Satchafunkilus track is a pivotal example of this, with a dozen dizzying layer of guitars playing their own style that eventually add up to the musical vision. This is definitely a record for people who love interesting layering in their songs.
Lyrics — 9
I guess this goes for guitar playing. The soloing in this record captures his true playing style to a nice, big T. Although we got a few really great, long ones like A Cool New Way (Super Colossal, 2006) and If I Could Fly (Is There Love in Space?, 2004), his solos usually only really jumped out when he played them live. This is definitely not the case with this record. You can really hear him dig into each note, adding a lot of life and energy even in mellow songs like Come On Baby and Out Of The Sunrise. The first-take soloing of Revelation is really evident in it's freshness and life. And the raw energy of the Andalusia jam blows his Flying In a Blue Dream track, Bells of Lal (Part 2), out of the water with it's ferocity in his soloing.
Overall Impression — 9
This is quite possibly the most mature and professional record he's put out to date. From the incredibly emotionally and musically satisfying lyrical lines of Revelation, the sort of dark, funky groove of Diddle-Y-A-Doo-Dat, the mellow, cool summer vibe on Out of the Sunrise, and the emotionally supercharged jam of Andalusia, the record definitely covers a lot of ground. There's the rock, there's the ballads, there's the funk, there's the strange, and there's the world songs. His versatility and creativity while still keeping his trademark lyrical style is definitely this album's shining point. It's raw, it's spontaneous, it's adventurous, and it gets better with every listen. Definitely worth a buy.