Steve Vai - Inviolate
Steve Vai has continually challenged notions of traditional guitar playing and composition and on more than one occasion even reimagined the very instrument itself. 'I don't sit around and say, 'Okay, what can I do now that pushes the boundaries?,' Vai explains about his approach to the guitar. 'What I do say to myself is, 'Okay, Vai what are you going to do now that's going to interest you, that's going to fascinate you, and that's different than anything you've done before?' The answer to that question comes in the form of Vai's tenth solo album, 'Inviolate', a nine-song opus that does indeed push the boundaries of instrumental guitar music. This time out, Vai quite literally invents not just a new guitar, but also a new guitar-playing technique. The Hydra, the elaborate three-necked steampunk-inspired guitar that Steve holds on the album cover, is actually played on the song 'Teeth of the Hydra'. On the other hand (no pun intended), Steve recorded and played the song 'Knappsack' with just his left hand, after his right arm was in a sling following shoulder surgery. At the same time, 'Inviolate' presents his most focused, streamlined and perhaps invigorating music in years. The album features a host of esteemed musicians, including Billy Sheehan, Vinnie Colaiuta and Terry Bozzio.