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Steve Vai - Passion And Warfare CD (album) cover


Steve Vai


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3.59 | 147 ratings

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3 stars Steve Vai is the kind of shred guitarist that could actually be commercially successful. He mixed fret-scorching licks with actual compositional skills, giving him a broader appeal than strat abusers like Michael Angelo Batio. Passion and Warfare is Vai's most well-known record and it, along with his tours with David Lee Roth, made him nearly a household name in the mid to late 80s. This is Vai's second rockiest album behind the heavily flawed Sex & Religion, and the emphasis is more on skill than music.

The licks on this album are legendary and no guitar player should be without it. Erotic Nightmares, The Audience is Listening, and The Animal display both Vai's incredible technique and his sense of humor. Every song is a fretboard workout, but nothing compares to the epic instrumental ballad For the Love of God. When Steve wrote this, he fasted and meditated for ten days. The song is six minutes of six string heaven, as Vai runs through a slew of techniques I could not even begin to identify. It's emotional, jaw-dropping, and engrossing. The accompanying music video has a ton of images involving man's corruption of religion. It mainly shows images of war as well as the Holocaust and some religious icons thrown in for good measure. To date, it is my favorite guitar song and it's routinely selected as Vai's best composition.

Bottom line, if you own a guitar, you probably have this album, and it's certainly a shred classic. However, the songs don't stick with you as much as Vai's later work, with the exception of the amazing For the Love of God. His latest album, Real Illusions, is far better compositionally. Passion and Warfare is a classic of the guitar Overall, I'd give this a high three stars since it isn't prog and it fails to move me like Real Illusions or The Ultra Zone, but you will be astounded by his prowess nonetheless.

Grade: C+

1800iareyay | 3/5 |


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