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Steve Vai - Vai: Sex & Religion CD (album) cover


Steve Vai


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3.17 | 102 ratings

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Symphonic Team
4 stars Are you ready for the here & now?!

Sex & Religion really stands out in Steve Vai's discography. Indeed, it isn't a Steve Vai solo album, but credited instead to the band simply called Vai. As such, it is much more of a band effort instead of Steve Vai's usual individualistic guitar pyrotechnics. Here we have a strong set of proper progressive Metal songs with Devin Townsend on vocals. As is commonly the case when an album is different from its closest relatives, it gets a somewhat mixed reaction: some love it, others hate it. Personally, I really like this album and strongly prefer it over any Steve Vai album. There are admittedly a few very annoying moments here and there, but they are rather short and far between and can therefore be forgiven. Though, I initially gave this album a lower rating, it has stood the test of time and I have upgraded my rating to four stars.

The weakest part of the album comes towards the end with Pig and The Road To Mt. Calvary standing out as rather pointless. But these moments are in the end bearable in the context of and outweighed by the good music that dominates this disc.

There is overall a nice balance between rockers and ballads and between vocal and instrumental material. Vai's guitar work is, of course, fantastic, but it is the vehicle it gets through the band format and proper songs that really makes it gel. Devin Townsend does a good job behind the microphone and ranges from soft to harsh (though, a bit less of the latter would be good for me).

If Prog Metal is your favourite subgenre, this album is essential, especially given that it was released in 1993 when the genre was young. Sex & Religion is an underrated album that was before its time.

SouthSideoftheSky | 4/5 |


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