4 out of 5 Stars!
I bought this CD when it first came out, expecting another instrumental release along the lines of the highly entertaining and occasionally brilliant Passion & Warfare. Needless to say, I was surprised to find an actual vocalist (Devin Townsend) on this release, and I truly detested the whole thing, start to finish. After listening to the CD only one time, I chalked it up to a “bad purchase” and tossed it into the closet with all the other CDs or albums I thought I’d never listen to again.
Not long ago, however, when delving into those dusty and mountainous piles of long-forgotten CDs just for chuckles, I unearthed this release and thought I’d give it another shot (while cringing a bit, since I recalled why the CD had been relegated to those long-forgotten piles). Anyway, to my surprise again, I found it to be not only listenable, but I have played it dozens of times since that day and have actually grown to—gasp!—like it. I suppose I got over that initial shock of hearing a vocalist on a Steve Vai release all those years ago—time had softened the blow, plus my tastes go through various cycles, so I guess I pulled this from the archives at the appropriate moment.
Granted, it’s still not my fave Steve Vai release, it takes a bit of getting used to, but it truly is better than the average fare (for this style of music, that is). I’m glad I gave it another shot to “impress” me, and it has. Plus, it cut down my dusty and mountainous pile of long-forgotten CDs by at least one, so the house isn’t quite so top-heavy.