Let’s face it. Steve Vai has not been relevant in the U.S. for a long time now. They still seem to love him overseas though. I used to be his biggest backer back in the days of Passion and Warfare. I even backed him with Sex & Religion (back then), but the only good thing that came out of that album was our introduction to Devin Townsend. Stave Vai has all of the talent in the world, but is lacking something. I call it a lack of heart, but others would disagree. He seems to be content with showing that he has chops moreso than macking sure his chops has heart and soul.
It has been a long time since I have been stoked to hear anything new from Vai, but I figured that I would get psyched up for this release. After hearing some recent instrumental albums that got me back into the genre from the likes of Jeff Loomis and John 5, I was ready for another Vai release. With 2012, comes The Story of Light. Let’s check out how this one panned out.
The Story of Light starts off with the title track which goes right back to what I mentioned earlier. It is chops for the sake of chops. Vai makes use of way more effects than anyone cares to hear. Sure, it shows that he can play, but so can Yngwie and there is heart behind every note of what Yngwie does.
Venorum has some nice, heavy riffs about midway through the song, but is missing the punch throughout the rest of the song. Even after the parts that were starting to look up, it goes back to various effects and layered tracks. It all starts to sound chaotic. I could see listening to this one a little more though to explore it a little deeper.
Book of the Seven Seals is like something straight out of Willy Wonka. It is silly and not in a good way. It is a tough listen. I was glad to have that one over with and I have yet to listen to it again.
On the other hand, songs like Gravity Storm are songs that I can listen to over and over again. There are rhythm sections that make sense which make the song more than one huge solo. There is a ton of power behind this one. This is what I would like to see more out of Vai.
Overall, the album was what I expected with few highlights and lots of fluff.