Joe Satriani – Shockwave Supernova

It provides all the necessary goods from the most commercially successful solo guitarist into making another instrumental belter. Very well done indeed.

It appears that although hard rock supergroup Chickenfoot appears to be dead in the water as of a few days ago, Grammy-award winning guitar mastermind Joe Satriani has decided to focus 100% of his time towards creating another instrumental opus of guitar wizardry the likes of which millions of rock fans around the world have come to know and love. Rock ‘n roll is hard to come by in the MetalRecusants domain, but there are days when all we want to do is forget about 64th note blast beats, death metal riffs and Satan and enjoy something more universally dynamic. Enter Satriani’s new album Shockwave Supernova.

It would be difficult to accurately ascertain any conceptual or thematic representation from an album like this, with an abundance of guitar riffs, solos and effects and no lyrics whatsoever. It is, at face value, another science fiction-inspired voyage into the depths of subconscious’ unknown that are triggered by a variety of melodies and moods. We would not expect anything different from the man who taught guitar to the likes of Steve Vai and Kirk Hammett and who has openly admitted that playing guitar with his teeth is something he wants to explore in a bit more depth. With his teeth.

Shockwave Supernova is, to coin the old cliché, a carefully constructed escapade as a whole. The listener comes to know it as one intricate work of art, rather than separate songs. Within the confines of this hour-long piece, the listener is treated to an excess of tremolo riffs, melodic harmonies and solos both exuberant and spirited, bringing some more life into the instrumental tracks. The passages range from hard hitting riff-fuelled energy (“Crazy Joey”) to 70s inspired blues rock (“San Francisco Blue”), all with an excellent tonal quality and mix behind it.

It appears that Satch is pushing the sci-fi domain into his latest works. As we understand it, he came to realise upon playing guitar with his teeth that seemingly an unknown force was controlling his actions. As such, he took this moment of self-realisation and formed an alter ego known as Shockwave Supernova. This ‘character’ is seemingly a polar opposite of a normally shy and cautious individual that comes to personify Satch’s performance side.

But touching on the sci-fi element of inspiration, Satch does not wish to stop at music albums we understand. His risk-taking endeavour into creating Crystal Planet as an original sci-fi miniseries is currently in progress. Essentially that said Crystal Planet is a self-made Earth, billions of light years ahead in the future, where the use of a time-travelling guitar allows the character to come to terms with preserving the future and past of human history. Exciting stuff. It is likely that Shockwave Supernova is the first of possibly several plunges into this sphere of inspiration.

Not least with tracks like “All Of My Life” and “Keep On Movin”, which personify the perfect musical background to a passing, visually enhancing travel through time. The echoed passages, rhythmic bounce and harmonious chords provide a perfect example to use for the aforementioned miniseries. Just a thought.

As a whole, long-time Satriani fans will be thoroughly pleased with Shockwave Supernova. It provides all the necessary goods from the most commercially successful solo guitarist into making another instrumental belter. Very well done indeed.

Joe Satriani’s new album Shockwave Supernova is released by Sony Music/Legacy on Friday July 24th. His 9-date UK tour with special guest Dan Patlansky kicks off at the O2 Manchester Apollo on November 1st. Tickets:

Joe Satriani - Shockwave Supernova

Track listing:
1. Shockwave Supernova
2. Lost In A Memory
3. Crazy Joey
4. In My Pocket
5. On Peregrine Wings
6. Cataclysmic
7. San Francisco Blue
8. Keep On Movin’
9. All Of My Life
10. A Phase I’m Going Through
11. Scarborough Stomp
12. Butterfly And Zebra
13. If There Is No Heaven
14. Stars Race Across The Sky
15. Goodbye Supernova

Joe Satriani – Guitar
Mike Keneally – Guitar
Bryan Beller – Bass
Marco Minnemann – Drums

Joe Satriani 2015

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About Dan Walton (172 Articles)
Dan (or Danuel as many know him) is the newest member of the editorial team of MetalRecusants, after being a contributing writer for a few years. He spends his days sending emails, editing, drinking coffee or listening to some form of Australian metal. He can usually be spotted wearing his Northlane windbreaker around the mean streets of Shoreditch. Find him on Twitter: @DanuelKC - he tweets about sports a lot.

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