Steve Vai – Inviolate: CD Review

Steve Vai – Inviolate: CD Review

21st January 2022 3 By Owen Edmonds

The guitar god, Steve Vai, is back.

With his 10th album, Inviolate, Steve is back and at it again and I’ve had the pleasure (and it has been a pleasure) of listening to it for a couple of weeks.

Let us get the obvious out of the way first.


He can make his guitar sing like very few can and this, is the challenge he faces with every new album. When you can do anything with your guitar and you’ve been doing anything with your guitar for the best part of 40 years, how do you make a new album that sounds new, interesting and unique?

This is where a lot of guitar virtuoso’s struggle. It can often sound like the same old same old stuff that you’ve heard a hundred times before.

Thankfully, there is enough on this album that is different, it isn’t the same blues based rock, there is a mixture of styles and influences to keep you interested throughout.

Best Track (for me)

There is one track on the album that just stands out to me. It isn’t the one with the fastest or heaviest shredding, or the most technical playing, it is a song that just offers something different with twists and turns throughout the song.

That song is ‘Candlepower‘ and it is fantastic.

It’s a song that starts out in an unusual fashion with some odd chords and non-standard time meters and it stays there, in the odd space. Steve is hanging out doing his thing, whilst the bass and drums accompany him in their own odd ways, speeding up, slowing down. Throughout the 3 and a half minutes you’re never quite settled and this is the thing that grabbed me. It disturbed me. It wasn’t a standard rock song, it was interesting. I loved the seemingly ever changing tempo.

Worst Track (for me)

To be honest, there isn’t a single song on the album that I would describe as boring, they all offer something. So I don’t think I have a worst track for this album. If you like guitar virtuoso’s you’ll be buying this album and you will be glad you did.


So, the question I always ask myself is did I like listening to the music? And for the entire album, I really did. I’ve been a fan of Steve’s since Passion and Warfare and this album, whilst it isn’t the shred fest of some previous work, it is more balanced and nuanced and that helps it stand out.

A really good listen.

Score 9/10

Track Listing

  1. Teeth of the Hydra
  2. Zeus in Chains
  3. Little Pretty
  4. Candlepower
  5. Apollo in Colour
  6. Avalancha
  7. Greenish Blues
  8. Knapsack
  9. Sandman Cloud Mist
Label – Favored Nations
Release – 28 January 2022

For all things Steve Vai, click HERE and to purchase the album, click HERE

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