STEVE VAI

(UNITED STATES)

FIRE GARDEN

(1996)
LABEL:

EPIC

GENRE:

GUITAR HERO

TAGS:
Guitar-Hero, Instrumental, Symphonic, Technical
"If there are two Steve Vai albums to own, they are "Passion & Warfare" and this "Fire Garden" which surpasses it in many points."
NUNO777 (04.09.2009)  
5/5
(0) opinions (0) comment(s)
The esoteric experiences linked to the composition of "Passion & Warfare" still haunt Steve Vai in 1996. Despite two intermediate albums (Sex & Religion and Alien Love Secrets), Steve had no other solution than to put into music and words these striking dreams, and it is in the masterful "Fire Garden" (which was to be called Fire Coma) that these images come to life. Thanks to modern technology, Steve Vai is able to fit what was supposed to be a 74-minute double album on a single disc. He will keep the initial structure by dividing the album in two phases, the first one rather instrumental and the second one leaving room to a majority of songs. Many musicians come to bring their mastery on this album. The old ones like Deen Castronovo or Stu Hamm are there but other talented drummers make their appearance like Robin DiMaggio or Mike Mangini (Extreme).  

The detonation of 'There's A Fire in The House' and the sirens that follow signal the start of hostilities and demand the full attention of the listeners for the eighteen tracks to come. It is a wall of sound that falls on our ears with a palpable density and thickness. We already know that the present record will be difficult to swallow and to help, it will be peppered with short vocal interludes of a few seconds letting Vai's imagination express itself and having the virtue of lowering the pressure. 'The Crying Machine' is a very light song played with two guitars (Steve wanted Carlos Santana as a second guitar but it won't happen). We recognize some Jimi Hendrix in this little gem where Greg Bissonette's groove hits the spot. The ballad 'Dyin' Day' is fabulous and its mixture of acoustic and electric guitar is a model of composition whereas the famous seventh composition, 'Hand On Heart' is a beautiful ballad falling under the tradition of the genre.

The closing of the first phase is done by two pieces forming a piece of almost thirteen minutes. 'Bangkok' is a short acoustic instrumental full of energy with beautiful oriental harmonies, which opens on the most progressive piece of Steve Vai's career, 'Fire Garden Suite' which develops in four times. Between big progressive metal and more atmospheric passages, this composition benefits from the presence of Mike Mangini.

The second phase, mainly dedicated to the songs, really starts with 'Little Alligator'. First originality, Steve Vai sings and he does it very well. Among the very dynamic compositions, we find 'Aching Hunger' and its programmed but dazzling percussions, a 'Genocide' in the form of a huge modern gospel and 'Damn You' which is a good big rock more classic. The ballads are one of the many assets of this "Fire Garden". Steve Vai pays tribute to his brothers and his father in the poignant 'Brother' but one of the most beautiful songs composed so far by the Italian is 'All About Eve' which offers us an ethereal melody in an acoustic setting. Steve's vocals is assured and conveys an intense emotion. The album then ends on an instrumental of a moving beauty and an enchanting quietude. The bass is the only thing that can keep you grounded as Steve Vai's sound and touch take you to dizzying heights.

"Fire Garden" shows a talent of composition unceasingly renewed with beautiful orchestrations and a confirmed talent of author. Very prolix artist who will multiply the concepts and the various projects with in particular the meeting of G3 under the aegis of Joe Satriani, Steve Vai offers us with "Fire Garden" his second masterpiece, surpassing in many points the enormous "Passion & Warfare". If there are two albums to own, they are these two.
- Official website

TRACK LISTING:
01. There's A Fire In The House-05:26
02. The Crying Machine-04:51
03. Dyin' Day-04:29
04. Whookam-00:37
05. Blowfish-04:03
06. The Mysterious Murder Of...-01:01
07. Hand On Heart-05:27
08. Bangkok-02:47
09. Fire Garden Suite-09:56
10. Deepness-00:48
11. Little Alligators-06:12
12. All About Eve-04:28
13. Aching Hunger-04:45
14. Brother-05:04
15. Damn You-04:31
16. When I Was A Little Boy-01:20
17. Genocide-04:10
18. Warm Regards-04:06

LINEUP:
11: Batterie
12: Batterie
15): Batterie
17): Chant
17): Chant
17): Chant
17): Chant
5: Batterie
7: Batterie
9): Batterie
C.c. White (12: Chant
Chris Frazier (1): Batterie
Deen Castronovo (3: Batterie
Devin Townsend (4): Chant
Fabrizio Gossi (14): Basse
Greg Bissonette (2): Batterie
Jim Altman (17): Chant
John Avila: Basse
John Sombrotto (17): Chant
Kimberly Evans (12: Chant
Mark Mccrite (17): Chant
Mike Mangini (8: Batterie
Miroslava Mendoza Escriba (12: Chant
Robin Dimaggio (14): Batterie
Steve Vai: Chant / Guitares / Basse / Claviers / Batterie
Stu Hamm (3): Basse
Tracee Lewis (12: Chant
Will Riley (14): Claviers
   
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