Various Artists

A Tribute to Vai/Satriani: Lords of Karma

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Normally tribute albums run in one of two directions: they're either fairly solid, sincere tributes featuring a group of like-minded artists paying homage to an idol or colleague, or they're haphazardly thrown-together groupings of an artist's most popular songs performed by nameless studio musicians who could very well be recording another tribute session a week after their current session. Thankfully, the former applies here, as Lords of Karma collects several guitar shredders of reputable matter paying homage to two of the biggest guitar shredders of them all: Steve Vai and his former teacher, Joe Satriani. Kiss guitarist Bruce Kulick leads the way with a beautiful rendition of the Satriani classic "Always With Me, Always With You," and contributions from Jake E. Lee, George Lynch, and several others follow suit. It doesn't mimic the two paying tribute here note for note; which is good because undoubtedly Vai and Satch would not want that at all. Rather they lend their unique tones and styles and reinterpret the originals with great sensitivity: not over playing or showing off, but not running through the motions either. On the whole it's a tribute albums fans can be proud of, especially considering the alternatives out there.

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