The Extremist lives up to its name, continuing Joe Satriani's tradition of exploring new musical and compositional ground. A vastly different array of musicians assists him in creating the songs displayed on this all-instrumental disc, and as such the songs are different from even the usual envelope-pushing Satriani fare. The chugging "Summer Song," the warm "Friends," the slamming "Motorcycle Driver," and the crunching "The Extremist" show Satriani's talents as a guitarist are undiminished, while the more traditional neo-folk approach to "Rubina's Blue Sky Happiness" and the bluesy "New Blues" are different from anything he has done before. So, too, is the droning rock of "War" and the plaintive, questioning funk-rock of "Why."
AllMusic Review by Phil Carter