Joe Satriani has just released his best album in more than two decades

The Elephants of Mars is vivid proof that guitar god Joe Satriani still has some surprises in his trunk

Joe Satriani: The Elephants of Mars cover art
(Image: © earMusic)

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Metallica's Kirk Hammett recently told this writer that when his former guitar teacher Joe Satriani broke through, he effectively created a genre all his own. 

Satriani has been making his ‘strange, beautiful’ instrumental music for nearly four decades now, and his niche yet sizeable audience is in for a treat with The Elephants Of Mars, his nineteenth album. 

His strongest album since 1998’s Crystal Planet, The Elephants of Mars is 14 compelling tracks with Satch totally in the zone – his playing is at its most beautiful, experimental and fiery, with tones other guitarists would give an index finger for. 

Spine-tingling melodies abound (Faceless, 22 Memory Lane, Desolation), some soundscapes are exotic (Sahara, Doors Of Perception) and others sci-fi (the title track, Sailing The Seas Of Ganymede, Steve Vai’s favourite track on here). Excursions into funk (Blue Foot Groovy) and Miles Davis-nodding jazz rock (E 104th St NYC 1973) are stylish and consummate. 

At 65 Satriani is still spearheading his genre, and pushing its boundaries.

Grant Moon is the News Editor for Prog and has been a contributor to the magazine since its launch in 2009. A music journalist for over 20 years, Grant writes regularly for titles including Classic Rock and Total Guitar, and his CV also includes stints as a radio producer/presenter and podcast host. His first book, 'Big Big Train - Between The Lines', is out now through Kingmaker Publishing.