Sex & Religion

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For attitudes of various religions toward sex, see Religion and sexuality.
Sex & Religion
Studio album by Vai
Released July 27, 1993
Recorded 1993
Genre Progressive metal, instrumental rock
Length 59:18
Label Relativity / Epic
Producer Steve Vai
Steve Vai chronology
Passion and Warfare
Sex & Religion
Alien Love Secrets
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic link 2/5 stars

Sex & Religion is a Steve Vai album presented under the name of simply "Vai" and before then "Light Without Heat" but had to be changed due to copyright issues to the original name.[1] It features Strapping Young Lad and The Devin Townsend Band vocalist and guitarist Devin Townsend on vocals before he started either one of his own bands. Townsend also co-wrote the track "Pig", as well as "Just Cartilage" which was left off the final album. Vai also worked with Desmond Child on the track "In My Dreams with You."

The album's cover art appears to be a reference to the famous artistic depictions of Saint Sebastian.

Background and conflict[edit]

For this album, Vai wished to put together a band of awe-inspiring musicians, which included him, Devin Townsend, bassist T.M. Stevens and drummer and fellow Frank Zappa alumnus Terry Bozzio. Vai ended up micro-managing the writing and recording process causing much conflict during the making of the album. The band that recorded the album never toured in support of it due to the conflicts during the recording process; in the words of Steve Vai:

" the next record (after Passion and Warfare) was supposed to be so important. It turned out to be a hard record to make. There was the concept of putting this band together with all monster musicians. It worked in theory, but not in practice. I was hoping everybody could contribute their performance expertise while I sort of guided the band in the direction that I thought the music should go. They were very talented people that had definite ideas of the music they liked to play, and it all clashed dramatically.[2]

"I was not ready for a band. You see, usually the idea of a band is to get together with people who could contribute their ideas and talents in a healthy exchange. With players like Terry Bozzio, T.M. Stevens and Devin Townsend, in order to have a band there needs to be an unconditional acceptance of everybody else’s contribution. I was not ready for that kind of commitment on my part. Although it may have seemed unfair to the others, there were definite ideas on which way I wanted to go with the music. Those guys are really wonderful musicians, but they have their own personality. When I try to have a band together I'm too much of a control freak. I want things to be done too much of a certain way. I gave them some freedom, but the freedom musicians of this calibre need, I wasn't able to give. Therefore, blame it on me, this project will not come together again.

After the album was finished, the band split up, and Vai toured with Townsend and several session bassists and drummers.[3]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Steve Vai, except where noted.

  1. "An Earth Dweller's Return" - 1:03
  2. "Here & Now" - 4:47
  3. "In My Dreams With You" (Steve Vai, Desmond Child, Roger Greenawalt) - 5:00
  4. "Still My Bleeding Heart" - 6:00
  5. "Sex & Religion" - 4:24
  6. "Dirty Black Hole" - 4:27
  7. "Touching Tongues" - 4:33
  8. "State of Grace" - 1:41
  9. "Survive" - 4:46
  10. "Pig" (Steve Vai, Devin Townsend) - 3:36
  11. "The Road to Mt. Calvary" - 2:35
  12. "Down Deep Into the Pain" - 8:01
  13. "Rescue Me or Bury Me" - 8:25
  14. "Just Cartilage" (Japanese bonus track) (Steve Vai, Devin Townsend) - 4:19

Chart positions[edit]

Year Chart Position
1993 Billboard 200 48



  • Down Deep into the Pain/I Would Love to
  • In My Dreams with You/Erotic Nightmares


  1. ^ VAI.COM :: View topic - Light Without Heat = Sex & Religion
  2. ^ "
  3. ^ [ > All About Steve > Discography > Solo Releases > Sex & Religion ]