Mixing for Engines of Creation took place in June–July 1999 and the title was revealed on December 13. A limited edition EP, Additional Creations, was released free of charge alongside the album in some stores. Worldwide touring began in the U.S in April–May 2000, followed by Europe in June–July, Central and South America in August, and concluding in the U.S. in December.
In a unique and notable departure from Satriani's usual style, Engines of Creation mainly features experimentation with electronic and techno music rather than the straightforward instrumental rock heard on his previous albums; Satriani has described the album as "completely techno." With the exception of "Until We Say Goodbye", all tracks were made using guitars recorded and mixed non-traditionally on computer platforms, as well as being digitally manipulated using synthesizers and computer software.
Steve Huey at AllMusic gave Engines of Creation three stars out of five, calling it "the biggest stylistic shift [Satriani has] made yet" and "a brave and sporadically successful experiment". He suggested that longtime fans of Satriani's regular material may be disappointed, as well as those who dislike electronic sounds in guitar-based music, but praised Satriani for challenging himself to "find ways of coaxing totally new sounds from his guitar", and that "his melodies and main themes have rarely been this angular and off-kilter, meaning that exploring this music has indeed helped Satriani refresh and re-imagine his signature sound."