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Derek Sherinian - Molecular Heinosity CD (album) cover


Derek Sherinian


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.68 | 83 ratings

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Queen By-Tor
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Heavy, dark and interesting.

Once again key-wizard Derek Sherinian has managed to churn out an album of excellent instrumental music with a couple of twists and turns. This time the jazz elements are a little bit more shrouded by the more metal side of things, but the ratio of metal to jazz is actually one of the album's strongest points. Combine that with tight playing, some wicked solos, memorable riffs and all around excellent composition and you get quite an album. One may think that this is going to sound exactly like the last Sherinian projects, or maybe even exactly like the Planet X albums, but that is far from the truth. Put to even a direct comparison this album is not simply ''more of the same,'' it's a fresh spin on the writing style of an emerging Jazz/Metal Fusion master.

Sherinian always uses a multitude of guests, and this album is no exception. Zakk Wylde is back once again, laying his heavy hands back on the strings to turn out some of the heaviest riffs imaginable, and also to give voice to the final track. There are some who don't give the man a lot of respect these days, but when you hear him in the context of this album you'll see why Sherinian uses him time and time again. Also appearing on the album is Planet X counterpart, Virgil Donati, (which is probably why talks to reunite that band have sprung up) who does a killer job of keeping time, as one can imagine. Many other credits have to be given, but one of the most notable is the collaboration with guitar player Rusty Cooley that produces the excellently heavy and frantic Frozen By Fire, which could very well have been used as a single, where that the purpose of the music on the record.

As said before, one of the best parts about the album is just how heavy it is. If you had a tough time getting into the Planet X albums because they were too light at the core of their songwriting, then this is the album for you. Right off the bat with Antarctica a chugging riff from Zakk Wylde lets you know that this is not going to be any kind of joyride. The song punches along for a moment before bursting into full speed. This tune is linked with the next two in a kind of suite thanks to the brief Ascension that acts as an intro to the lengthy Primal Eleven. The next group of songs are all a bit shorter, but perhaps more memorable than the openers - the fury of Wings Of Insanity with its blistering guitar solos and riff that just won't give up, the previously mentioned Frozen By Fire, another song with a killer set of guitar and keyboard wizardry. The album only comes to a brief slowness to allow the mournful The Lone Spaniard to play out before it takes off again at full speed with the title cut, Molecular Heinosity. Wrap it all up with the only song on the album with vocals in the form of So Far Gone and you've got yourself a very memorable disc. The final track is actually a very welcome addition, it breaks up the monotony of simply having an all instrumental disc, without breaking the momentum that the other tracks build up.

The cover art and production are another nice thing to note. While the art really nothing to do with the music the molecular construction of skulls is quite an appealing way to start your time with the album, and it really sets up well for how the album is going to sound. The production, as can be expected, is top notch and helps to add to the imminent darkness of the album.

If you've held off on Sherinian's solo work or have never made the effort to hear anything he's done since Dream Theater then now would be a good time to start. This is an excellent disc that deserves repeated listens. If you want to hear virtuosic playing toned down to a level of listenability for us 'mere mortals' put to some of the heaviest riffs you've ever heard then give this one a shot. 4 stars for a killer album.

Queen By-Tor | 4/5 |


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