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Derek Sherinian - Planet X CD (album) cover


Derek Sherinian


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.92 | 88 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Prog Metal Team
3 stars Let's dive into some Progressive Metal territory but this time with a twist of Jazz Rock/Fusion!

After replacing Kevin Moore in Dream Theater and playing with them between 1994-1999, Derek Sherinian didn't waste much time and once he left the band it took him only six month to release his debut album. Derek collaborated on this project with Virgil Donati and the duo would later go on to record many more albums under the moniker Planet X.

This debut solo-album had originally received exceptionally high praise here on Prog Archives which is also the reason why it caught my attention back in 2007. Fortunately snobb finally adjusted this minor arbitrage with his review a couple of month back and although I do consider most of his points completely valid I still can't go as far as calling it a collectors/fans only release. But why has it taken me so long to formulate my opinion about this album? In order to find out you will have read on through another one of my rambling reviews!

The main issue for me on has to do with classification of material and how to appreciate it from a reviewer's point of view. Originally I began this by trying to understand what it is I actually like and dislike about these compositions but this approach has so far not given me any distinguishing qualities which would apply to the majority of these compositions. The first real concern I had was related to the excessive soloing and jam sessions that many of these compositions rely so heavily on, although one may also argue that it comes with the territory of writing Jazz-sounding Metal. Besides, since most of these tracks feature it this still doesn't really explain why I prefer one composition over the other. Take for instance the opening number, Atlantis: Part 1-Apocalypse 1470 BC, that features a very memorable chord progression but other than that it sounds almost like everything else that this material has to offer.

Another thing I tend to dislike is when the performance goes into the groove-oriented progression because it always ends up sounding forced and out of place with the rest of the music. Instead it's that direct Metal-sounding approach which always wins me over and it's a pity that the music here has so few of these instances. The only really unnecessary performance on the entire album comes towards the end with a composition titled Day In The Sun. This is just useless jamming just for the sake of it, still I'm sure that there are enough people who might appreciate that as well.

Now that I've mentioned most of my concerns I'm sure that the answer to my originally proposed question have become slightly more clearer. If you think that most of my criticism was unjust then I'm very happy for you since it might imply that you will enjoy this album even more than me! As it stands today Planet X is a good, but non-essential from Sherinian/Donati who have managed to significantly improve their songwriting on the later Planet X-releases.

***** star songs: Atlantis: Part 1-Apocalypse 1470 BC (6:59)

**** star songs: Atlantis: Part 2-Sea Of Antiquity (4:19) Atlantis: Part 3-Lost Island (5:39) Box (5:06) Money Shot (4:26) Space Martini (3:47)

*** star songs: Crab Nebulae (4:07) Day In The Sun (4:58) State Of Delirium (2:48) Brunei Babylon (5:40)

Rune2000 | 3/5 |


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