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Derek Sherinian - Blood Of The Snake CD (album) cover

BLOOD OF THE SNAKE

Derek Sherinian

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.98 | 75 ratings

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Aranarth
5 stars Sherinian's fifth solo album makes one thing clear: this man has not stagnated. Blood of the Snake may boast an unpleasant cover, but the music is bound to please anyone looking for some kickass playing and fusion-prog-metal music at its best. The opener, Czar of Steel, brings just that, some amazing kickass playing and music. John Petrucci is the guest guitarist here and he doesn't get that much space for showoff, but does well enough. The next track, Man With No Name, is one of only two songs here. Zakk Wylde sings and plays the guirar here and it all sounds pretty good if only Wylde wasn't so keen on imitating his old boss Ozzy, so his vocal delivery is not really enjoyable but his playing and the song overall leaves a positive impression. Then comes the jazz number, Phantom Shuffle. The sax player Brandon Fields, curiously not listed here, is the star of this number and really steals the show here as well as in the other track he appears in, On the Moon. On the Moon is the prettiest number on the record, a gentle and beautiful instrumental with another fine solo by Brad Gillis, who gets the whole track 4 (Been Here Before) to himself and does extremely well. Actually, he is my favorite guitar player on this record.

Wylde and Malmsteen's solos are technically impressive as always, but often lack creativity. That is one of the downsides here. Malmsteen's vehicle is the heavy "Viking Massacre", while on the title track and "The Moonsoon" he shares the leads with Wylde, making it a thrilling shredder experience along with the man himself, Sherinian. He also tends to get carried away with his shredding skills sometimes, but still shows that he is an excellent improviser and soloist, as well as becoming a more accomplished composer. "Prelude to Battle" is an interesting piece and shows premise for Sherinian's creativity as composer. Although he shares most of the writing credits with Simon Phillips and Brian Tichy, I believe he still is the main man in that department. The album ends with a corny cover of "Summertime", sung by Billy Idol and with Slash on lead guitar. I could have done without this, but I guess this is Sherinian's way of showing he's got a sense of humor.

All I can say is that I'm really looking forward to see what Sherinian will come up with next and if he will succee in following up the premise of this album. Keep up the good work man!

Aranarth | 5/5 |

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