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Derek Sherinian - Black Utopia CD (album) cover


Derek Sherinian


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.44 | 93 ratings

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3 stars In 2003 a tireless Derek Sherinian launches his third solo album entitled ''Black Utopia'', released again on Inside Out.For this album the line-up of ''Inertia'' took an upgrade with three more musicians added to the guest list of Sherinian: Bass parts are provided in a few tracks by Billy Sheehan, Jazz/Fusion legend Al Di Meola also contributes with his guitar in a pair of tracks and the virtuoso Yngwie Malmsteen appears also in three pieces.The later was touring with Sherinian since 2002, propably this was the reason of his appearance on the album.

''Black Utopia'' sounds so much the same yet different to ''Inertia''.This is still a heavy-sounding album, especially when Zakk Wylde takes over with his guitar, having a strong Heavy Metal sense throughout and flirting constantly with modern Jazz/Fusion.Malmsteen's influence on the tracks he appears is more than evident, these two pieces along with the opening introduction have an obvious Neo-Classical flavor due to his highly technical solos.The rest of the album can be actually labeled as Fusion Metal with plenty of atmospheric soundscapes added for good measure.Sherinian again provides a virtuosic keyboard performance with tremendous pyrotechnics, grandiose preludes and powerful solos, while the guitars remain aggressive and punchy all the way.The biggest suprise comes from the brief but highly original acoustic crescendos of Di Meola, which have their own sound and spark.However the ghost of DREAM THEATER seems to keep haunting Sherinian's composing approach, who's albums have a strong vibe from his past with the milestone US Prog Metal legends.

Sharp, rich and pounding Fusion/Heavy Prog/Metal with huge waves of guitar and keyboard attacks is what ''Black Utopia'' is all about and anyone fond of the more virtuosic side of Prog has find his heaven.Recommended.

apps79 | 3/5 |


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