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Derek Sherinian - Inertia CD (album) cover


Derek Sherinian

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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4 stars You may recognize Derek Sherinian more readily if you saw him standing on the cover of a Dream Theatre album when the group was in their prime. That was then, and this is now. With the ambitious solo project Inertia now under his belt, Sherinian steps into a spotlight designed just for him. The talented keyboard player has some of the best available talent in rock music join in to assist him in completing his greatest achievement to date.

The vaunted drummer Simon Phillips lends his expert drumming, engineering, and songwriting skills to the collaboration, while Zakk Wylde and Steve Lukather step in to conquer the world with their blazing and ballsy guitar work, and Tony Franklin (bass), Jimmy Johnson (bass), Tom Kennedy (bass), and Jerry Goodman (violin) are right there to contribute in a very effective way, and consistently throughout the run of this CD.

The track "Inertia" sets you up for the Edgar Winter classic "Frankenstein", which is given a high tech, gloss and polish. The jazz standard "Goodbye Porkpie Hat" is given a new twist, and then you get a change of scenery when the artist gives his ode to a boyhood idol on "Evel Knievel." The prog rock roller coaster ride is in full bloom on every song. It rocks steadily, and also has its gentler moments. The meeting point of the music comes to a zenith at various interludes, while the continuous ebb and flow maintains the permanence of each piece.

Words become obsolete as Sherinian lets his instrument do all the talking. He is totally focused and energized from start to finish. One look at whom he has surrounded himself with gives you a better understanding of how electricity must have been going on in the studio as they were laying down the tracks for this album.

Oh yeah, this progressive doesn't get any more progressive than this. The instrumentation is an awesome spectacle of aural intensity. What was the name of that group he was with?

Report this review (#17331)
Posted Wednesday, January 26, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars As it is widely known,keyboard magician Derek Sherinian followed a personal career after his departure from DREAM THEATER,before forming PLANET X and keeping them as a stable group.However,Sherinian kept releasing solo albums,the next one being ''Inertia'' from 2001:an album heading to all fans of heavy instrumental rock with progressive and jazz/fusion leanings.

Helped by well-known musicians like Steve Lukather and Simon Phillips from ''Toto'',Ozzy Osbourne's guitarist Zakk Wylde or Jerry Goodman (ex-Mahavishnu Orchestra),Sherinian produced a very good work with virtuosic parts and almost a metal sound,not unlike the path DREAM THEATER had chosen about the same period.Featuring an aggresive guitarist like Zakk Wylde,you can't expect nothing else than strong metall-ish guitar riffing,supported by Sherinian's countless solos and acrobatics.So,the complex breaks,the aggresive tempos and the heavy interplays are numerous and the main ingredient of this album.However,there are some moments when the music is very spacey with jazzy/bluesy guitar passages played by Lukather,as well as grandiose piano and keyboard loops by Sherinian...''Inertia'' was another release presenting Sherinian's compositional skills,education and virtuosity with an evident emphasis on interplays and complexity.Strongly recommended for fans of heavy/fusion instrumental music.

Report this review (#157100)
Posted Sunday, December 30, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Derek Sherinian's debut album was full of ambitions, but very raw work. Attractive idea of melting prog-metal with jazz fusion in real life became just pompastic instrumental album,driven by thunder-drums and very average guitar solos, with some Sherinian's keyb's passages. And I think unsuccessfull sound engineering ( what a reason was to put heavy drumming on the first plan?) totally destroyed the impression.

Started with second album, I waited for many bad things again. But happily here I found much more music in it!

OK, to be honest, second Sherinian's solo album just left the idea of melting prog-metal and jazzy rhytms and structures in one mix for the history, and returned back to more usual instrumental prog-rock. Heavyness in the name of heavyness is gone ( for the good), compositions became slower ( for good as well) and much more different and complex.

Main reason for all positive changes is for sure new line-up: Simon Phillips is great drummer, and for album's sound this change was most important! Steve Lukather ( once Toto guitarist) is very competent session guitarist, he brings soul and perfect sound balance in all music. Zakk Wylde is well-known by it's work with Ozzie, he gave heavy metal flesh.

Jerry Goodman (violinist and still Mahavishnu Orchestra live legend) is a last spice in album's music. And if now it's difficult to speak about metal-jazz-fusion, you have here prog metal of high quality ( with some jazzy traces).

Less experimental than the debut, this album contains great music instead of debut's chaotic noise. Again, it's a bit strange sound for keyboardist's solo album, sounds more like strong album of guitar hero. Anyway, huge step after weak debut.

Report this review (#243411)
Posted Wednesday, October 7, 2009 | Review Permalink
kev rowland
Honorary Reviewer
2 stars Derek is of course keyboard player in Dream Theater, Platypus and Planet X so it is of little surprise what his solo album sounds like. Actually, I could say that it is not as self-indulgent as one might imagine, but of course I would be wrong, it is just that it goes in different ways to what I had thought it might. He has brought in many mates, such as Simon Phillips, Steve Lukather, Tony Franklin etc. To my ears the most interesting is Zakk Wylde who lets rip on the heavy rock monster 'Evel Knievel', but the jazz fusion interplay on the title cut is also something.

But, as in the Planet X recordings, it is all just a little too clever for its' own good, and is an album that will probably not be played much in the future, as too much intensity and note density can be plain boring.

Originally appeared in Feedback #63, July 01

Report this review (#970756)
Posted Tuesday, June 4, 2013 | Review Permalink

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