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DEREK SHERINIAN

Jazz Rock/Fusion • United States


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Derek Sherinian biography
DEREK SHERINIAN is an American keyboardist born August 25, 1966 in Laguna Beach, California. He is well known for a prolific recording and touring career, and has played as a side man to numerous musicians on tour, many very well known in the rock industry, such as BILLY IDOL, ALIC COOPER, ALICE IN CHAINS, and others. In the studio, he can be found on records from many bands, both his and others' projects, such as DREAM THEATER, PLANET X, PLATYPUS, and others. In conjunction with this, he has had an active solo career for over a decade, producing hard-hitting jazz rock albums with a metal edge. Many often feature famous guest musicians that he'd toured with.



SHERINIAN began playing piano at age five. He received a scholarship to the esteemed Berklee College of Music while in high school, and he went on to room and meet with many soon-to-be-famous musicians, such as future MEGADETH and SAVATAGE guitarist Al PITERLI, and the three founding members of DREAM THEATER. After leaving Boston, SHERINIAN made his first success in touring with ALICE COOPER in 1989. He went on to tour with many bands during that period.



In 1994, SHERINIAN was called by his former schoolmates John PETRUCCI, John MYUNG, and Mike PORTNOY to ask him to replace former keyboardist Kevin MOORE during their 1994 "Waking up the World" tour in support of their third studio album "Awake." After a successful tour (despite singer James LaBRIE's wrecked vocal chords during the tour), the band asked him to remain as their permanent keyboardist. He went on to record the "A Change of Seasons" EP, "Falling into Infinity," and "Once in a LIVEtime" with the band, before being asked to leave the band. He was replaced with Jordan RUDESS, whose style the band thought would better suit their music.



After his stint with DREAM THEATER, SHERINIAN went on to begin a prolific recording career. Beginning in 1998 with he, John MYUNG (of DREAM THEATER), Rod MORGENSTEIN (of DIXIE DREGS), and Ty TABOR (of KING'S X) began the recording project PLATYPUS and released two albums, "When Pus Comes to Shove" in 1998 and "Ice Cycles" in 2000, after which the band broke up (only to reform under the moniker THE JELLY JAM without SHERINIAN).



This was followed finally by the genesis of his solo career. His first solo album was titled "Planet X" and was released in 1999. He recorded the spacey, metallic jazz rock album in collaboration with drummer Virgil DONATI. The...
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Blood of the SnakeBlood of the Snake
InsideOut Music 2006
Audio CD$3.50
$2.50 (used)
OceanaOceana
Mascot Records 2011
Audio CD$7.97
$5.96 (used)
MythologyMythology
Eagle Rock Entertainment 2014
Audio CD$8.77
$9.00 (used)
Planet XPlanet X
Magna Carta 1999
Audio CD$16.30
$7.50 (used)
Black UtopiaBlack Utopia
Import
InsideOut Music 2004
Audio CD$22.72
$3.75 (used)
InertiaInertia
Eagle Rock Entertainment 2014
Audio CD$8.81
$3.96 (used)
Molecular HeinosityMolecular Heinosity
Eagle Rock Entertainment 2014
Audio CD$8.81
$7.80 (used)
OceanaOceana
Import
PID 2011
Audio CD$12.52
$10.86 (used)
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DEREK SHERINIAN discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

DEREK SHERINIAN top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.91 | 72 ratings
Planet X
1999
3.39 | 42 ratings
Inertia
2001
3.48 | 69 ratings
Black Utopia
2003
3.64 | 53 ratings
Mythology
2004
3.97 | 73 ratings
Blood Of The Snake
2006
3.63 | 81 ratings
Molecular Heinosity
2009
3.71 | 117 ratings
Oceana
2011

DEREK SHERINIAN Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

DEREK SHERINIAN Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

DEREK SHERINIAN Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

DEREK SHERINIAN Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.00 | 1 ratings
In the Summertime
2006

DEREK SHERINIAN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Black Utopia by SHERINIAN, DEREK album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.48 | 69 ratings

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Black Utopia
Derek Sherinian Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

3 stars Derek is of course keyboard player with Planet X, among others, but while this is a solo album of his it has to be said that it sounds as if it has been recorded by a master guitarist. When looking into the album a bit more closely the reason becomes apparent in that Derek has seen himself as composer, arranger and musical director and has then invited some guests such as Zakk Wylde and Yngwie J Malmsteen (among others) to come in and let rip. While Derek does provide some extremely complex melodies (aided and abetted by a rhythm section of Simon Phillips and Tony Franklin), it is the guitars that are centre stage.

While there are places where the music calms down, and indeed there is room at times for some acoustic guitar, it is where the guitars are at their most ferocious that this album really flies. Derek has brought in guitarists with quite different styles and has used this to great effect. "Axis Of Evil" sees Zakk and Yngwie shredding and trying to outdo each other on a rock song that just blasts. The note density on this album must be phenomenal yet there are few times when it seems over-indulgent. Over the top definitely, but it is music that makes the listener want more, not reach for the off switch. Derek may be a keyboard player but buy this not if you want to hear a Rick Wakeman soundalike but if you want to hear guitarists going for it at top speed.

Originally appeared in Feedback #73, Jun 03

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 Inertia by SHERINIAN, DEREK album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.39 | 42 ratings

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Inertia
Derek Sherinian Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

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

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 Black Utopia by SHERINIAN, DEREK album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.48 | 69 ratings

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Black Utopia
Derek Sherinian Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

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.

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 Oceana by SHERINIAN, DEREK album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.71 | 117 ratings

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Oceana
Derek Sherinian Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by darkshade
Collaborator Jazz Rock/Fusion Team

5 stars Do you like Jeff Beck's fusion albums like "Blow By Blow" and "Wired"? How about Jan Hammer, particularly The Jan Hammer Group's album "Oh Yeah?". Well, you're going to love this. This album has ex-Dream Theater keyboardist Derek Sherinian channeling the feel and style of those albums, with a little added heaviness in the guitars, and a few other keyboard sounds not heard from those great 70s albums.

Derek's style has always been a little jazzy, and on previous solo albums, and the albums by his main band Planet X, are a nice mix of jazz, jazz-fusion, and progressive metal. At times he'll even let loose and go completely post-bop amidst the prog-metal. On "Oceana", the jazz and fusion style is pushed to the foreground, leaving only traces of his famous brand of prog-metal. Lots of funky bass, excellent fusion drumming, and with guitarists Tony MacAlpine and Steve Lukather, you know you're going to get some real jazz-fusion guitar ala Scott Henderson; mixed with some heavy riffs here and there.

Seriously, if you are familiar with Planet X or Derek's solo stuff, but wished he'd do a real jazz-fusion album, this is it. Every track here is high quality modern fusion, with great soulful guitar, nice keyboard sounds and solos, but also fast technical stuff that occasionally reminds me of fusion bands like Tribal Tech, Jan Hammer Group, or Return To Forever. Add a little heaviness from the guitars (and keys), and you have a modern fusion classic.

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 Oceana by SHERINIAN, DEREK album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.71 | 117 ratings

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Oceana
Derek Sherinian Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Starhammer
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Into a watery Eden...

For me this was one of the more pleasant surprise of 2011. I can't say I was expecting much having spent the last two years trying and failing to appreciate Molecular Heinosity, but several key changes make Oceana not only a more enjoyable experience, but also one of Sherinian's best works to date.

The Good: Firstly, his keyboards are more prominent and don't just sit behind the guitars like in recent outings. This recalls a style more similar to his debut solo release, Planet X. And then there's the lineup. With contributions from Tony Macalpine, Steve Lukather, Steve Stevens, Doug Aldrich and BCC band-mate Joe Bonamassa, its not hard to see which direction Sherinian wanted to take with this record.

Gone are the endless, sterile solos and metal clichés, in place we have killer hooks, engaging fusion exploration, and more than a hint of blues rock. Prolific session musician Simon Philips returns with another excellent, yet understated contribution as drummer and co-writer. The third appealing aspect of this release is it's total lack of vocals, something that has been 'missing' from Sherinian's recent solo output.

The Bad: Oceana is a very consistent album with nine great compositions. It has certainly become a regular feature amongst my playlists. But considering it from a 'prog' angle I find it to be a bit too predictable with rigid song structure and a 'less than smooth' transition between musical passages.

The Verdict: One of the strongest instrumental releases of 2011.

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 Molecular Heinosity by SHERINIAN, DEREK album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.63 | 81 ratings

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Molecular Heinosity
Derek Sherinian Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Starhammer
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Audiophilicity...

Derek Sherinian's sixth solo album is heavily rooted in progressive metal, a noticeable departure from its fusion laced predecessor, Blood of the Snake. This might be preferable to some, but I find the lack of diversity to be a step backwards. As usual, some extremely talented musicians are on display including Planet X band-mate Virgil Donati on drums for the first time since their 1999 album of the same name.

The album starts off promisingly and it's not long before the soaring guitar of Ascension leads into the main event, Primal Eleven. It's a really great track, but sadly a sole highlight for Molecular Heinosity. After that it's pretty much every man for himself, a race to the finish in a flurry of Malmsteen-esque licks. It's quite exhilarating at times, but interesting? Not so much. Even the change of pace that The Lone Spaniard brings is far from inspiring.

I would like to say that the album's redeeming feature is it's lack of vocals, but alas, the final track also heralds the return of Zack Wilde sneezing into the microphone. It's clear from the reviews and ratings that Molecular Heinosity has received that it's generally considered amongst Sherinian's best, but for me it's his least commendable work to date.

The Verdict: A decent shred-fest with only one track that really stands out.

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 Oceana by SHERINIAN, DEREK album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.71 | 117 ratings

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Oceana
Derek Sherinian Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by jsem

5 stars Right of the bat I must say that this is one of the strongest releases in 2011, it grabbed with the first listen. Derek proves that he is a real keyboard master and the guitar playing from Steve Lukather, Tony Macalpine and Joe Bonamassa is nothing but incredible. The bass playing is really livid and groovy on the album as well, the rhythm section does an outstanding job on the overall.

The compositions are fantastic in and of themselves too, they have a strong early Jeff Beck feel to them - fusiony yet very groovy. The music is not too focused on being prog, but the prog is all over the place - and it is done remarkably well. The songs are light, there's not much of a nod to metal at all on the album - but they are really energetic and pack a punch.

The only complaint of mine would be that there's too little keyboard spotlight on the album. But it doesn't diminish the listening enjoyment at all. The album has an overall energetic and light feel compared to some of his other work, and it's a truly fantastic release. Everyone should get it.

Best songs: Five Elements, Ghost Runner, El Camino Diablo, Oceana

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 Oceana by SHERINIAN, DEREK album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.71 | 117 ratings

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Oceana
Derek Sherinian Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by scepter

4 stars here we have new Sherinian,Last few ds have been metal without hardly any keybords. This one is prog-jazz-fusion disc,What an monster it is lukather is on this one all time guitar gods. Compositions are top notch,This makes you like whole cd.Not shred fest thru whole cd which gets boring rather fast,Instead you get top notch fusion with lushious keybord passages.

This is the best solo cd he done outside of planet x hands down top pieces are

1)Euphoria 2)Ghost Runner 3)El Camino Diablo 4)Seven Sins 5)Oceana

One best prog-fusion cds of 2011 with high 4 stars,Since there are few songs that are not masterpiece wothy.Bumping it down an star overall must buy cd,Not same old metal shredfest thru his past solo cds.That has top notch guitar players instead you get fusion masterpiece to not be missed.

4 Stars essential Must Buy!!!

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 Oceana by SHERINIAN, DEREK album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.71 | 117 ratings

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Oceana
Derek Sherinian Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by robbob

4 stars I was expecting for a work like this from DS.

I cant deny Derek Sherinian is a very good talented musician.

A really tasteful to listen his keyboards playing.

What I really miss in the other albums was the talent in compose .

In other albums too much prog metal jazz guitar riffs .

Songs were in an instrumental prog metal basis with not enough keyboards in my opinion.

Also the compositions were average....no inspiration...quite monotonous ...same line...nothing very good to expect.

In this album :good compositions,talented compositions...in a more jazz prog fusion line than in the prog metal line.

5 stars songs: 5 Elements,Mulholland,Euphoria,Seven Sins,Oceana .

So is very good news this DS album.

4 stars

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 Planet X by SHERINIAN, DEREK album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.91 | 72 ratings

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Planet X
Derek Sherinian Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Starhammer
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Post-op Sherinigans...

The first collaboration between Derek Sherinian and Virgil Donati which then went on to form the instrumental supergroup of the same name.

The Good: Sherinian is both a fantastic keyboardist and composer and whilst this debut solo release still contains his signature sound, it is certainly not just a rehash of his earlier work with Dream Theater. It could be classified as progressive metal, but for me it is a much more fusion-orientated recording with noticeable heavier elements. Donati's drumming also provides a perfect blend of furious rhythms and interesting grooves. Whilst I am a huge fan of fully instrumental albums, the lack of binding vocal sections means that character and atmosphere are just as important as technicality and intricacy in order to hold the listeners attention. Luckily Planet X has this in buckets and remains my favourite in what is now a long list of releases and collaborations.

The Bad: The production isn't as polished as his later works.

The Verdict: Synthsational.

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