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Derek Sherinian - Black Utopia CD (album) cover


Derek Sherinian


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.44 | 93 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Knitted by nanas...

Derek Sherinian is joined by an all-star cast for his third solo release. As well as previous collaborators Simon Phillips, Steve Luthaker, Jerry Goodman and Zack Wylde this album also features contributions from Billy Sheehan, Brian Tichy, Yngwie Malmsteen and Al Di Meola.

The Good: Sherinian moves even further away from fusion for this shredalicious, strictly metal affair. The standard of composition is high, the musicianship higher, and the album remains interesting and engaging throughout. Whilst it is one of his heavier releases, it also has some lighter moments in the form of Satriani-esque Stony Days and Sweet Lament. However for me the main events are the cover of Jeff Becks' Starcycle, and a nylon-string Al Di Meola solo on The Sons of Anu, which segues into a heavy riffing section and blows me away every time.

The Bad: Whilst I respect Malmsteen as a technically gifted guitarist I also find his particular brand of playing to be a bit boring. The guitars in general do also have a tendancy to overpower the keyboard parts in the mix which is shame, especially considering this is, by definition, a keyboardist's solo album.

The Verdict: Strong from start to finish.

Starhammer | 3/5 |


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