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Derek Sherinian - Blood of the Snake CD (album) cover


Derek Sherinian


Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.06 | 103 ratings

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Andy Webb
Special Collaborator
Retired Admin
4 stars Heavy metal jazz!

Derek Sherinian is well known. That's really all I should say, because he has been involved in countless acts, crossing genre lines time and time again to be involved is prog metal, heavy metal, glam metal, jazz, funk rock, and countless other genres. He has worked with KISS, Alice Cooper, and of course, Dream Theater. After his departure from Dream Theater, he began a prolific solo career, in which he has so far released six studio albums as well as numerous other albums in his collaborations with other musicians. Blood of the Snake is Sherinian's fifth studio album and his most obvious heavy metal inspired release. Although most of his releases have an obvious metal tinge, he primarily releases jazz-based albums. This album, however, is primarily a heavy, ass-kicking, brutal experience, with some fantastic jazzy dynamics thrown in for good measure. This album is certainly my favorite Sherinian album, and it certainly shows his great capability as a band leader.

The entire album is a rollercoaster joy ride that takes you up into the sweeping grandeur of the Monster Lead, down into the mellow pits of melodic breakdowns, and through the funky spits of Sherinain's jazzy roots. Through crushing prog metal tracks like Czar of Steel (in which we hear John Petrucci shredding away at the frets) and brutal heavy metal tracks like Man with No Name (in which Zakk Wylde takes no trouble in ripping apart your ear lobes with intense riffing and soloing), to funky jazz fusion rides like Phantom Shuffle and mellow melodic melancholy relaxing passages of bliss like On the Moon, Sherinian has no trouble in laying down the dynamics for this album. As a composer, he shows his genius with fantastic contrasts and harmonies and as a band leader he shows his genius with his fantastic control over the parts and the genius of the arrangements. On top of this, the keyboardist himself shows incredible talent, ripping away at his keys like there's no tomorrow. Obviously as a heavy metal keyboardist he is no stranger to the shred, and he utilizes this skill very well throughout the compositions, on top of his more tender and careful work on the keyboard. This album is certainly one of the more diverse metal albums I've heard in a while, and it's certainly not a bad one!

Although some of the intense riffing and shred soloing can get a little dry by the end of the album, there is no doubt that this album is a superb effort by this man. Ending with the lighthearted carefree cover of Mugo Jerry's classic track In the Summertime, these guys certainly have little worry that their work will go far. They certainly were right. A collection of 10 top notch compositions, Blood of the Snake is certainly a classic heavy metal/jazz fusion album by Mr. Sherinian. Filled with numerous memorable moments, metallic and melodic, intense and placid, and a huge sundry of other feels, themes, and genres, the album presents one of the more varied displays of music seen recently. In the end, this album is simply fantastic, and is recommended to most fans of jazz rock and heavy metal. 4+ stars.

Andy Webb | 4/5 |


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