Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography


Planet X

Jazz Rock/Fusion

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Planet X Quantum album cover
4.08 | 197 ratings | 13 reviews | 33% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

Write a review

Buy PLANET X Music
from partners
Studio Album, released in 2007

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Alien Hip-Hop (7:09)
2. Desert Girl (6:02)
3. Matrix Gate (4:07)
4. The Thinking Stone (4:10)
5. Space Foam (4:44)
6. Poland (5:21)
7. Snuff (4:55)
8. Kingdom Of Dreams (6:46)
9. Quantum Factor (7:09)

Total Time: 50:33

Line-up / Musicians

- Derek Sherinian / keyboards
- Virgil Donati / drums, orchestration (1)

- Brett Garsed / guitar
- Allan Holdsworth / guitar solos (2,4)
- Jimmy Johnson / bass
- Rufus Philpot / bass (5,9)

Releases information

Artwork: Mattias Norén

CD Inside Out Music ‎- IOMCD 279 (2007, Germany)

Thanks to silentman for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy PLANET X Quantum Music

PLANET X Quantum ratings distribution

(197 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(33%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(39%)
Good, but non-essential (21%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

PLANET X Quantum reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by darkshade
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This is easily the best album by Planet X yet. Their first album was more prog metal with slight fusion touches, but more metal still. Moonbabies was the first great album which melded technical prog-metal with jazz-rock fusion nicely. This album however mixes everything perfectly and feels like a true Planet X album should sound like. The band is definitely progressing nicely and still moving forward. Recommended for prog-metal, jazz, jazz-rock/fusion fans as well as Allan Holdsworth fans and anyone who likes pretty technical music with a lot of emotion and melody. BTW, the chord changes are the best thing.
Review by Atavachron
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Another awe-inspiring piece of technical demonstration is Planet X's third studio CD and as with their previous work, the facility and ambition shown is remarkable. Not much new territory is explored on 'Quantum' but on the other hand, in their realm no one comes close to this gladiator of a band, to be feared by all competitors and opponents, abundantly gifted and quietly, carefully taking over the galaxy. A musical phenom that confounds and often bores half the audience it was meant for, all the while leaving most other rock, jazz, metal, prog and fusion groups in the dust. New members Brett Garsed on guitar and bassist Jimmy Johnson are fine additions, Garsed a major talent showing the chops of former member Tony MacAlpine with the taste and restraint of a Steve Hackett. And drummer Virgil Donati, who amazingly composes most of the material, does a fine job leading alongside keyboard whiz Derek Sherinian. The race car 'Alien Hip Hop' cuts tight corners, slowing now and then for a nice guitar solo showing Garsed's finesse and range, Donati's drumlines tempting the Devil with continually altered beats and theatrics. 'Desert Girl' rocks the hard jazz and features Allan Holdsworth, 'Matrix Gate' spits mean chunks, wild polymorphs and great twisted counterpoint. 'The Thinking Stone' keeps the ball rolling with a neat drum/guitar break, 'Space Foam' and 'Poland' are both up to par, and a bit of space in 'Snuff'. The ominous 'Kingdom of Dreams' and explosive 'Quantum Factor' at seven minutes finishes a strong session.

Not really comparable to anyone though sometimes it sounds like the ghost of Gentle Giant has possessed the mind of Mahavishnu and the body of Metallica. I can imagine those who say "If you've heard one Planet X number, you've heard'em all". I can only counter by suggesting if you liked one, you'll love the rest. One of the best releases of 2007.

Review by 1800iareyay
5 stars Wow. There are a number of albums that are so good they make you check out their previous work (Operation Mindcrime comes to, um, mind). However, it takes a special album that can actually make you re-evaluate a band. Quantum is such a disc. Prior to buying this album, I had only gotten the Live From Oz CD, and I was underwhelmed. I thought some of the songs sounded too similar and that the band played individual solos rather than jams that allowed everyone to show off while still keeping a rhythm. This album, on the other hand, is a (God, I must be feeling punny today) quantum leap forward. Tony MacAlpine has exited the band for whatever reason, which many (even non-fans like myself) were concerned. He's always been one of the better shredders out there, but he can also write a song. The news that Brett Garsed was taking over didn't really help me much not because I don't value his skill but because I had honestly never heard him and had only once heard of him. Then things picked up when I heard that guitar virtuoso Allan Holdsworth was guesting, but I still had my doubts. After all, Holdsworth's synthetic guitar sound would likely be a good fit for the band, but he specializes in warm, synth-heavy jazz fusion as opposed to the crushing fusion metal I hear in Planet X's music. However, I finally caved and bought it, and I'm glad I did.

The album opens with Alien Hip Hop, which gets the ball rolling with some orchestration courtesy of Virgil Donati. It mixes nicely with keyboard line before Virgil jumps in with a quick and impossibly complex drum roll, only for the band to suddenly shift to a lower gear, add the guitar and start chugging. Now, I already said that I didn't know who Brett Garsed was before I popped this in, but about two minutes into this song I damn sure committed his name to memory. Planet X was gelling like I had never heard, and kept it up for an entire song, something that I thought they did only in bursts on their live album. Three minutes in, the band drops out and lets Brett play while Virgil keeps a beat that sounds simple until you really listen and hear his incredible cymbal work under the steady bass drum. This segues nicely into a solo from Derek, before Brett and Virgil hop back in at different tempos start gently slowing things down until your brain can't take anymore of the contrasting time signatures and levels out to an extent, although the challenging riff keeps until the end. This superb opener is so wonderful that it made me dump what previous slant I had towards the band, and it's not even the strongest track on the album.

Next up is the first of Allan's guest spots, Desert Girl. After some soft piano passages, his trademark synthetic guitar sound gently fades in before Virgil joins in with a simple beat, followed by Brett on rhythm guitar. Just as you get adjusted to this gentle sound, Derek switches to the keyboard and Virgil starts doing some fancy footwork and Jimmy Johnson gets his first moment to really be heard. He starts playing a rolling bassline that fits in nicely with the previous gentle sound yet also prepares the track for the sudden blast of metal a few seconds later. The band switches back and forth between the soft fusion and the jazz metal before finding the perfect transitioning into a masterful solo from Allan. Call me crazy, but I think I prefer Allan when he plays for others rather than his solo efforts. Perhaps it's because when he is subject to the will of others he doesn't sound so mechanical. Allan has always been about warm music with a cold sound, but he doesn't use as much synth on guest appearances, which is fine by me. Frankly, I think Desert Girl is one of his finest performances, and my concerns about how he would fit with the band went out the window and made me hope that he is asked back on future efforts.

Matrix Gate brings back some of the metal that the previous track sacrificed, and it opens with a great piano/guitar unison that manages to sound more fluid and musical than all of the Petrucci/Ruddess lines of Dream Theater's 00's output. The rest of the song is gloriously riffy, and the riff is no less heavy when Derek plays it with a piano as it is when Brett plays it. This song almost sounds like Brett wanted to remind us that Allan wasn't about to upstage him.

The Thinking Stone opens with Virgil casually proving that he's better than just about everyone else before Brett plays a lovely rhythm full of sustain only to fall back and let Derek take the lead. The band finds a nice sludgy riff before breaking into more of Brett's cleaner passages, which are themselves broken up by some slowly played arpeggios. Take note shredders, these mid-tempo scales sound better than about 90% of your lightspeed histrionics. Suddenly, the band drops out and Allan comes in with a surprisingly face-melting solo. Despite the insanely high quality of his solo, I found Holdsworth's portion out of place. In Desert Girl, Allan is an active member throughout the song, and, even thought he song gets heavy, it finds the perfect transition in his solo; here, it's just a sudden break. It doesn't really hurt the song, but I've been so used to the album's fluidity that it jolted me, but perhaps that is the point.

Space Foam is my personal favorite track on the album (well, that changes often). It's electronic opening leads into a killer groove between Rufus Philpot, Brett, and Virgil. Derek comes in a bit later with some lush keyboards, but he soon establishes himself as the forefront of the song. After some lines from Brett, he comes in with an absolutely magnificent keyboard solo that displays all of Jordan Ruddess' potential but without an ounce of the cheese. Not many songs can make you bang your head and come off as a swinging jazz jam.

Poland stars the second half with some piano arpeggios over Brett's piercing guitar before letting Jimmy Johnson flex his fingers again with some great lines with both Brett and Derek. Derek once again finds this crazy balance between dizzying keyboard shred and lush textures. His short solo in this song doesn't have a ton of notes, but it sounds so full and overpowering you'd swear he was playing balls-to-the-wall. Brett's solo is lovely as well. The trend continues with a similarly styled bass solo from Johnson that closes the song. In a band that prides itself on technical mastery, in a genre (prog/jazz metal) that demands it, to have three showcases in one song that are all tasteful is utterly shocking.

Snuff also lets Jimmy come to the front. I'm digging this new development. One of my chief complaints of Live From Oz was that they got the insanely talented Dave LaRue to play with them, only to barely let him do anything. In addition to Jimmy's great bassline, we get yet more inspired solos from Brett and Derek. Brett's in particular shows a beauty so rarely heard in modern metal, despite his ability to play all the tricks that proggy shredders love.

We get even more contrasting rhythms from the start of Kingdom of Dreams, with a simple drum beat under a complex piano line and a great riff. Suddenly, the band switches into full on stomp-along mode before Jimmy and Derek play some killer unison lines. Around the 3 minute mark, Derek plays some keyboard that sounds an awful lot like Allan's guitar before Brett gets his true moment in the sun. His solos throughout the rest of the piece are so technical yet so refined and musical that they could both inspire and put off a generation of potential players. Brett's rhythm and lead work might just eclipse the astounding work he's put in on the previous tracks.

The album closes with the monstrous Quantum Factor, and if you thought the rest of the album was complex, strap yourself in. Virgil Donati's been amazing throughout the album, but his work on this track is so astonishing, so polyrhythmically insane, and yet so groovy that you'll be hard pressed to listen to him and think up a long list of modern drummers (or drummers from any time period for that matter) that can play in the same league as this master. His playing alone is worth a few dozen listens, and yet everyone sounds great here. Brett pierces the stratosphere with his guitar before crashing back down to hell to churn out some bone-crushing riffs. Derek lays down the atmosphere before flying out of it for some killer solos. Rufus is the least present player on the track, though his job entails keeping up with Virgil Donati on perhaps his greatest kit workout, and that alone qualifies the reputation he's been rapidly building. A killer end to a killer album.

Now, I must admit, I've always been somewhat prejudiced against Derek Sherinian. As a matter of fact, even in this review, I compare him (though favorably) to his Dream Theater replacement, Jordan Rudess. I've always viewed him as the weakest member of Dream Theater, and rarely revisit his recordings with the band (I even listen to the Live Scenes version of A Change of Seasons). I thought he was more about image and trying to be rock rather than really rocking, and that he brought down Dream Theater (a band of which I am an admitted fanboy no matter how stale their formula has become). However, this album made me realize that he's perhaps the most musical of any DT alum (his only competition being John Myung and Kevin Moore), capable of actually tempering that skill with a song I want to listen to. He, like Moore before him, doesn't play as many notes as Jordan, but ultimately the atmosphere and wide range he brings to the table are far more valuable. Before this album, I found his previous Planet X output technically masterful,yet ultimately not very engaging. As I go back and check out the discography I've shunned for years, I see that Derek always played like this, so Quanum's success cannot be fully attributed to him, although his songwriting definitely improved. I can only assume the missing ingredient was Brett Garsed. His playing captures all of Tony's technique, but adds a liberal dash of groove and catchy riffs, which makes the whole thing like a truly great jazz album; demanding yet catchy. I hope to God that this isn't a one off studio session on his part, as he is the catalyst that realizes the band's potential.

Normally when I write a review, I offer a very brief synopsis of the songs before talking about how the album as a whole affected me. However, as I started to write this all I couldn't help but mention all the various aspects of the band's sound, how the songs had infinite time shifts yet were ultimately fluid. I've been trying to cut down on five star ratings, but a masterpiece is a masterpiece, and this is certainly that. The band that I just couldn't get suddenly came out and released one of if not the best jazz fusion albums since its mid-70s heyday. It's so dizzyingly complex that you have to listen to it a number of times, yet it is so catchy and accessible that you'll want to.

Grade: A

Review by progrules
4 stars When I did the review of Where's the Nine's Desensitized album I referred to this near masterpiece by Planet X as main resemblance. Well, I don't like to brag but how right I was I realized when I did my final listening session for the review of this magnum opus by Planet X.

The resemblance is huge really, both albums are probably the best examples of full blooded fusion in metal style containing pretty complex compositions. When I bought Quantum several years ago I wasn't too pleased with what I heard due to lack of nice melodies. Right now I realize producing straightforward melodies isn't the objective of Planet X even though I have to add this Quantum is the only album by PX I know so far.

Anyway, complexity and almost improvising fusion is actually all what this album is about and if you happen to like the style Quantum is just about the best there is on the market I have no doubt. Like I said, a near masterpiece just falling short (same as Where's the Nine by the way) because of the absence of memorable tracks. The power lies in the strength overall, no weak fillers, just great tracks on this one. So 4 stars is the only logical outcome to me.

Review by Warthur
4 stars Dream Theater side projects and spin-offs are thick on the ground, and I personally find them rather hit and miss, but Derek Sherinian has really landed on his feet with this Planet X deal. What makes Quantum such a joyful listen is its seamless blending of progressive rock subgenres you wouldn't have otherwise expected to work so well together. There's a jazz fusion underpinning to affairs which reminds me a lot of UK - indeed, UK's own Allan Holdsworth guests on a couple of tracks - and the guitar performances tend to be metal-oriented, but the overall aesthetic of the compositions, especially when Derek's keyboard textures come into play, remind me of nothing less than space rock in the Ozric Tentacles mode. On the whole, it's a highly competent album which will appeal to anyone in the market for spacey, technically complex instrumental prog.
Review by b_olariu
4 stars Planet X third album and so far their latest one from 2007 named Quantum is another worthy journey in prog jazz fusion world with blistering keyboards, drums, guitars and all. Featuring among Sherinian of course and Donati on drums some respected jazz fusion guitarists as legendary Holdsworth and Brett Garsed, both done an excellent work here, while Rufus Philpot is responsable for bass lines together with Jimmy Johnson. Well, this is a fantastic release, full of top notch muscianship just right from the start of the album with Alien Hip-Hop who sets the mood for the rest to come. The jazz fusion elements are melted in a very convinceing way with more edgy parts goint towards prog metal in places, but without sounding like a prog metal band in the end. Some spacey moments apear, quite technical most of the time, this instrumental album desearves recognition for sure. Competent musicins, great ideas and overall crystal sound. A very rewarding band this Planet X, is one of my fav from let's say newer generations of instrumental prog jazz fusion. Quantum is a 4 star album no less no more, even I like little more Moonbabies who is my fav Planet X album and among the top jazz fuison/prog metal album ever made, Quantum has everything to become classic in the years to come. Again a very good art work, CD comes in digipak format from Insideout label..
Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars 3.5 stars. When Derek Sherinian left DREAM THEATER he had two projects on the go in PLANET X and the other under his own name. I much prefer the music under his own name as he seems to let the guests have the spotlight. I'm just not big on keyboard driven Metal as PLANET X is, although of the three studio albums PLANET X released the debut at least was much heavier and just more the style of music I prefer. "Quantum" is the third studio album and I'm guessing final album by the band since it's been 11 years from when we last heard of them. The first two albums featured the trio of Sherinian, Donati and MacAlpine with some guest bass players helping out. This final record saw MacAlpine gone and Brett Garsed taking his place although we get two guitar solos from Alan Holdsworth. I like this better than "Moonbabies" the previous album where they did some mellow tunes but the debut "Universe" is my favourite and I'm very much in the minority with those feelings. By the way Donati's drum work steals the show on all three albums in my opinion.

The downfall for this album for me is the first half of the album where the keyboards dominate at times with those synth-like sounds. I'm just not into them at all but starting with "Poland"( which I hope is a nod to Chris Poland) to the end I'm pretty impressed and that's the reason it's 3.5 stars and not just 3 stars. Holdsworth solos on track 2 and 4 and both are excellent of course, in fact "Desert Girl" the second tune is right there with the songs on the second half. "Poland" is my favourite track on here but the next three songs are right there with it.

Donati again shows why he one of the premier drummers on the planet, I'm so glad to have some of his solo work. The music on this album is complex but the synth-like keyboards leave me cold much of the time, I'm just not into them but when Derek creates atmosphere with those spacey sounds or when playing the piano I'm impressed big time. So a matter of tastes all the way and I'll stick with "Universe" which I played today for a comparison because I hadn't heard it in such a long time and thought maybe my tastes had simply changed since I last spent some time with it. Most by far feel "Quantum" is PLANET X's best album, I have to disagree.

Latest members reviews

4 stars I am travelling through space. Go listen to this intergalactic combo i promise: if you like heavy guitars and modern spacey-fusion synths along with huge drums that make the most insanely complex patterns this album is for you. It's like the soundtrack of a sci-fi metal adventure. I can close my eye ... (read more)

Report this review (#1458186) | Posted by marcobrusa | Monday, August 31, 2015 | Review Permanlink

5 stars If you embark on this journey, you have a long ride ahead of yourself. You won't have to listen to this album for no longer than two minutes and it's gonna suck you right in, you just have to let it to. Quantum is the kind of stuff that brings you down to basics. Why do you listen to music? To get ... (read more)

Report this review (#272972) | Posted by wanderer | Friday, March 19, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Finally Planet X come back from a five-year journey in the universe!They return to earth with a lot of experience and inspiration! Quantum is an album of a mature group that mixes up all Metal attitude with jazz influence. I think it's a great fusion of genres!!! They could appear so far the one f ... (read more)

Report this review (#153293) | Posted by fred84 | Friday, November 30, 2007 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I found this disc in the metal section while nosing around in my local music store for something new to listen to. The spaced out artwork and freaky abstract track titles set it apart from some of the other offerings I was considering so I snatched it up on these impressions alone. I can`t say tha ... (read more)

Report this review (#128134) | Posted by Vibrationbaby | Wednesday, July 11, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars After a long and seemingly endless 5 year wait, Planet X return with Quantum. Noticeably absent from the line up is Tony MacAlpine. Taking over guitar duties is Brett Garsed, a personal favorite of mine. Guest starring on 2 tracks (Desert Girl and The Thinking Stone solo) is Alan Holdsworth. On b ... (read more)

Report this review (#124030) | Posted by Chris88 | Thursday, May 31, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Planet X's new album, Quantum, is an excellent powerhouse of fusion-prog-metal that equals their previous album Moonbabies. It sounds heavy, futuristic, powerful, and fascinating. Odd-time rhythms propelled by the drumming colossus Virgil Donati form the basis for this album, along with Derek S ... (read more)

Report this review (#119913) | Posted by YearEnd | Thursday, April 26, 2007 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of PLANET X "Quantum"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.