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On disc: Planet X

- Quantum - Claudia Ehrhardt - 8 stars


(InsideOut Music - 2007)

Well, I'm not a big fan of instrumental albums and there are only a very few which I enjoy for a long time - like Friday Night In San Francisco. Planet X is the band of former Dream Theater keyboarder Derek Sherinian and drummer Virgil Donati (e.g. Ring Of Fire, Soul SirkUS) which started in the late 90's. Their self-titled debut was released in 1999. After Universe (2000), MoonBabies (2002) and Live From Oz (2002) there been no new album til now - Quantum. On their latest piece - Tony MacAlpine is no longer with them - they worked together with guitarists Brett Garsed and Allan Holdsworth and bassists Jimmy Johnson and Rufus Philpot. All are highly skilled musicians and need no introduction to the music world - in case you don't know them, just look them up on Wikipedia!
A bit bombastic and with strings they start into Alien Hip Hop, but a complex drum beat and heavy riffs dominate the song a little later. In a way a combination of progressive metal's heavy guitars and some floating keyboard sounds like they are known from art rock. A fusion of these genres. As all involved musicians are highly skilled and extremely talented there is no need to talk about their level of musicanship. And so they manage to keep the song interesting for the listener, even if this more then 7 min. long track has parts where they almost lost me. On Desert Girl you hear Allan Holdsworth - also on The Thinking Stone - and in the beginning it reminds me a bit of Jeff Wayne's War Of The Worlds... It's the sounds and the atmosphere, but then it got more heavy guitar riffs and spheric keyboard parts.
The music is too complex and challenging as background music, but perhaps too complex for many others as well. Actually I like the songs, but the album in it's wholeness is too much for me. But for everyone who is into complex prog music with metal and even jazz elements and who likes fusion, this is a real treat. Everybody else should listen to Matrix Gate and if you dig this one, then buy the album!

8 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


           2008-2010 by Claudia Ehrhardt • E-Mail:

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