Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Derek SHERINIAN: "Blood Of The Snake" [Re-issue]

Rating: Re-issue
Label: Armoury Records/Eagle 2014
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom

Next Derek Sherinian solo album up for re-issue? Blood Of The Snake - originally released in 2006 and featured guest musicians such as Billy Idol, Slash (Guns N Roses), Yngwie Malmsteen, Brad Gillis (Night Ranger, Ozzy), John Petrucci (Dream Theater) and the usual all-star line-up of Zakk Wylde, Simon Phillips and Tony "Fretless" Franklin. It's however not the Derek's 'all instrumental' album for once as both Zakk and Billy can be heard shouting on one track each.

There's a lot of cool trading off between keyboard and guitar on the opening track, "Czar Of Steel. The level of musicianship is darn high and it's musically very Dream Theater-ish, not that strange considering that John Petrucci is the lead guitarist on the track. Next up, the Ozzy/Black Label Society sounding, "Man With No Name", featuring Zakk Wyde on lead vocals as well as guitar. It's the rather dark and evil composition with lots of wicked licks and tricks. "Phantom Shuffle", jazzy metal fusion at its highest level of form and feat. Brandon Fields on alto sax, plus the constantly flashy ebony/ivory of Mr. Keyboard. Kudos for being one of the few keyboard players to stride out with something a little different for a change

Billy Idol takes on the boring old song, "In The Summertime", Mungo Jerry's #1 one-hit-wonder from the ancient year of 1970. Slash on lead guitar doesn't help either, even if he approached this a lot different than what he normally does. "I played with my fingers instead of a pick. Sometimes I do off-the-wall stuff like that on outside projects. I used a talk-box towards the end of song as well", says Slash, according to the liner notes. Records like these are certainly not for everyone, but it's the solid pick up for anyone into mostly-instrumental high-tech stuff.

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