Derek Sherinian
Blood of the Snake

Release date: July 31st 2006
Label: InsideOut Music
Distribution: Target (Denmark)

Progressive Metal

Rating: 75/100
Reviewed by: Kenn Jensen
Date: July 2nd 2006

Ever since leaving Dream Theater Derek Sherinian has had to fight with the fact that most people think of him as the guy, who replaced Kevin Moore and didn't last very long. He has continued writing strong mostly instrument albums as a solo-artist and with his Planet X project.

"Blood of the Snake" is without a doubt his best solo-album ever, filled with for most parts very good instrumental songs, which showcases his excellent writing abilities as well as his playing skills. 9 very varied songs are on offer - raging from 2 almost jazz-fusion songs in "Been here before" and "On the Moon" thru the very progressive opener "Czar of Steel", where his former Dream Theater partner John Petrucci excels. Zakk Wylde is singing and playing guitars on the very Black Sabbath inspired "Man with no Name", and he delivers some excellent guitar duels with Yngwie Malmsteen on the almost neo-classical title track.

Yngwie Malmsteen is just one of many guest musicians on this fine piece of metal, others include Slash and Billy Idol on the remake of classic Jerry Mungo tune "In the Summertime" - not my personal favorit moment on the album. Tony Franklin is taking care of most the bass guitars on the album and the drums are shared between Simon Philips and Brian Tichy.

Normally I am not a huge fan of instrumental albums, but this one belongs amongst the best I've heard in a long while and the excellent compositions and guitar work makes it worth checking out... Even the 2 jazz songs sound good...

Recommended tracks: "Czar of Steel", "Blood of the Snake" & "The Monsoon" .