Theme Switcher
Switch to:

Notes about GDM Themes
Click to learn more about GDM themes
Login
Username

Password



Not a member yet?
Click here to register.

Forgotten your password?
Request a new one here.
Site Stats
Album Reviews: 6825
Comments: 16465
Ratings: 4520
Forum Posts: 21582
Latest Comments
This debut is chocked ful...
The band really broadens ...
I've seen this many times...
A classic indeed and thei...
I hoped more from this al...
It was Heather Thomas in ...
Actually, 'Find The Lady'...
Cheers Dave, looking to g...
Great, Malcolm! I can hel...
Dave, it's already set up...
Great list, Jeffrey. The ...
Maybe an interview with G...
Finally got a copy of thi...
Thanks for the download y...
Yes Dave, I agree New Yor...
Very cool. I've always ha...
As a musician and avid li...
The problem with AOR as a...
Thanks Jose. However, man...
I would have voted "no" a...
Shoutbox
You must login to post a message.

Explorer
21-01-2018 21:04
Lucky and now skint, judging by the winning bid!!

jefflynnefan
21-01-2018 20:47
Some lucky Jeff Lynne fan got a real rarity! https://www.ebay....fr
esh=true

englandashes
21-01-2018 09:43
Yep in Argent, especially as Rod Argent and Jim we’re cousins.

gdazegod
21-01-2018 07:43
Didn't Rodford also play in Argent and Charlie too?

englandashes
20-01-2018 22:04
Jim Rodford, bass player, The Kinks, Phoenix (I think?), but I remember him with The Zombies, saw live a while back. RIP

englandashes
17-01-2018 21:50
In response to Cyrille Regis, BBC 2 repeat the Adrian Chiles documentary, Whites v Blacks, How Football Changed A Nation, unbelievable true story, worth watching

Explorer
17-01-2018 18:44
Review of the rather splendid `Hornal` album is in the works too.

gdazegod
17-01-2018 01:57
Dave and Jeff's best of 2017 wrap-up's just around the corner too.. computer work

gdazegod
17-01-2018 01:56
There is a three-part article coming up for E.L.O (Eldorado, A New World Record and Out Of The Blue). Look out for it soon.

Explorer
16-01-2018 08:52
Stoke fans have my commiserations.Und
er Lambert the Villa played some of the most boring, unimaginative football I`ve ever had the misfortune to witness.Relegation
?,yes I`d say so.

Articles Hierarchy
Articles Home » 2003 Articles » Sherinian, Derek - 2003 Black Utopia
 
Sherinian, Derek - 2003 Black Utopia



ARTIST: Sherinian, Derek
ALBUM: Black Utopia
LABEL: Inside Out
SERIAL: IOMCD 124
YEAR: 2003

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Derek Sherinian - all keyboards * Simon Phillips - drums * Steve Lukather, Zakk Wylde, Yngwie Malmsteen, Al Dimeola - guitars * Tony Franklin, Billy Sheehan - bass * Jerry Goodman - acoustic and electric violin

TRACK LISTING: 01 The Fury * 02 The Sons Of Anu * 03 Nightmare Cinema * 04 Stony Days * 05 Starcycle * 06 Axis Of Evil * 07 Gypsy Moth * 08 Sweet Lament * 09 Black Utopia

WEBLINKS: www.dereksherinian.com


Background
I've always had a kind of hit-and-miss relationship with Derek's music. His contribution to Dream Theater's 'A Change Of Seasons' epic was great (it can't have been easy being the man who stepped into Kevin Moore's shoes); the more recent Planet X studio work scared the bejeezus outta me. So, it was with my usual mix of fear, intrigue and excitement - followed by more fear - that I put 'Black Utopia' into my CD player. What does Utopia mean to you? (don't say Todd Rundgren!). Peace, tranquillity, happiness? It seems only fair, then, that 'Black Utopia' would be far less tranquil and in places (many places, truth be told) is hard hitting, making it a fitting title altogether.


The Songs
As the album begins, the opening couplet of 'The Fury'/'The Sons Of Anu' is a complete shred-fest. With Yngwie at the helm, it's to be expected, I guess. Not entirely my cup o' tea though. 'Nightmare Cinema' fares better, despite its slower pace, it's still incredibly heavy. Zakk Wylde comes in with a real force. As well constructed as this track is, it's not until the next track that I sit up and take real notice. 'Stoney Days' lightens up precedings somewhat. The overall feel has a jazz edge. Who better to step in than Steve Lukather. Impeccable music from all concerned here - this Jeff Beck inspired composition is definitely a highlight. There are often great performances from Luke, but here he's on top form, hooking up with Sherinian, who's in full-on 70s keyboard mode here - a great sound! As the opening sounds of track five emerge, the keyboard loop is unmistakable. It's a cover of Jeff Beck's classic 'Star Cycle', which Sherinian performs with the help of Tony Franklin on bass, and the Toto pairing of Steve Lukather and Simon Phillips - the latter must've felt like this was a trip back in time, having played it with Jeff on countless occasions. Before now, it would've been hard for me to imagine anyone other than Jeff Beck hammering his way through this, but Sherinian's choice of lead guitarist won me over instantly. Great stuff. Another of the album's obvious standouts is the softly played, vibrato-edged 'Sweet Lament', which again Lukather plays to perfection (I really like Luke okay?). It's another great example of the instrumental rock ballad, not unlike 'The Loner' by Gary Moore, or - another personal favourite - 'Until' by current Ten guitarist Chris Francis. The title cut comes with a heavy monster of a riff courtesy of Zakk Wylde. It's the kind of thing he plays effortlessly. Close your eyes - you can almost picture him in the studio during recording, hammering away relentlessly, with masses of blonde tressles flying everywhere! On lighter sections of the track, the main focus goes between washes of keys and finger-picking guitar parts. Awesome.


In Summary
As a closing thought, I'll leave you with this: Seeing as this is technically a Derek Sherinian solo album (it does have his name on the front of the sleeve after all), I'm surprised he's not the centre of attention here. This album is very much the work of a man who enjoys making music with other people in the spotlight and therefore has shifted much of the focus onto the guest guitarists. Not that it's a bad thing, when you consider the guitarists who've stepped up to play! The only thing left for me to say is 'buy and enjoy'.


All written content on this website is copyrighted.
Copying of material without permission is not permitted.


 
Comments
#1 | Jokerdean on March 24 2006 18:43:22
Grin This is one of the Greatest Guitar Releases In a Long Time. And suprise, the main writer is a Keyboard player....Grin. Derek really knows how to pull it of! He's assembled all the Heavy weight pickers...One Hell Of a Smokin set of tunes! Cheers to ya Mate! Killer!
 
Post Comment
Please Login to Post a Comment.
 
Ratings
Rating is available to Members only.

Please login or register to vote.

No Ratings have been Posted.
 
Articles Cloud
Wally - 2010 Montpellier, Bodine - 1981 Bodine, Danger Danger - 1989 Danger Danger, Eleven Bloody Men - 1988 Eleven Bloody Men, Midnight Blue - 1995 Take The Money And Run, Joe Bruce And 2nd Avenue - 1987 Joe Bruce And 2nd Avenue, Stryper - 1985 Soldiers Under Command, Idle Cure - 1986 Idle Cure, Toy Matinee - 1990 Toy Matinee, Lucifers Friend - 1981 Mean Machine, Tamas - 1998 Blue Syndicate, Bullet (Sweden) - 2014 Storm Of Blades, Waterloo - 1970 First Battle, Strangeways - 1985 Strangeways, Christian, James - 2005 Meet The Man
Tags©
Uptown Sinclair Trevor Rabin Celtic Pride Secret Sphere Last Autumns Dream Airless Baby Blue Legacy Fates Warning Wild Force Ten Sharp N.O.W Rock Candy Records Wounded Bird Montrose DeBarge Sister Hazel Airless Bill Wolfer Wolfsbane Michael Stanley Band Blondie Garnett Ford Diamond Head Tokyo (Germany) Jojo Yesterrock Roko Legs Diamond Uriah Heep Wrathchild Niagara Savage Rock Candy Records Krokus Brother Firetribe
All Tags
Search DDG