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Articles Home » 2006 Articles » Sherinian, Derek - 2006 Blood Of The Snake
Sherinian, Derek - 2006 Blood Of The Snake

ARTIST: Sherinian, Derek
ALBUM: Blood Of The Snake
LABEL: Inside Out/SPV
YEAR: 2006


LINEUP: Derek Sherinian - all keyboards

Guests: Billy Idol - vocals * Zakk Wylde - guitars, vocals * John Petrucci, Brad Gillis, Yngwie J Malmsteen, Slash - guitars * Brandon Fields - sax * Jerry Goodman - violin * Tony Franklin, Jimmy Johnson, John Deservio - bass * Brian Tichy, Simon Phillips - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Czar Of Steel * 02 Man With No Name * 03 Phantom Shuffle * 04 Been Here Before * 05 Blood Of The Snake * 06 On The Moon * 07 The Monsoon * 08 Prelude To Battle * 09 Viking Massage * 10 In The Summertime



'Blood Of The Snake' is album number five for the keyboard virtuoso Derek Sherinian. An album of OTT solo'ing and guest appearances by a cast of who's who makes this a mainly instrumental showcase, with a couple of vocal tracks thrown in for good measure. Don't be fooled by looking at the line-up and thinking this is a metal-on-steroids showcase, because it isn't. As with most classy instrumental albums, you'll get the occasional change-up moment, and so it is here on this album. I normally steer clear of these types of albums.. my days of listening to wank-fest instrumentals did its dash after listening to a ton of early Shrapnel Records albums! 'Blood Of The Snake' is different enough to warrant a dabble with my virtual pen.

The Songs
The album commences with the John Petrucci driven 'Czar Of Steel', a futuristic and somewhat discordant sounding piece which doesn't contain too much in the way of melody. 'Man With No Name' features Zakk Wylde on vocals and lead guitar. This is a definite tribute to Ozzy Osbourne, the vocals an absolute dopple-ganger. ' Phantom Shuffle' meanwhile, is wickedly good jazz rock, highlighting Simon Phillips sense of the intricate and near-perfect beat keeping. The cool sax solos come with compulsory sunglasses! 'Been Here Before' is a slow piece with a faint sixties vibe. Nice hearing Brad Gillis playing with a bit of feel, rather than the full-on whammy bar antics that we've been used to in the past. Next up, Malmsteen reinvents his past on the title track, it's hard not to think of Rising Force listening to this. 'On The Moon' is perfect late night coffee drinking listening, the sax solo giving this one a heap of soul. 'The Monsoon' features Wylde, Malmsteen and Sherinian, the latter doing the solos while Zakk lays the heavy-as rhythm. This one is pretty fast and furious. The mournful 'Prelude To Battle' segues into the sword and sorcery of 'Viking Massacre', where Malmsteen has a field day. A near speed metal epic which has had the clock wound back to 1985 by the sounds of things! The album ends with the fun-time banter of 'In The Summertime', the former Mungo Jerry chestnut from yesteryear. Thanks to Billy Idol and Slash for putting a smile on my face at the end of this album.

In Summary
For those looking for a pure excursion into metal it would be best to look elsewhere. The violin, saxophone and piano parts will put paid to that thought. The only danger with an album this varied, is that it doesn't slot neatly into any genre - unless instrumental rock has suddenly become a genre! 'Blood Of The Snake' has its moments, a load of variety, and some interesting compositions. Worth a bit of your time if you are wanting to invest some energy and resource.

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