Apart from the opener of the album Planet x Moonbabies this cd is far superior to that work. It is more focused, more direct, more heavy. In this case these adjectives are all compliments. Moonbabies is a good album but its music is too pointless in the end. Time signature changes for the sake of playing it without any musical reason are a bore after the first 2/3tracks! The formula isn’t too different in the case of this “Universe”, but the point here is a little bit more centered. It is industrial, metal, fusion music with awkward chord progressions but delivered with good chops and attitude. Sure what you can find here is still cold robotic, meaningless technical music, but it’s funny, enjoyable, more than Moonbabies’ music, for what I am concerned. It is really “space” music, when you start to listen to this cd it seems that a strange brutal space alien should come out of your speakers one minute or the other!! The sounds, expecially keyboards sounds really come from that same outer space. Oh, funny Derek boy c’mon dude, be serious next time!!
In 1999, former Cynic bassist Sean Malone startled the metal and progressive rock world with the self-titled debut release from his Gordian Knot project. Featuring a lineup of renowned musicians it blurred the distinction between rock and metal – Gordian Knot is a defining statement for the genre. Featuring Malone joined by members of King Crimson, Dream Theater and Watchtower. Three years in the making, Gordian Knot’s follow-up release, Emergent, pushes the envelope even further. Sean Malone is once again surrounded by a stellar cast including Jason Gobel, Bill Bruford, Steve Hackett, Jim Matheos and more. Sensory/Laser’s Edge. 2003.
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Planet X’s Universe is a truly outstanding progressive metal instrumental effort. Tony MacAlpine’s heavy riffing and throwback shredding bode well with Derek Sherinian’s typical stellar synth playing. Drummer Virgil Donati also displays his considerable chops and has solo writing credits for two of the songs. One of them, Dog Boots, is in many ways the album’s standout tracks. It’s riff-heavy intro is quickly punctuated by the incoming keyboards with a nice melody. It gets stuck in my head a lot. I think it would be a good song to use in a film. Other standout tracks include Clonus, Bitch, King of the Universe, Pods of Trance, and 2116. My only complaint about the album is that there isn’t that much actual variety. Most of the songs have the same basic sound. Still, this is a worthwhile purpose for fans of heavy instrumental music or of any of the musicians involved.
A good album by Sherinian, MacAlpine and Donati. It is guitar, drum and keyboard fusion, but it has a much harder edge than anything I’ve heard. It sounds somewhat like Dream Theater and Liquid Tension Experiment. Lots of solos and high energy music. I only wish there was a little bit more contrast. Although not as good as the Liquid Tension Experiment albums, it is a very good album for anyone who wants to hear a diffrent slant on fusion.
This album is an infernal machine, a time bomb in your stereo just waiting for a virtuosic detonation. The guitar playing is a unique blend of hybrid picking, position shifting, scale-combining, and string-skipping at supreme quality. Virgil Donati(drummer)is undoubtly one of the few drummers in the business with the alacrity of a cheetah on the double bass pedal, and the skilled hands of a stonemason. As for Derek Sherinian(former Dream Theater keyboardist), his odd time signatures and warm tones complete the trinity of these incomparable musicians. This is a classic for any Macalpine/Donati fans, and any connoisseur of technical/avante-garde music.
This is a joint venture of Derek Sherinian (keys), Tony McAlpine (guitar), and Virgil Donati (drums). If you know the solo album “Planet X” of former Dream Theater member Derek Sherinian, you know at least the musical category of this album – except that it’s got more heavy guitars on it, thanks to Tony McAlpine. This album is so loud, heavy, dissonant, dense, depressive, and ear-hurting, that it’s a real joy to listen to it. Stylistically, the music is probably a mixture of progmetal and fusion. Anyway you might name it, it’s a breath-taking tour-de-force for your ears. Not for the faint-hearted!