Planet X - Live from Oz - 2002


Well, what seemed like another studio project of Mr. Derek Sherinian (ex Dream Theater, Kiss, Alice Cooper) has turned out to be the entire contrary as you can see in this live CD that Planet X offer us. Recorded during their Australian tour, Planet X enter us in a world technically brilliant with parts full of feeling and progressiveness. In this tour the members of the band are Derek Sherinian (Keyboards), Virgil Donati (Drums and percussion), Tony Macalpine (Guitars) and a bass player whom they have voided both in the promotional CD and the promotional flyer. The reason could possibly be that he is not very well known in the progressive scene; otherwise I think they would have mentioned his name.

[webmasters note: The bass player is Dave Larue]


Lets start analyzing the musical aspect of the album because, apart from a few words to introduce the members of the band, it is the only thing we can find on the CD. "Ignotus per Ignotium" starts this concert where casually I notice that the audience is quite inferior to the one that appears in the photos inside the booklet. This track, a bit dark, is a good starter and looks like a good way to start the concert. "Inside Black" is a song more along the fusion style with ethnic-arab parts where Sherinian shows off a bit more than in the first song. "Dog Boots": time for Virgin Donati to show off with a really good starting drum solo. In this particular song we can find the first solo of our unknown bass player. The song carries on and I notice that Mr. Donati has not stopped one moment since the beginning; it is visible that he is in a good physical and psychological shape. The following three tracks belong to "Atlantis": Continuing with the same guitar-bass based hard and heavy style they offer us twenty minutes of overlapping solos where they show us their capacity of coordination. It is time now for Sherinian’s keyboard solo where he offers us his particular sound with Wah-Wah that reminds us quite a lot of his solo in his last tour with Dream Theater. To tell the truth it is not very impressive. "Warfinger" is another song with a heavy rhythm where Macalpine again shows his virtuosity (he does it in all the songs) but I notice that the songs are a bit linear. Ah! Lets not forget the bass player, he plays another good solo. It is time now for the drum solo. What can I say? The truth is that there are musicians that are so good that cause other musicians with less experience to retire promptly due to the frustration caused by thinking that they will never reach that level. I will not say anymore J. "Warfinger Reprise" is the prelude to Mr. Macalpine’s solo where he causes more than one guitarist to cry showing us his wide variety of techniques full of feeling; that is what I call a professional. "Her Animal" and "Europa" are the following tracks where they play a bit harder entering us again in the CD, and we finish with "Pods of Trance", another song like the rest.


To sum up: virtuosity everywhere in this live album. Just as a peculiarity I would like to say that this album is a continuous guitar followed very closely by the drums and ironically Derek Sherinian (band leader) is who appears the least.

author - date - rating - label

Germán Villén - June 2002 -   - Inside Out