DEREK SHERINIAN - Blood Of The Snake

Derek Sherinian - Blood Of The Snake

10 songs
53:01 minutes
***** *


Derek Sherinian has not only been a former Dream Theater keyboarder, but he was a session musician for Alice Cooper, Kiss, Yngwie Malmsteen,... As he made a lot of interesting contacts during that time, he never has problems to find guest musicians for his solo CDs, like this time Billy Idol, Zakk Wylde, Slash, Yngwie Malmsteen, John Petrucci (Dream Theater), Simon Phillips (Toto), Tony Franklin (Blue Murder), Brad Gillis (Night Ranger) and Brian Tichy (Ozzy Osbourne).

Blood Of The Snake is already his fifth solo effort and shows compared to Mythology (2004) a stronger metal orientation, although the musicians come from a rather mainstream background. Eight of the ten songs on the album are purely instrumental although my personal fave is Man With No Name where Zakk Wylde imitates Ozzy Osbourne in a convincing way. The other song with vocals is a cover version of Mungo Jerry's In The Summertime, a rather sorry attempt at humour. Although Sherinian is a keyboarder, the remaining songs are partly classic guitar hero tracks in the vein of Joe Satriani. Czar Of Steel, Blood Of The Snake and The Monsoon are groovy and fast while Been Here Before is a mellower song. A real epic guitar song is Viking Massacre, featuring Yngwie Malmsteen on guitar. Jazz influences can be heard on Phantom Shuffle. It's not too bad, but the other saxophone track On The Moon is too smooth, sounding like a cheap porn soundtrack. Another more fascinating track is Prelude To Battle which starts in a rather abstract way before turning into something more oriental.

I don't want to lead discussions about Derek Sherinian's or his friends' musical abilities. There are no complaints about the technical aspects of Blood Of The Snake, but it's hard for me as a non-musician to be fascinated by instrumental albums. Guitar players will appreciate it probably much more than I did.

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