Planet X - Live From Oz

Year of Release: 2002
Label: InsideOut
Catalog Number: IOMCD 098
Format: CD
Total Time: 73:02:00

What started as a solo project by Derek Sherinian called Planet X, became a band of the same name. To date, Planet X have released two studio albums, plus the above mentioned CD. In between the release of Universe (1999), their first under the Planet X moniker, and the recent Moon Babies (2002), they released this live CD, Live From Oz. The trio of Sherinian on screaming keys, Tony MacAlpine on blistering guitar and Virgil Donati on abusive drums is joined by guest Dave LaRue (Dixie Dregs, Steve Morse Band) on a mean bass. Together they stomp through material mostly from Universe, that being their most recent album when this was recorded on their 2001 tour of Australia, dipping back to the first CD with the "Atlantis" suite, interspersing a solo spot for each, excepting LaRue - though he does get the spotlight during "Warfinger." On an all instrumental CD of this nature, a solo spot seems unnecessary since their chops are on constant display, but they're there nonetheless. Donati's crisp solo is segued into from "Warfinger" and leads right into "Warfinger Reprise," leading into MacAlpine's lanquid, seductive solo (though listening to it, you swear he must have three hands). Sherinian's comes on the heels of the "Atlantis" suite and in it you can hear echoes of his short time with Dream Theater.

That Planet X are talented group of fellows is not in question, so pointing out that they all play well here is stating the obvious. Everyone is spot on. This CD lets this band's limitless enthusiasm for music shine through as they steamroll right through the set. The only respite from the unbridled energy on display here is the mellow, reflective "Atlantis: Sea Of Antiquity." MacAlpine wrings out an emotional guitar solo, that speaks both eloquently but also of the unmitigated sadness of what has happened - the Atlantis suite is about the (perhaps) mythical island of Atlantis. This comes on the heels of the tempest that is "Atlantis: Apocalypse 1470 BC," which is so brimming with sonic fury, you can almost see the fire and panic as the titular island slips beneath sea - storms rage with ferocious intensity, while the sky darkens beneath the turmoil of heavy clouds. The suite ends with the wistful "Lost Island." Acceptance of circumstances reached, the resolve of the survives leaves them with determination to carry on. Yeh, all that tied up in about 17 minutes.

The CD opens with "Ignotus Per Ignotium," a dark, grinding, and sometimes lumbering piece, a preview of the then upcoming Moonbabies. The sound is big, made so mainly by the open keys of Sherinian while guitar and bass percolate underneath. Thing only settle down long enough for a sweet guitar solo from MacAlpine. Once they get going, they rarely slow down. "Dog Boots" is another testosterone fuelled track, bulldozing its way along with some searing guitar flourishes from MacAlpine, powerful drumming with Donati and some great bass work from LaRue. Aggression oozes from every pore of this piece. The same could be said of "Her Animal" later in the set. "Europa" is a little lighter, though no less energetic. There's a hint of playfulness is the almost danceable rhythm. Like most of the pieces here, driving along the open highway is both mandatory and a dangerous prospect? this particular piece demands a winding stretch of mountain road as zip along the S-curves - not that I'm advocating dangerous driving habits, mind you.

There is an unlisted hidden track at #15, which, according to other sources is "Clonus" (haven't heard Universe, so I can't confirm it).

All in all this is a great live document, one that seems to zip by in the blink of any eye, leaving you breathless and exhilarated. This is a trio?quartet? in top form.

Released in North America by Inside Out Music America (IOMA2034)

Ignotum Per Ignotius (7:46) / Inside Black (5:16) / Dog Boots (3:55) / Atlantis : Apocalypse 1470 BC (6:24) / Sea Of Antiquity (4:20) / Lost Island (6:21) / Derek Sherinian Solo (2:41) / Warfinger (4:36) / Vigil Donati Solo (4:) / Warfinger Reprise (1:52) / Tony Macalpine Solo (4:14) / Her Animal (4:40) / Europa (4:20) / Pods Of Trance (8:08)

Derek Sherinian - keyboards
Tony MacAlpine - guitar
Virgil Donati -drums


Dave La Rue - bass

Planet X (1998)
Universe (1999)
Live From Oz (2002)
Moon Babies (2002)
Quantum (2007)

Genre: Fusion-Jazz Fusion

Origin VA

Added: April 20th 2003
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 1102
Language: english


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