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Released: 2004, Insideout Music America
I want to say this at the outset; I am not a huge fan of instrumental music. In my reviewing career I have had the opportunity to review numerous instrumental releases and have found only a handful which I can safely say found repeated spin in my CD player. From my perspective most instrumental albums suffer from the either poorly thought out song structures or the artists need to play as many notes as possible and include as many time changes in each song as the human mind can bear. These are the very reasons that I have always enjoyed the solo works of Derek Sherinian. His work is always interesting enough that I forget that there is no vocalist. Another added bonus with Sherinian’s work is that he always seems to include some very interesting and gifted musicians to help him fulfill his vision. His guests on MYTHOLOGY are no exception and include the likes of Zakk Wylde, Steve Lukather, Alan Holdsworth, Tony Franklin and John Sykes.
The variety of music on MYTHOLOGY is almost as amazing as the variety of players who join Sherinian. One of the more interesting players to join Sherinian is legendary jazz and rock guitarist Alan Holdsworth. Holdsworth first joins Sherinian on the metallic and almost epic track “Day of the Dead”. Joining Holdsworth for six string duties on this track is the equally as legendary Zakk Wylde. Sherinian says that this song is the perfect blend of fusion and metal that he has been looking for and I tend to agree. The crunchy backdrop laid down by Zakk Wylde is fleshed out by the fluid jazz like solos provided by Holdsworth. Sherianian feels that this is probably the heaviest thing that Holdsworth has ever played on and all I can say is that I hope it isn’t the last heavy music he contributes. One of the more interesting tracks on the CD is “Goin to Church”. It starts out sounding quite similar to the song “Lean on Me” but with the introduction of the fluid and emotional guitar work of Totos’ Steve Lukather it quickly becomes one of the most memorable songs on the MYTHOLOGY.
This CD also sees the first song with vocals to show up on and Derek Sherinian solo release. Zakk Wylde and Sherinian seem to have a special relationship as together they create some amazing instrumental music but for this disc they wanted to do something different. Sherinian says the best way to record Zakk is to just let him play. So that’s just what happened. Zakk played his Randy Rhoads V and wore one of Randy’s vests while Derek hung a Van Halen/ Randy Rhoads collage in the background. The process must have worked because not only did Zakk play on 3 songs on the disc, he also contributed the first vocal performance to be heard on a Derek Sherinian CD. That song being the album closer “The River Song”. Zakk turns in a performance that is reminiscent of his main act Black Label Society but is coloured wonderfully by the keys of Sherinian.
Many times solo albums are the place for an artist to stretch their creative wings away from the confines of their main band. I have to say in this case that in my opinion Sherinian’s solo material is much more interesting than that of his main band Planet X. He delves into many facets of his musical psyche but Derek Sherinian manages to make each track his own. This is definitely one of the best instrumentals albums I have heard in a very very long time.
Day of the Dead
God of War
El Flamingo Suave
Goin' To Church
One Way or the Other
A View From The Sky
The River Song
Derek Sherinian - Keyboards
Zakk Wylde - Guitar (Tracks 1,3,9)
Steve Stevens - Guitar (Tracks 2,4,8)
Allan Holdsworth - Guitar (Tracks 1,6)
John Sykes - Guitar (Track 3)
Steve Lukather - Guitar (Track 5)
Simon Phillips - Drums (Tracks 2,4,5,6,8,9)
Tony Franklin - Bass (Tracks 1,2,5,8)
Marco Mendoza - Bass (Tracks 3,4,7,9)
Rufus Philpot - Bass (Track 6)
Jerry Goodman - Violin (Tracks 1,6)
Brian Tichy - Drums (Tracks 1,3,7,9)
Brian Tichy - Additional Guitars (Tracks 1,3,7)
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