PLANET X is not exactly the type of band that makes it easy for the reviewer. Principally you could call me an absolute Prog-maniac, but what is offered here is not what I would have expected from a band like PLANET X, even more so as former DREAM THEATER-keyboarder Derek Sherinian has had his share.
I don't categorise the eleven tracks of "Universe" as bad and you most definitely cannot denounce the musicians of their musical potential and abilities, but this instrumental-album cannot excite me at all. The gentlemen Sherinian, MacAlpine and Donati don't sound like the majority of their colleagues, because you can find rather unusual parts on this album, which you haven't heard very often before, but somehow the spark just won't catch flame.
Too banal, sometimes without any feeling for melody and harmony the tracks are played in the same scheme. All eleven songs are very complex in structure, enriched with countless breaks and disharmonies, but unfortunately lacking almost any listener-friendly accessibility, so it turns fairly boring quite soon as the songs are too similar.
The only ray of light is the slow "Her Animal" that can offer a heavy Riff and some nice space-effects. But that is just simply not enough to raise them above the mass of Progressive-bands.