I wasn’t that impressed with Derek Sherinian’s last release the rather expressionless ‘’Mythology’’. Way too much self indulgence and suffering from too much input resulting in little quality output. However his latest solo outing ‘’Blood Of The Snake’’ is a much better proposition. Maybe he took stock of my review and decided to change things because this is much more focused, less confused album. In fact I’d go as far to say that this is a beast of a Metal record.
Featuring once again a plethora of recording giants – Zakk Wylde, Malmsteen, John Petrucci, Slash and even Billy Idol – the over reliance of lengthy disparate Prog on ‘’Mythology’’ has ushered in a more song structured album; it’s still a mostly instrumental album but with Wylde and Malmsteen handling guitar duties and even given Sherinian’s mastery of the keyboard the riff and solo comes to the fore with blistering effect on the extended opener ‘’Czar Of Steel’’, the Ozzy/SABBATH head banging furore of ‘’Man With No Name’’, the DIO-era riff crushing brutality of ‘’The Monsoon’’ and the excellent Malmsteen/RAINBOW fuelled workout ‘’Viking Massacre’’. Even the slightly bizarre pairing of Sherinian with Billy Idol on a cover of ‘’In The Summertime’’ doesn’t let the whole effort slip too much.
Initially I thought I was letting myself in for an hour of so of Prog nonsense but this has surpassed anything I could have hoped for.
Truly excellent stuff. (Online September 27, 2006)