Keyboard wizard Derek Sherinian (Dream Theater, Alice Cooper, Black Country Communion and Sons Of Apollo) and drummer Simon Phillips (The Who, Jeff Beck and Toto) have played together on a couple of albums and now they release a live album featuring ten songs from Sherinian studio albums; six from his two last albums being Vortex (2022) and The Phoenix (2020). Assisted by Ric Fierabracci (bass guitar) and Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal on guitar, let there be no mistake that these guys can play.
This album contains prog metal, symphonic rock and jazz rock played at a very high musical level but still I cannot really enjoy this album as it adds nothing to the original songs from the studio albums, there is almost no place, or maybe time, for some improvisation, which is something these guys are certainly capable of! Best tracks are the heavy and fast The Phoenix, the dazzling Temple Of Helios and finally the last and also longest song, being Aurora Australis, where these four guys really go wild, at last you could say..... Utterly superfluous are Barnacus, a rather extremely boring drum solo and the also tedious bass guitar solo in Seven Seas.
Conclusion: This is an album only for die hard Derek Sherinian fans; sad but true as these guys could have made such a brilliant live album with the musical potential that they have....
*** Martien Koolen (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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