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PLANET X
Universe
( ©INSIDEOUT Music 2000 )
 
discover the universe according to planet x
 
Clonus  4:14  Her Animal 4:46  Dog Boots  3:35  Bitch  5:20  King of the Universe  8:15  Inside Black 5:11
Europa  4:20  Warfinger  5:38  Chocalate   5:52  Pods of Trance  4:48  2116  4:39
 
This is something of a super-group, a ensemble of musicians in a instrumental trio that is more likely to have been released on MAGNA CARTA Records, which is known for its output of extraordinary and once-in-a-lifetime projects. Well, apparently INSIDEOUT Music is taking a step into that particular direction with the release of Universe by PLANET X. This band project is featuring three relatively well-known persons from the world of progressive music. I guess Tony MaCalpine is the best   known, most familiar as the guitar hero everyone knows - he is present on the guitar scene for over a decade now and is responsible for such classic albums as The Edge of Sanity. The other guy is keyboarder Derek Sherinian mostly known for his work with DREAM THEATER. Derek is responsible for putting this project together because of the things he has learned during his DREAM THEATER sessions, ' that there's a definite world-wide market for virtuoso-based music.' The third guy is Virgil Donati, the session-drummer from Australia who has among others worked with jazz cat Branford Marsalis and guitar-wiz Scott Henderson's unique band TRIBAL TECH.
The album strongly leans on the more dark and heavy side with the music being pure heavy progressive metal full of powerful and loud arrangements, shredding and virtuoso guitars, dominant keyboards that are both playful and intricate, and the drum work that is simply astounding. Music full of hard chops, time changes, unexpected twists and turns. Songs vary from fast and uncompromising Clonus, Inside Black and 2116 to more mid-tempo yet equally powerful Dog Boots, Europa and Warfinger. The best song on the album is the title track, King of the Universe, a kind of a gem that balances Derek's mastery of keyboards and Tony's legendary guitar work with unbelievable Virgil pounding on the skins..
Music with the definite edge and without sentiment, music that is emotionally detached yet it replaces any lack of that with bold musical bravado, musicianship and devotion to heavy metal. Derek says: ' I wanted to assemble a band that was so fierce that it would strike fear in the hearts of other musicians.' Well, I don't know about other people, especially musicians, but PLANET X has certainly scared me shitless as I really completely forgot how heavy metal can still be what it is supposed to be - heavy metal!
 
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