The genetically superior team of drummer Virgil Donati and keyboardist Derek Sherinian return to continue the next chapter in their metal-fusion saga. It’s been five Earth years since the release of Moon Babies, and Quantum powers up and takes us to new and unexplored regions beyond the outer rim.
Rufus Philpot and Jimmy Johnson share bass duties while the lyrical and soulful Brett Garsed replaces Tony MacAlpine on guitar. Allan Holdsworth contributes mind-altering solos on “Desert Girl” and “The Thinking Stone.” Lush, arpeggiated keyboard sequences counter spine-snapping bass grooves, while passionate odd-time-signature drumming hits so hard you can feel it.
As with any Sherinian project, the keyboard and guitar solos are to die for. But Planet X is, in reality, a drummer’s band. Donati’s point of view in regard to composition gives him a unique perspective that separates Planet X from bands in similar genres. The level of musicianship is extremely high and they indeed “Strike fear into the hearts of other musicians,” but the fear is inspirational instead of off putting. These guys make you want to woodshed, not sell all your gear.
Quantum is food for the imagination. It’s filled with a variety of moods, tempos and shifting sonic scapes. It’s a forward thinking feast for those who love the complexity of fusion, the brutal heaviosity of metal and emotional virtuosity. It’s the kind of recording that requires multiple plays. Because of the sheer density of the compositions I found myself hearing new things with each and every listen.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s OCT ’07 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.