Sherinian, Derek - Inertia

Year of Release: 2001
Label: InsideOut
Catalog Number: IOMCD 077
Format: CD
Total Time: 46:59:00

What could one expect from someone who toured with the likes of Alice Cooper and Kiss, then went on to be Dream Theater?s keyboard player for several years before putting all of his energy into his Planet X project? A solo album certainly had to be different and what better way than to team up with some of the biggest names in the rock circus. On Inertia, Derek Sherinian is joined by such luminaries as Steve Lukather, Simon Philips (who has played with The Who, Jeff Beck, Mick Jagger, and Judas Priest to name but four), Zakk Wylde (known for his work with Ozzy and Black Label Society), Tony Franklin (The Firm, Blue Murder), Jerry Goodman (Mahavishnu Orchestra, Dixie Dregs), Jimmy Johnson (Allan Holdsworth) and Tom Kennedy (Al Di Meola).

The all instrumental album Inertia not only focuses on the craftmanship of Sherinian but also highlights the guitar talents of his guests. It is not a 100% pure Sherinian solo album as Simon Philips co-wrote five songs and co-produced and engineered the album as well. The album kicks off with the title track ?Inertia? and has the name Jeff Beck written all over it. It?s dynamic, impressive, original and although melodic, still very complex. Sherinian himself thinks his synth solo here is very reminiscent of the work of Allan Holdsworth, a musician he has longtime admired. To extra underline the jazz-rock elements, this song also includes violinist Jerry Goodman.

When Steve Lukather and Edgar Winter joined forces last year, Jordan Rudess told me backstage at one of their gigs that ?Frankenstein? was THE song that got him interested in music. Strange then that this song is covered on Sherinian?s album, while it's Wylde and not Lukather that plays all of the right chops. ?Frankenstein? is indeed a corker of a song with all the right hooks and ingredients to make this a fabulous rendition. Both Philips and Wylde make sure that this version gets close to the purest heavy metal one can dream of. ?Mata Hari? is a very melodic song that features a superb Steve Lukather who at times climbs the scales together with Derek?s keyboards in order to deliver a very powerful structure. Great percussive section as well here. Whilst all of the songs on this album were either co-written or written by someone else, only one was written all by Sherinian himself and that?s ?Evel Knievel?. Written with the ferocious Zakk Wylde in mind, this one really smokes just like the tyres of the subject?s motorcycle.

?La Pera Loca,? which means Mad Dog, starts in a very jazzy way, not in the least because of Simon?s drumming and Derek?s piano and also when Lukather joins, it pretty much goes into the Al Di Meola direction. But as soon as Derek switches to organ the tune gets aggressive and mean. The love for Jeff Beck combined with the jazz appreciation of Charlie Mingus is combined in the rendition of ?Goodbye Porkpie Hat." This Mingus classic was already featured on the equally classic Wired album and here has Lukather demonstrate his skills on the guitar turning the song into a jazzy, funky yet laidback tune. ?Astroglide? has the violin of Jerry Goodman taking over the role of the otherwise omni-present guitar in order to take this song on the same wavelength as some of the Dixie Dregs material. Jerry and Derek constantly alternate between violin and keyboards backed by an astonishing Simon Philips.

Written together with ex-Savatage/now Megadeth star Al Pitrelli, ?What A Shame? starts as a wonderful ballad, yet becomes more and more fierce as the song evolves, displaying the talents of both Wylde and Lukather and also incorporating some outstanding acoustic guitar. Impossible to understand how this song was left in the vaults for seven or eight years! The final material on the album actually consists of ?Rhapsody In Black? preceeded by a Lukather solo piece simply called ?Rhapsody Intro,? which is indeed a rather classical sounding piece. The actual song was a tune brought in by Virgil Donati, presumably to be included on a Planet X, album hence the more progressive nature of the song. It has Philips include kind of a drum solo towards the end of the song, whilst also introducing several different atmospheres. The music stops but the counter goes on and reveals an extra "hidden" minute of what Sherinian calls "psyche-core paranoia." Just listen yourself to discover what he really means!

Entirely recorded at Derek Sherinian?s Leopard Room Studios in the Hollywood Hills and Simon Philips? studio, thanks to the wonders of the Pro Tools system, the two were able to take their hard drives back and forth in order to fine tune this album. In fact, if you listen closely one can hear the intimacy of the recording booth. Inertia nevertheless is the most intense combination of true talented rock icons exchanging their talents in what has to become a rock classic in years to come. Well done. Very well done. Brilliantly done!

Also released by InsideOut Music America (IOMA 2023-2)

Inertia (4:20) / Frankenstein (3:31) / Mata Hari (6:21) / Evel Knievel (3:17) La Pera Loca (5:06) / Goodbye Porkpie Hat (6:23) / Astroglide (4:35) / What A Shame (5:01) / Rhapsody Intro (1:41) / Rhapsody In Black (- [Untitled] ) (6:40)

Derek Sherinian - keyboards
Steve Lukather - guitars (1, 3, 5, 6, 8-10)
Zakk Wylde - guitars (2, 4, 8)
Simon Phillips - drums
Tom Kennedy - bass (1, 6, 10)
Tony Franklin - bass (2 - 4, 8)
Jimmy Johnson (5)
Jerry Goodman - violin (1, 7)

Dream Theater - A Change Of Seasons (1995)
Dream Theater - Falling Into Infinity (1997)
Dream Theater - Once In A Livetime (1998)
Planet X (1998)
Platypus - When Pus Comes To Shove (1999)
Planet X - Universe (2000)
Platypus - Ice Cycles (2000)
Inertia (2001)
Planet X - Live From Oz (2001)
Planet X - Moon Babies (2002)
Black Utopia (2003)
Mythology (2004)
Blood Of The Snake (2006)
Planet X - Quantum (2007)
Molecular Heinosity (2009)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin US

Added: April 19th 2001
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website:
Hits: 855
Language: english


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