Derek Sherinian - Vortex review

Derek Sherinian (Dream Theater, Black Country Communion, Billy Idol, Whitesnake) is back with another album called Vortex, relaunching his creative partnership with drummer Simon Phillips (the two collaborated on the previous album The phoenix). Phillips served as co-writer and co-producer in addition to sitting behind the kit and providing the dynamic rhythmic foundation. The foundation of the album was in good hands with bassist Tony 'The Fretless Monster' Franklin on board.

The new album features 8 songs for 46 minutes and lots of very important guests: Steve Stevens (the lead guitar of the original Top gun anthem for those who didn't know...) on the frantic opener/almost title track The vortex, great guitars by Nuno Bettencourt (Extreme) in the following Fire horse while more jazzy is Scorpion (the only track without a guest). Two of the best tracks, in my opinion, are Key Lime Blues (feat. Joe Bonamassa, Steve Lukather) and especially the vibrant Die Kobra with two beasts like Michael Schenker and Zakk Wylde. The longest track (11 minutes!) is the closing Aurora Australis (feat. Bumblefoot), very complex, jazzy and prog as well.

Being an instrumental album "Vortex" is not for everyone. What it's assured is the quality of the performance (well, look at the names) and the recording is also top-notch. Some moments are better than others, in my opinion and maybe a little more variety would help, sometimes, but again, it's very difficult to entertain for an entire album without vocals.

Rating 62/100
Top tracks: The Vortex, Key Lime Blues, Die Kobra.

1. The Vortex (feat. Steve Stevens) (04:45) 
2. Fire Horse (feat. Nuno Bettencourt) (04:26) 
3. Scorpion (03:38) 
4. Seven Seas (feat. Steve Stevens) (06:16) 
5. Key Lime Blues (feat. Joe Bonamassa, Steve Lukather) (04:42) 
6. Die Kobra (feat. Michael Schenker, Zakk Wylde) (06:44) 
7. Nomad’s Land (feat. Mike Stern) (05:20) 
8. Aurora Australis (feat. Bumblefoot) (11:10)

Giovanni Gagliano

Passionate about music I wrote my first article for "Given To Rock" in 2012, reaching now 30K global followers. I am also a musician, gigging around London.

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