“Black Utopia” is Sherinian’s second solo release and by far his most daring for 2003. Musically, his synthesizer work is quite varied, showcasing many unique attributes of prog rock, jazz-fusion and heavy melodic rock. I remember when I first got this record in my paws back in ’03 and was completely floored when I heard the whole album in one sitting, it was quite a trip to the unknowns, which Derek creates so well. His playing just captures the best of your imagination and auditory sense, hurling you into a wicked yet adventurous tailspin of the unexpected.
“Black Utopia” is a challenging record in the sense, that it features many interesting as well as unique musical dynamics only Derek can throw at his listeners. The guitars intertwine seamlessly with the awe-inspiring synth chops backed by a solid and groove driven rhythm and percussive sections. When you figure all of this music in, the way it is all blended to create many different atmospheres, you just know that you’re transported to another world, and simply put; this is what “Black Utopia” achieves here.
And the line up of musicians Derek has assembled here is nothing short of spectacular. The stellar musicians featured here include: Al Di Meola, Steve Lukather, Yngwie Malmsteen, Zakk Wylde, Simon Phillips, Billy Sheehan, Tony Franklin and Jerry Goodman. With all of this well-known talent contributing to Derek’s solo release, you’re in for a wild and an awesome ride of your life, enjoy it loud!!! [Armoury] Sarjoo Devani