Whether they know it or not, Planet X owe a plethora of head nods to Chick Corea’s mind-blowing (and bending) Elektrik Band efforts, which are essentially THE definitive templates for envelope-pushing post-fusion sonic adventurousness with rock instrumentation. Improvisation within form, intricate chord changes amidst chaos, impressive production from what one can only assume is a somewhat limited budget – all of this contradiction gives way to a remarkable cohesive result. Unlike Chick, though, Derek Sherinian doesn’t get restrained by the world of “cool jazz” aesthetics. Rather, he rocks. Which, for anyone who likes to bang his or her head while tearing apart the meter changes and figuring out just what inversion is used over THIS bass note, that is something there just never seems to be enough of.
“Quantum” is a drug with all the stages, including the nasty withdrawal symptoms when the disc ends. There’s traces of Satriani, King’s X, Rush and even Derek’s X, Dream Theater. Amidst all of this (including a mighty tasteful guest spot from Allan Holdsworth), the thing still sounds unique.
You can’t help but wonder what Planet X could have achieved here had they tried to incorporate vocals into the seemingly effortless stream of integrity.