If ever there was a band that seems to perfectly target my tastes for progfusion, Planet X would certainly be amoungst the top of the list. Perhaps my 70′s preoccupation with UK, Bruford(solo albums w/Holdsworth), Brand X, Return to Forever, Mahavishnu, etc. Had tainted me for life, but thankfully there are a few bands that are dedicating a LOT of time and energy into creating such ambitious and technically profound music, and at the cost of major popularity no doubt.
Moon Babies, the bands third cd as Planet X, (and fourth if you can call the Derek Sherinian’s -Planet X cd, which is essentially the same band, and style of music) , has the band reaching even furthur beyond their inhuman exploits that were heard on prior releases. This is a band that proves with a line-up of extreme musicians, it can actually play out to be some incredible music. This is something which in recent history hasn’t proven to be the case – as many of all-star project cds have been coming out with good, but not great results. Not here though. With Planet X, you are treated to a band that has adopted the idea that they in fact, are a band, and one with a highly refined and personal sound.
In listening to this 2002 release, I again get the impression that the band sat through repeated listenings of UK’s best instrumental moments, and decided to replicate that style of prog, and add some of todays technical metal stylings to it, to create a form of music that is of the highest order when concerning technical measures, virtuoso, complexity, musicianship, and best of all chemistry, and musical symmetry. Not since bands like Return to Forever, The Dregs, or Bruford have I heard such excellence come from a band that features world class talent at every instrumental position in a band, it’s safe to say this is a band that features no one person, what comes from each composition is music that is defined by the demanding time changes, and difficult harmonic structures that are weaved between them, there are many moments when each artist is allowed the freedom of expression through soloing, yet never do those spots loose the perspective of the musical foundations, the band carries eachother through some outrageous breakneck fluctuations even during the solos.
For me to speak on any individual song on this, or any other Planet X cd, would be inane, fortunatly Planet X comes to the studio prepared to create a cd that is a start to finish joyride of technical progressive fusion bliss. And listening to this cd shows me that the band intends on pushing the parameters of their own musical fortitude furthur with every successive release.
Get This Now, if any bands mentioned are in the styles of your preferences, definetly a top 5 for 2002 for me.