Thomas Thunder’s Debut Album Will Appeal To Most Prog Rock, Metal Fans

Courtesy: O’Donnell Media Group

It goes without saying that Derek Sherinian, Tony Franklin, and Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal  are well respected by their peers in the music community.  The trio’s collective resume reads like a who’s who of rock.  From Sons of Apollo, to Dream Theater, to Alice Cooper, to Guns N’ Roses and more, the trio has worked with many of the industry’s top names.  So for the group to join up-and-coming prog wunderkind Thomas Thunder for his debut album, The Pharaoh’s Temple – released today – was an interesting step for the musicians.  It says a lot that these accomplished individuals would join forces with a 15 year-old (yes, 15 year-old) in his dream for music stardom.  It says that they saw something special in the young drummer.  Needless to say that in listening to Thunder’s work with the famed trio on his debut album, his work is impressive in its own right.  The record’s already released singles have already proven that true.  They are just a sample of what makes his work and that of his more seasoned counterparts so impressive throughout the album, too.  ‘Iridescence,’ which serves technically as part of the album’s midpoint (the record consists of nine songs), is another way in which the collective’s work makes the album worth hearing.  It will be discussed shortly.  ‘King Chronos,’ the record’s penultimate entry, is another key addition to the album and will be discussed a little later.  ‘The Voyage,’ which closes out the album, is one more way in which The Pharaoh’s Temple shows its success.  When it and the other songs noted here are considered along with the rest of the record’s entries, the whole becomes a strong start for Thomas Thunder and another equally impressive outing for Sherinian, Franklin, and Thal that will appeal to most prog fans.

Thomas Thunder’s debut album, The Pharaoh’s Temple is a positive start for the young, up-and-coming drummer.  It is additionally, another enjoyable offering from his more well-known counterparts, Derek Sherinian, Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal, and Tony Franklin.  The record’s current singles make the clear.  So do many of the album’s other songs, not the least of which is ‘Iridescence.  While the album’s current singles are pure prog, showing influence of Dream Theater and Sons of Apollo, ‘Iridescence’ stands out because it incorporates other influences.  The nearly four-minute opus opens with a drum fill by Thunder, brooding keyboard and equally steady bass and guitar from Franklin and Thal that takes audiences back to the 80s.  Speaking of Thunder, at only 15, his talents on the drums are clear.  His fills, his ability to keep time, and add just the right flare at all of the right moments is impressive.  It is enough to put even some older drummers (this drummer included) to shame.  The collective’s work points to a bit of the big hair ballads of that age before taking on more of a pure prog approach as the song progresses.  From there, the group takes another even more dramatic turn, opting instead for a blues-based rock approach a la Deep Purple.  It makes for such a stark contrast to the other influences.  Yet at the same time the contrast is well-balanced.  It makes the song all the more interesting.  By the song’s end, it will leave listeners fulfilled through that display of well-balanced influences.  It is just one of the songs that serves to show the album’s strength.  ‘King Chronos’ does its own part to show the impact of Thunder and company’s work.

‘King Chronos’ presents its own unique arrangement separate from those featured in the rest of the album.  Its opening bars present a solemn sound, anchored by Sherinian’s work on the keyboards.  On a completely random note that likely only some will get, those opening bars are reminiscent of the music bed used for a certain scene from the little-known PC game, “The Journeyman Project 3.”  Audiences who are familiar with that game will immediately catch that clearly unintentional similarity in sound.  It only lasts briefly, though.  It very quickly gives way to a full-on symphonic sound and stylistic approach that to a point, is one part prog and one part vintage Ozzy Osbourne.  The Ozzy comparison (more specifically the Randy Rhoades comparison) comes through Thal’s work on guitar.  The prog eventually wins out, with the more vintage guitar rock sound playing more of a companion role, but a solid role nonetheless.  Again, Thunder’s abilities are on full display here.  He shows with his timekeeping ability and his ability to effectively use his whole kit that he could become one of the next big names in the prog drumming community.  The production that went into this song adds its own touch, as it adds certain aesthetic effects that enhance the song even more.  The eventual chaos that closes out the song is worth its own interest, too.  It makes for its own unique contrast to the whole.  When everything within this song is considered together, the whole makes the song yet another powerful addition to the album and another example of what the record has to offer.  It is just one more example of what the record has to offer, too.  ‘The Voyage,’ the record’s finale, is one more example of the album’s strength.

‘The Voyage’ is important to examine because once again, it offers up a clear 80s-influenced arrangement.  It is an arrangement that is also unlike any of the album’s other works.  In this case, the duality in Sherinian’s performance, alongside that of Thunder, Thal, and Franklin hints ever so lightly at perhaps some Def Leppard leanings.  As with the record’s other works though, that influence also soon becomes more secondary as the group’s prog leanings come more into play as the song progresses.  Thal’s heavy guitars, alongside Sherinian’s work on keyboard and Franklin’s bass work creates such a rich, heavy composition.  Thunder meanwhile adds just the right flare to the whole to complete the rich picture painted by this composition.  The juxtaposition of that heavier prog sound and style to the more 80s hair rock sounds here makes the whole yet another unique addition to the album.  It shows yet again, the variety offered throughout the record.  It also does just as well to put each musician’s talents on display, including those of the young noisemaker himself, Thunder.  When this composition is considered along with the other songs examined here, the album’s current singles and the rest of its entries, the whole proves itself to be another impressive offering from the veterans, Sherinian, Thal, and Franklin.  It additionally proves itself a strong start for Mr. Thunder.

Thomas Thunder’s debut album, The Pharaoh’s Temple is a positive offering from the up-and-coming drummer.  That is due to the talent shown by himself on the drums, and that of his fellow musicians.  The singles that the record has already produced go a long way toward supporting the noted statements.  Much the same can be said of the songs examined here.  All of those songs do their own part to display the group’s talents.  They prove Thunder could easily become one of the next big names in the prog community as he ages.  They also continue to cement the reputation of his more seasoned counterparts from one to the next.  When they are considered with the album’s remaining songs, the whole makes The Pharaoh’s Temple a presentation that will appeal to most prog rock and metal fans. 

The Pharaoh’s Temple is available now. More information on Thomas Thunder’s new album is available along with all of his latest news at https://thomasthundermusic.com.

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Thomas Thunder Unveils New Single, ‘Crystal Illusion’

Courtesy: O’Donnell Media Group

Up-and-coming prog-metal artist Thomas Thunder premiered his new single this week.

The teen musician debuted his new instrumental single, ‘Crystal Illusion’ Thursday. He got help from some very well-known figures for the song’s creation, too. Derek Sherinian (Sons of Apollo, Platypus, ex-Dream Theater), Ron “Bumblefoot” Tal (Sons of Apollo, ex-Guns ‘n Roses, Asia), and Tony Franklin (The Firm, Jimmy Page) added their talents to the song.

‘Crystal Illusion’ is featured in Thunder’s forthcoming album, The Pharaoh’s Temple. The album is scheduled for release in September. The album’s exact release date is under consideration.

Sherinian’s trademark keyboard sound is on full display here, really serving as the arrangement’s core. Thal’s work on guitar and Franklin’s work on bass adds even more to the song’s appeal while Thunder’s work on drums puts the finishing touch to the whole.

Sherinian, Thal, and Franklin each spoke highly of Thunder and his new composition. Their comments are noted below.

“I have had the pleasure of working with Thomas on his debut album. I was extremely impressed with his creativity, and use of advanced harmony for a kid his age. I think the future is bright for young Thomas Thunder!”
-Derek Sherinian

“Ive had the pleasure of playing on the soon to be released album of Thomas Thunder. Thomas is a young up and coming musician and he’s a phenomenal drummer. He’s a very intricate songwriter that writes this amazing, crazy stuff that has been so tough to play. I’m on his album along with my Sons of Apollo bandmate Derek Sherinian, and bass player Tony Franklin. So, please check out this album. I hope you enjoy it!”
-Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal

“I was thrilled to play on Thomas’s album, with such an esteemed group of musicians. Thomas is definitely advanced for his years as both a writer and a player. I look forward to seeing how he will evolve as he creates more and more.”
-Tony Franklin

More information on Thomas Thunder’s new single is available along with all of his latest news at https://thomasthundermusic.com.

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Sherinian’s New Album ‘The Phoenix’ Burns Bright From Start To End

Courtesy: InsideOut Music

Veteran keyboardist Derek Sherinian released his latest album Sept. 18.  The eight-song record, The Phoenix, continues the success that Sherinian has enjoyed over the course of his career.  It is a record that is sure to appeal to Sherinian’s fans and those of all of the projects in which he has taken part throughout the years.  ‘Dragonfly,’ which is one of the album’s singles, unquestionably supports the noted statements.  It will be discussed shortly.  The same can be stated of the album’s closer, ‘Pesadelo,’ which closes the album.  ‘Empyrean Sky,’ the album’s lead single, is one more example of what makes Sherinian’s new album such a strong new offering from Sherinian.  It is hardly the last example of the album’s strength, too.  When it is considered along with the other songs noted here and the likes of ‘Them Changes,’ (another of the album’s singles), the intense prog-opus ‘Octopus Pedigree’ (one has to wonder if this was a tribute to Dream Theater bassist John Myung since his nickname is “The Octopus”), the album’s title track and its two other remaining entries, the album in whole proves itself to be another impressive addition to this year’s field of new hard rock and metal albums and another successful offering from Sherinian.

The Phoenix, the eighth and latest solo release from Derek Sherinian, is another successful offering from the veteran keyboardist.  The 43-minute record’s body proves that from start to end.  There is not one bad song featured in this recording.  One of the album’s most notable compositions is its single ‘Dragonfly.’  The single is a fully acoustic composition that lends itself easily to comparison to works from the jazz-rock-fusion group Trioscapes.  That is evidenced through the stylistic approach of the piano, drums, and bass.  It is a very distinct, percussive style approach, that again, Trioscapes has taken on each of its current two albums.  The controlled chaos of Sherinian’s performance on the piano couples with drummer Simon Phillips’ steady time keeping and bassist Ernest Tibbs’ low end to make the song so enthralling.  The abstract picture that the trio paints with its work is just so rich, which will make the song stick in listeners’ minds even more.  Phillips actually noted in a recently released track-by-track discussion on the album, that the song almost featured some synthesizer work, but after discussion among the trio, the decision was made to keep the song fully acoustic.  That decision could not have been more right.  Listening through this song, audiences will agree that the inclusion of any electronics would have only ruined its presentation.  Add in that Sherinian noted in the same video that his piano line was composed in a very improvisational fashion, the song gains even more strength.  Keeping all of this in mind, this song is just one of the works that makes The Phoenix such an impressive new offering from Sherinian.  ‘Pesadelo,’ which closes out the album, is another notable addition to the record.

‘Pesadelo’ presents an arrangement that harkens back to Sherinian’s work with Dream Theater back in the late 1990s.  That is evidenced in its heavy guitars, drums, and even bass and keyboards.  There is a lot going on here, instrumentally, and everything is well balanced.  That itself says a lot about how much work went into the song’s creation.  Phillips addressed the heaviness and his own part in the song’s creation in the noted video, stating, “It was very challenging…I didn’t know what to play at first.”  The brainstorming that he did with Sherinian, guitarist Kiko Loureiro (ex-Megadeth) and bassist Tony Franklin paid off.  That is evidenced in the final product.  Phillips’ time keeping is precise, yet is so heavy in its own right.  He was not the only one who was challenged by the composition.  Franklin echoed Phillips’ thoughts as he, too, noted that Sherinian’s work “pushes me to my limits” in the aforementioned video.  He meant that in a complimentary fashion.  His low end couples with the work of his fellow musicians here to make the song so full and rich, ensuring again that prog-metal fans and Sherinian’s fans alike will appreciate this album.  Even as much as this song does to make The Phoenix burn even brighter, it still is just one more musical timber on the fire that is this album.  ‘Empyrean Sky’ is yet another positive addition to the album.

‘Empyrean Sky’ is anchored by Sherinian’s keyboard work, Philips’ time keeping and Jimmy Johnson’s bass line.  Armen Ra’s performance on the theremin adds its own touch to the composition, too, as does guitarist Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal’s performance along with the group.  The composition in whole lends itself to comparisons to work (both classic and modern) from the likes of Kansas and to works from Emerson Lake & Palmer.  It is a slight departure from the work that he has done with other acts with which he has recorded and performed.  That gives the song even more of its own identity.  On a related note, Sherinian himself said in the previously noted video, that he compared the work to songs from the jazz-fusion group Return to Forever.  Considering that comparison and the comparison to works from the likes of Kansas says a lot about the song’s appeal.  Phillips added to Sherinian’s statements, noting how relaxed the atmosphere was as he, Sherinian and guest guitarist (and Sherinian’s Sons of Apollo band mate) Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal recorded the song.  That relaxed vibe is reflected throughout this prog rock opus.  It shows even more why The Phoenix is such a powerful new offering from Derek Sherinian and is certainly not the last of the album’s standout tracks.  When it is considered along with the other songs noted here and the likes of ‘Them Changes,’ (another of the album’s singles), the intense prog-opus ‘Octopus Pedigree’ (one has to wonder if this was a tribute to Dream Theater bassist John Myung since his nickname is “The Octopus”), the album’s title track and its two other remaining entries, the album in whole proves itself to be another impressive addition to this year’s field of new hard rock and metal albums and another successful offering from Sherinian.

Derek Sherinian’s new album The Phoenix is another positive new offering from the veteran keyboardist and composer.  It offers listeners so much to enjoy from start to end.  That is due to the time and effort that went into composing, recording, and producing each song.  The end result of that time and effort is a record that sounds good and will leave listeners feeling good.  That has been evidenced by all three of the song songs addressed here.  Each song is its own unique composition, but still puts on full display, Sherinian’s talents as a musician and composer, and the talents of his fellow musicians.  Much the same can be said of each of the album’s other songs not addressed here.  When those songs are considered along with the songs directly examined here, the end result is an album that is just as good as Sherinian’s existing albums and as enjoyable as any other prog rock and metal album released so far this year.  The Phoenix is available now through InsideOut Music.

More information on Derek Sherinian’s new album is available along with all of his latest news at:

Websitehttp://www.dereksherinian.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/Derek-Sherinian-Official-361589234010473/

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/DerekSherinian

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Derek Sherinian Debuts ‘Dragonfly’ Video

Courtesy: InsideOut Music

Derek Sherinian debuted the video for his latest single this week.

Sherinian debuted the video for his new single ‘Dragonfly‘ Friday.  The song is the second single from his forthcoming solo album The Phoenix while its video is the album’s first.  The album is scheduled for release Sept. 18 through InsideOut music.

The debut of ‘Dragonfly’ comes less than a month after Sherinian debuted ‘Empyrean Sky,’ the album’s lead single.  The arrangement at the center of ‘Dragonfly presents a distinct freeform style approach.  The controlled chaos of Sherinian’s performance on the piano couples with drummer Simon Phillips’ steady time keeping and bassist Ernest Tibbs’ low end to make the song a jazz fusion style arrangement that will appeal to fans of Trioscapes.

The arrangement at the center of ‘Empyrean Sky,’ by comparison is more of a distinct prog-metal work that is grounded in Sherinian’s keyboard work, guitarist Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal’s work on guitar and ‘Phillips’ once again steady time keeping.

Along with handling drums throughout the record, Phillips also also co-produced and co-wrote the album with Sherinian.  He shared his own thoughts on the record.

Pre-orders for The Phoenix are open now.  Eight songs will make up the body of The Phoenix, among them a cover of Buddy Miles’ ‘Them Changes.’  It will be available as a limited edition digipack CD, 180-gram LP/CD combo pack and digital album.  The record’s track listing is noted below.

 

1. The Phoenix
2. Empyrean Sky
3. Clouds of Ganymede
4. Dragonfly
5. Temple of Helios
6. Them Changes
7. Octopus Pedigree
8. Pesadelo

 

The Phoenix will feature guest appearances by figures, such as bassists Billy Sheehan, Tony Franklin and Jimmy Johnson and guitarists Joe Bonamassa, Zakk Wylde, Steve Vai, Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (Sons of Apollo, Guns N’ Roses), and Kiko Loureiro (Megadeth).

Sherinian said of bringing Loureiro on board for the new album, “Kiko and I have known one another for about 20 years, but this is the first time I’ve had the opportunity to play with him.”

More information on Derek Sherinian’s new album is available along with all of his latest news at:

 

Websitehttp://www.dereksherinian.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/Derek-Sherinian-Official-361589234010473/

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/DerekSherinian

 

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

 

Derek Sherinian Announces New LP Release Date, Specs

Courtesy: InsideOut Music

Keyboardist Derek Sherinian will tentatively release his new solo album this fall.

Sherinian (ex-Dream Theater, Sons of Apollo, Platypus, Black Country Communion) is scheduled to release his new album The Phoenix Sept. 18 through InsideOut Music.  It will mark the first time since 2011 that he has released a solo album, that most recent album being Oceana.

Sherinian talked about his forthcoming album in a recent interview.

“I truly feel that this is my best solo record to date,” he said. “[Drummer] Simon [Philipps] and I put a lot of energy into the writing, and I am grateful to all of the great players that contributed to this recording.”

“It is always an amazing experience to be able to work with Simon,” added Sherinian. “He’s been a hero of mine for ages, ever since I heard him playing on albums with Jeff Beck and Michael Schenker.  And he is such an invaluable part of the way this new record has come out.”

Along with handling drums throughout the record, Philipps also also co-produced and co-wrote the album with Sherinian.  He shared his own thoughts on the record.

Eight songs will make up the body of The Phoenix, among them a cover of Buddy Miles’ ‘Them Changes.’  It will be available as a limited edition digipack CD, 180-gram LP/CD combo pack and digital album.  The record’s track listing is noted below.

 

1. The Phoenix
2. Empyrean Sky
3. Clouds of Ganymede
4. Dragonfly
5. Temple of Helios
6. Them Changes
7. Octopus Pedigree
8. Pesadelo

 

The Phoenix will feature guest appearances by figures, such as bassists Billy Sheehan, Tony Franklin and Jimmy Johnson and guitarists Joe Bonamassa, Zakk Wylde, Steve Vai, Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (Sons of Apollo, Guns N’ Roses), and Kiko Loureiro (Megadeth).

Sherinian said of bringing Loureiro on board for the new album, “Kiko and I have known one another for about 20 years, but this is the first time I’ve had the opportunity to play with him.”

More information on Derek Sherinian’s new album is available along with all of his latest news at:

 

Website: http://www.dereksherinian.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Derek-Sherinian-Official-361589234010473/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/DerekSherinian

 

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.