Derek Sherinaian - Vortex album cover
  • 10/10
    DEREK SHERINIAN - Vortex - 10/10


Label: Inside Out Music
Release date: July 1, 2022

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Prog Master Exceeds Expectations

As Derek Sherinian releases his 9th solo album titled Vortex, the world is a musically richer place to live in and listen to. Known for his work with Dream Theater to Sons of Apollo, and with literally over 80 recording credits to his name, Derek Sherinian is one of the hardest working keyboard players out there. His recent work with Tony Franklin on bass and Simon Phillips on drums is really over the top, in a good way, or great is the better word for it.  Add to that, a list of top musicians that will make your mind go numb have joined Derek on his newest album, and helped create what can only be called a magical work of musical art.

Prog Metal Meets Jazz Fusion

Vortex is the follow-up to his 2020 release The Phoenix, and contains 8 tracks that never get old. The album was co-produced by Simon Phillips, a legend himself. Derek Sherinian talks about the album: “Vortex is a continuation of The Phoenix, […] However, I feel the composition is stronger on the new album, and I would describe it as a modern day 70s style fusion record, but with newer heavier tonality.”

Now let’s talk guitar players: Steve Stevens, Joe Bonamassa, Steve Lukather, Zakk Wylde, Sons Of Apollo bandmate Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal – and a few new allies, in the form of Michael Schenker, Mike Stern and Nuno Bettencourt. Derek Sherinian’s proclivity has garnered him some very talented friends that helped him create a perfect release.

Final Notes

It’s very rare to come across an album that pushes the limits of a genre, while blending in several others to become something new, something unique, like a musical diamond. Derek Sherinian and friends have done just that. Vortex has exciting tracks, groovy tracks, wild jazzy tracks, and a whole lot more. It’s hard for this listener to have favorites, as it keeps shifting to whatever track is currently playing. That said, “The Vortex”, “Scorpion” and “Die Kobra” are a great place to start. The last featuring Michael Schenker and Zakk Wylde on guitars. All in all, Vortex is a must own for all fans of Dream Theater, Sons of Apollo, Weather Report and 70s Heavy Fusion of every kind.

Derek Sherinian with his keyboards.


Derek Sherinian – keyboards
Simon Phillips – Drums & percussion
Tony Franklin – bass

Guest musicians:

Steve Stevens – guitar
Armen Ra – Theremin
Nuno Bettencourt – guitar
Ernest Tibbs – bass
Ric Fierrabracci – bass
Jeff Berlin – bass
Steve Lukather – guitar
Joe Bonamassa – bass
Michael Schenker – guitar
Zakk Wylde – guitar
Ashwin Batish – sitar
Pirro Gjiondi – violin, viola
Anna Camporini – cello
Carlo Calegari – double bass
Enrico Cacace- orchestration
Mike Stern – guitar
Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal – guitar
Jimmy Johnson – bass

Vortex – Tracklist

1 The Vortex feat. Steve Stevens
2 Fire Horse feat. Nuno Bettencourt
3 Scorpion
4 Seven Seas feat. Steve Stevens
5 Key Lime Blues feat. Joe Bonamassa, Steve Lukather
6 Die Kobra feat. Michael Schenker, Zakk Wylde
7 Nomad’s Land feat. Mike Stern
8 Aurora Australis feat. Bumblefoot



  • Bryce Van Patten

    Bryce is an audio engineer and a graphic designer here at Metal Express Radio. From the day he purchased his first album (Machine Head by Deep Purple), he has had a passion for heavy music, which has influenced his whole life. Bryce is from the great Pacific Northwest in USA, and has played in metal bands like Babylon, Holy Terror, The Wild Dogs, Warhead and Egypt through the 80s. He had his first interview for the Portland, Oregon publication The Rock Rag with guitarist Paul Gilbert in his Racer X days. Then he was honored to get to have drinks, and talk for an hour with the legendary Dan McCafferty of Nazareth for his second interview. In 2013, he spent an amazing hour talking to Andi Deris of Helloween, which was the high point of his heavy metal journalism.   In the year 2001, he formed Man in Black Music Publishing. They released recordings by several local bands, and in the spirit of the old Metal Massacre compilations, he created a 2-album series called The Defenders of Metal. The albums featured classic styled Metal bands from all around the world, with bands from Australia to England, and from Argentina to Russia. Currently, he is the producer/creator/vocalist of the Metal band The Black Tuesdays.

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