Due to the success of his debut solo recording, Planet X, keyboardist Derek Sherinian kept drummer extraordinaire Virgil Donati, added guitar shredder Tony MacAlpine and named the band after the debut. It's rather ironic that he chose this technically demanding direction, as he was criticized by fans as being the least technically advanced member of Dream Theater during his tenure with the band. Whether he was out to prove a point or simply did not get a enough of an opportunity to show off his chops, there are enough on display here to silence any cynics. The approach is heavy, but certainly owes more to jazz-rock fusion than progressive metal or even Progressive Rock. Some of the selections tend to sound the same, but the inventive soloing of each player more than makes up it. Drummer Virgil Donati's double bass drum workout on "Dog Boots" is especially impressive contributing to his growing legend. A fine effort by a very powerful trio, but one that requires a bit more seasoning.
AllMusic Review by Robert Taylor