As good as the Planet X studio releases have been, this new live CD is a testament to the ferocious musical prowess of this band. The fact that Derek Sherinian, Tony MacAlpine, and Virgil Donati invited Dregs/Steve Morse Band bassist Dava LaRue out for the tour only makes this release all the more hotter.
Former Dream Theater keyboard ace Sherinian and virtuoso guitarist MacAlpine form an impressive 1-2 punch here. The blistering opening track "Ignotus Per Ignotium" features constant melodic solo trade-offs between the two that are as flashy and mesmerizing as they are just plain evidence of great songwriting. This band kicks on all cylinders much like the great Return to Forever in their prime, combining ripping jazz-fusion with ultra complex instrumental progressive rock that burns. The band can even get heavy at times, as evidenced on the chunky "Dog Boots", and gets epic on the three-part classic , the amazingly intricate "Atlantis." If you like to hear solo spots, each of the members get a chance to do their own thing at various points throughout the CD. Sherinian especially lets loose with some wild 70's influenced keyboard shenanigans that will bring a smile to the face of every longtime prog lover. The fact that Live from OZ mixes complexity, melody, and heaviness, makes this all the more enjoyable, and the closing behemoth titled "Pods of Trance" is a perfect example of these three characterists.
As instrumental live albums go, you can't get much better than this. If you dig white-hot playing in a progressive fusion atmosphere, here is the ticket to a great time thanks to Derek and the boys.