- Brett Garsed / guitar
- Allan Holdsworth / guitar
- Jimmy Johnson / bass
- Rufus Philpot / bass
- Virgil Donati / orchestration
Planet X returns with Quantum, a gigantic leap forward for the Derek Sherinian-led prog-fusion outfit. Quantum proves the five years between the group's last offering, Moon Babies were kind to the group. As brilliant as Moon Babies was, it occasionally eschewed subtlety for the sake of shred, but here, Sherinian, drummer Virgil Donati and bass virtuoso Rufus Philpot (Jimmy Johnson also handles some duties) focus instead on delivering full-realized compositions where no note and no solo is out of place. A cliché to be sure, the individual playing is always at the service of the song.
What remains intact is the unit's ability to capture the hazy, late-night feel of a party that just gets started at 3 a.m., the reflection that solitude brings and the unbridled power evident when a master marches in step with his instrument. Witness the opening "Alien Hip-Hop," the Krimson-esque "The Thinking Stone," the beautiful and brilliant "Poland" and the gritty "Quantum Factor." Although Tony MacAlpine has gone the way of Gilby Clarke, there's still plenty of perfectly good guitar to be found throughout, courtesy of Brett Garsed and the unfathomably cool Allan Holdsworth (on two tracks, namely the ultra-cool "Desert Girl," which features one of the legendary guitarist's best solos to date).
This isn't progressive fusion like they used to make, it's progressive fusion as they'll make it in the future, as soon as the rest of Planet E catches up with the aliens making the music of Planet X.