LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT (Portnoy / Petrucci / Rudess / Levin) – LTE 3 (2021)

LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT (Portnoy / Petrucci / Rudess / Levin) - LTE3 (2021) full

If you’re the sort of Dream Theater fan who finds yourself thinking, ‘sure, the 10-minute epics are great … I just wish they had more crazy extended instrumental passages’ … well, you might have a serious prog problem.
But you’ll also love the new LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT record, ”Liquid Tension Experiment 3”. The all-instrumental effort finds Dream Theater guitarist John Petrucci and keyboardist Jordan Rudess joining up once again with drummer Mike Portnoy — himself a former DT member who now handles the kit for Sons of Apollo, Metal Allegiance, the Winery Dogs and any number of prog super-groups — and bass and Chapman Stick icon Tony Levin, who has played with everyone from King Crimson and Peter Gabriel to Yes, Alice Cooper and John Lennon.
Still remember more than 2 decades ago when I heard this band’s first album… jaw dropping. ‘LTE 3’ not only produces the same effect, but now in a more mature and intelligent way.

The new record boasts eight extended and insanely intricate workouts, kicking off with the roller coaster-like, brain-scrambling riffage of “Hypersonic” and barely letting up in intensity — save for the whimsical drum-and-bass excursion “Chris & Kevin’s Amazing Odyssey” — until the final notes of the epic 13-minute closer, “Key to the Imagination.”
There’s much more accessible stuff in the ultra-riffy ”The Passage of Time”, and a topsy-turvy, hard-rocking ”Beating The Odds”.

“There’s a lot of notes and speed and real serious technical stuff going on,” Portnoy says of LTE3. And while it’s been more than 20 years since the four members released their last album, he also says when they got together it felt like not a day had passed.
Portnoy continues; “It was interesting, because there were two chemistries at work. One was the chemistry of the four of us — we hadn’t written together in something like 22 years. And then the elephant in the room was the fact that it was mine and Jordan & John’s first time writing together in over 10 years [Portnoy exited Dream Theater under strained circumstances in 2010, after filling in for Avenged Sevenfold following the death of their drummer, Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan].
But it was like riding a bicycle. It felt immediately comfortable.”

It’ds been 22 years since the last LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT album. Why now “3”? The main reason is the insanity of 2020. The pandemic and the lockdown is pretty much what allowed it. But the band have been talking about it for many, many years. There was ideas and composed songs.
Now the time arrived, and ‘LTE 3’ will blow your mind.
Highly Recommended


01 – Hypersonic
02 – Beating The Odds
03 – Liquid Evolution
04 – The Passage Of Time
05 – Chris & Kevin’s Amazing Odyssey
06 – Rhapsody In Blue
07 – Shades Of Hope
08 – Key To The Imagination

Mike Portnoy (Transatlantic, Sons Of Apollo) – Drums
John Petrucci (Dream Theater) – Guitars
Tony Levin (King Crimson,) – Bass, Chapman Stick
Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater) – Keyboards


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