LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT, the instrumental progressive rock/metal project featuring DREAM THEATER keyboardist Jordan Rudess and guitarist John Petrucci, alongside ex-DREAM THEATER drummer Mike Portnoy and progressive rock icon Tony Levin (bass) of KING CRIMSON and PETER GABRIEL fame, will release its third album, "LTE3", on March 26 via InsideOut Music. The effort will arrive 22 years after the release of 1999's "Liquid Tension Experiment 2".
The official music video for the first single from the album, "The Passage of Time", created by Christian Rios, can be seen below.
Said Portnoy: "'The Passage Of Time' was the very first song we composed together when we reunited this past summer.
"It was so exciting to be back in a room creating together again after so long (22 years for all four of us and over 10 years for the three of us since being together in DREAM THEATER).
"This serves as a great first taste for the listeners as it combines so many of the musical elements that makes LTE unique."
Added Petrucci: "This was the first song we worked on, and when it was done, we all knew once again how amazing it was to be working together. We knew we were on to something and that this was going to be a really amazing album. Nothing about the passage of over two decades could've done anything to change that. To me, this song truly reflects the collaborative songwriting efforts of all four of us."
Rudess stated: "There is an undeniable chemistry that happens when the four of us are together.
"Entering the studio and starting work on 'The Passage Of Time' after 22 years literally gave me a whole new perspective on these important musical (and personal) relationships and the way time is so relative. We just jumped right in — it was like no time had passed at all — and we created a song that has so many of the elements that make LTE unique.
"Not a day has gone by since our last release when I wasn't asked, 'When is LTE getting back together again?' Now we can finally deliver, and I can't wait for everybody to hear our creation."
Levin said: "From the murky depths of the lockdown, LTE has re-emerged, galvanized, dripping with ideas, and taking no prisoners. 'The Passage Of Time' is just the beginning."
"LTE3" track listing:
01. Hypersonic (8:22)
02. Beating The Odds (6:09)
03. Liquid Evolution (3:23)
04. The Passage Of Time (7:32)
05. Chris & Kevin's Amazing Odyssey (5:04)
06. Rhapsody In Blue (13:16)
07. Shades Of Hope (4:42)
08. Key To The Imagination (13:14)
The bonus disc includes almost an hour of improvised jams.
The album will be available as:
* Limited deluxe hot pink 3LP+2CD+Blu-ray Box Set (including a poster and 4 artcards, Blu-ray includes a 5.1 surround mix with visuals, and full band interview from the studio)
* Limited 2CD+Blu-ray Artbook
* Limited 2CD Digipak
* Gatefold black 2LP+CD
*Digital album (2CD)
Last May, Rudess addressed the prospect of a LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT reunion while filming a video message on Cameo, which lets users hire celebrities to record brief, personalized video messages about virtually any topic.
Asked if he thinks LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT will ever get back together, Jordan said: "Well, the answer is we are looking at our schedules, we are organizing a time. With the [coronavirus] pandemic, it's been a little difficult to coordinate personal kind of gatherings, but it looks very good, my friend."
In February 2019, Portnoy and Rudess reunited on stage during the Cruise To The Edge to perform "Instrumedley" from DREAM THEATER / LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT. They were joined by NEAL MORSE BAND guitarist Eric Gillette and HAKEN bassist Conner Green.
Back in April 2015, Portnoy and Rudess both joined the British progressive metal band HAKEN on stage in New York City. Three months earlier, they were photographed having what appeared to be friendly banter at the 2015 NAMM show in Anaheim, California.
Four years ago, Portnoy posted a photo of him hanging out with Petrucci in a move that clearly represented a thawing of tensions between the two musicians who had been friends for more than three decades. More recently, Portnoy laid down the drum tracks on Petrucci's second all-instrumental solo album, "Terminal Velocity", which was released in August through The Orchard Music on John's Sound Mind Music record label.
In February 2019, Rudess discussed his Cruise To The Edge encounter with Portnoy during an appearance on SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation", which is hosted by Eddie Trunk. The keyboardist said: "I think it's really nice. People whose music you love, you wanna see them getting along. So, even from my perspective, I see John and Mike together, and I'm, like, yeah, that makes sense. They were so close. They made so much music together."
He continued: "I told Mike the other night. I said, 'The way I look at our relationship is that we've toured around the world together numerous times, we've written all this music together, we've been on tour buses everywhere. How many people in this lifetime that we're in can you be that close to and have that many experiences with?"
Although Portnoy and his former bandmates in DREAM THEATER engaged in a public war of words following his exit from the group, Rudess said that he harbors no resentment toward his longtime friend.
"When Portnoy left the band, there was tension — natural tension — because it was a big deal," Jordan told "Trunk Nation". "But what's really important to me is finding that… especially somebody who I care about, who I had so much life experience with. And he's a really great guy. There are so many wonderful things about him. So I wanna enjoy that.
"People will say, 'Oh my God! DREAM THEATER is gonna have Portnoy back in the band.' That's not what it's about," Rudess added. "This is about people and people who spent a lot of time together being able to be close together and be friends."
Rudess acknowledged that some of his other DREAM THEATER bandmates have "their own feelings" about maintaining a connection with their former drummer. "But Mike and I enjoyed hanging out and chatting about old times and all the stuff," he said. "So it was really cool."
In November 2017, Mike told Loud that he left DREAM THEATER because he wanted to expand his musical horizons. "[I didn't] want to go to my grave and just be the drummer from DREAM THEATER," he said. "I knew there was way more to what I had to offer."
Photo credit: Tony Levin