“If you listen to Scenes From A Memory through Black Clouds & Silver Linings, that’s the sound and style”: Mike Portnoy teases what to expect from new Dream Theater album

Mike Portnoy onstage in 2020
(Image credit: Miikka Skaffari/FilmMagic)

Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy has offered a description of what the prog metal veterans’ next album will sound like.

Talking to Marcelo Vieira and Matheus Ribeiro, the 57-year-old, who returned to Dream Theater last year following a 13-year absence, has said that the new record picks up where his last album with the band, 2009’s Black Clouds & Silver Linings, left off.

“There’s a certain style that the five of us have when we write together,” Portnoy explains (via Blabbermouth).

“And if you listen to the album with this lineup from 1999, [Metropolis Pt. 2:] Scenes From A Memory, through 2009’s Black Clouds & Silver Linings, if you look at that string of five or six albums, that’s the sound and style of these five people.

“So I think that’s a good indication of what you can expect with the new Dream Theater album. It definitely sounds like classic Dream Theater.”

Portnoy co-founded Dream Theater (originally called Majesty) in 1985 with fellow Berklee College Of Music alumni John Petrucci (guitars) and John Myung (bass).

The band were joined by current vocalist James LaBrie in 1991 and keyboardist Jordan Rudess in 1999.

Portnoy left Dream Theater in September 2010, citing burnout and a desire to work on other projects.

Shortly after, he briefly drummed for Avenged Sevenfold, and has since also played with Twisted Sister, The Winery Dogs, Metal Allegiance, Sons Of Apollo and more.

Portnoy was replaced in Dream Theater by Mike Mangini, before the drummer shockingly returned to the band in October.

In March, Portnoy announced via social media that he had finished recording his parts for Dream Theater’s next album.

He wrote: “Today is my last day behind this kit for a while…yes indeed, my drums for #DT16 are done!!

“But that is just the beginning…work will now continue in the coming months ahead on guitars, bass, keys, vocals, percussion (not to mention writing lyrics, mixing, mastering etc etc).”

The drummer added, “I really can’t divulge anything more as we are (purposefully) keeping a very tight lid on any & all info at this early stage,” though he admitted that the band “are all BLOWN AWAY and sooo extremely excited about what we’ve created!”

He signed off: “We cannot wait for you all to hear this…but patience, all will be revealed in due time…😉😎 #DreamTheater2024”

The release date of the next Dream Theater album is unclear, and the band are yet to play a show since Portnoy’s comeback.

Entrevista com Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater) - YouTube Entrevista com Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater) - YouTube
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Matt Mills
Contributing Editor, Metal Hammer

Louder’s resident Gojira obsessive was still at uni when he joined the team in 2017. Since then, Matt’s become a regular in Prog and Metal Hammer, at his happiest when interviewing the most forward-thinking artists heavy music can muster. He’s got bylines in The Guardian, The Telegraph, NME, Guitar and many others, too. When he’s not writing, you’ll probably find him skydiving, scuba diving or coasteering.