Portnoy feared Neal Morse and Dream Theater comparisons

Mike Portnoy
Mike Portnoy (Image credit: Getty)

Mike Portnoy admits he fought to stop The Neal Morse Band making double-album, The Similitude Of A Dream, in fear of drawing comparisons with his old band, Dream Theater.

Inspired by John Bunyan’s 17th century morality tale The Pilgrim’s Progress, the record is released on November 12 – and has been described as “an instant masterpiece” by the drummer.

But Portnoy says he was initially afraid of accusations that he’d copied his old band’s idea after they released concept double-album The Astonishing earlier this year.

Portnoy tells Metal Wani: “I have to admit I was really resistant to do a double album with Neal Morse, because I was afraid of the inevitable comparisons to Dream Theater’s latest album.

“Once they put out a double concept album, I was really resistant and reluctant for us to do it. And I fought the guys hard in the studio while making this record, desperately trying to keep it to a single album, just because I could already picture the comparisons and I just didn’t wanna go down that road.

“I didn’t wanna be compared and I didn’t want anybody to think that we were stealing the idea from them, which is obviously not the case. So I was really fighting those guys. But halfway through the record and the writing, we knew it had to be a double. I finally just gave up fighting and let the album be what it needed to be.”

Portnoy adds: “At first I was so scared and hesitant of the comparisons, but now I kind of want it to be compared, because I’m so proud of it.

“I really feel we came up with such a special album that I no longer really worry about that comparison. I think what we came up with is absolutely the best of the best, so I’m proud of it and think it can stand up to anything.”

The Neal Morse Band have released tracks Long Day, Overture and City Of Destruction from the record over the last few weeks. They’ll head out on the road from January across North America in support of the album.

The Similitude Of A Dream artwork

The Similitude Of A Dream artwork

The Neal Morse Band The Similitude Of A Dream tracklist


  1. Long Day
  2. Overture
  3. The Dream
  4. City Of Destruction
  5. We Have Got To Go
  6. Makes No Sense
  7. Draw The Line
  8. The Slough
  9. Back To The City
  10. The Ways Of A Fool
  11. So Far Gone
  12. Breath Of Angels


  1. Slave To Your Mind
  2. Shortcut to Salvation
  3. The Man In The Iron Cage
  4. The Road Called Home
  5. Sloth
  6. Freedom Song
  7. I’m Running
  8. The Mask
  9. Confrontation
  10. The Battle
  11. Broken Sky / Long Day (Reprise)

The Neal Morse Band 2017 tour dates

Jan 15: Nashville TBA, TN
Jan 17: Seattle Triple Door, WA
Jan 18: San Francisco Regency Ballroom, CA
Jan 21: Whittier Center Theater, CA
Jan 22: Phoenix Nesbitt-Elliott Playhouse Theater, AZ
Jan 24: Denver Oriental Theater, CO
Jan 25: Dallas Curtain Club, TX
Jan 27: St Charles Arcada Theater, IL
Jan 28: Cleveland, OH – Beachland Ballroom
Jan 29: Toronto Mod Room, ON
Jan 31: Montreal Club Soda, QC
Feb 01: Quebec City Salle Jean Paul Tardif, QC
Feb 02: New York Highline Ballroom, NY
Feb 03: Washington State Theater, DC
Feb 07-11: Cruise To the Edge, FL
Mar 22: Barcelona Apolo, Spain
Mar 23: Milan TBA, Italy
Mar 24: Pratteln Z7, Switzerland
Mar 25: Aschaffenburg Colo-Saal, Germany
Mar 26: Berlin Lido, Germany
Mar 28: Warsaw Progresja Music Zone, Poland
Mar 29: Hamburg Markthalle, Germany
Mar 30: Verviers Spirit of 66, Belgium
Mar 31: Cologne Stollwerck, Germany
Apr 01: Malmo KB, Sweden
Apr 02: Tilburg 013, Netherlands
Apr 04: Luxembourg Rockhal, Luxembourg
Apr 05: Paris Divan Du Monde, France
Apr 06: Birmingham O2 Academy 2, UK
Apr 07: Glasgow O2 ABC, UK
Apr 08: Manchester O2 Ritz, UK
Apr 09: London O2 Islington Academy, UK
Apr 12 Tel Aviv Havana Club, Israel
May 06: Gettysburg RosFest, PA

Prog Me: Neal Morse

Former TeamRock news desk member Christina joined our team in late 2015, and although her time working on online rock news was fairly brief, she made a huge impact by contributing close to 1500 stories. Christina also interviewed artists including Deftones frontman Chino Moreno and worked at the Download festival. In late 2016, Christina left rock journalism to pursue a career in current affairs. In 2021, she was named Local Weekly Feature Writer of the Year at the Scottish Press Awards.