“We are all blown away and extremely excited!” Mike Portnoy has finished recording drums for the next Dream Theater album

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

Mike Portnoy has finished recording his drum parts for the next Dream Theater album.

The drummer, who shockingly returned to the New York progressive metal outfit in 2023 following a 13-year absence, announced via Instagram on Saturday (March 30) that that was his last day recording for the as-yet-untitled 16th Dream Theater album.

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

He continued: “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”

Portnoy co-founded Dream Theater (originally named Majesty) in 1985 with guitarist John Petrucci and bassist John Myung, while the three were students at the Berklee College Of Music.

The band found widespread popularity with their second album, 1992’s Images & Words, and its single Pull Me Under, and were credited with re-popularising the progressive metal subgenre.

Portnoy, who was also a key songwriter in the band, stayed with Dream Theater until 2010, when he left to pursue other projects. He was replaced by Mike Mangini.

Last October, Dream Theater surprisingly announced Portnoy’s return and the exit of Mangini.

“I am overwhelmed with joy to be returning home and reuniting with my brothers!” Portnoy commented at the time.

“There is so much shared history between us all…so many memories, so much music…to think we’re coming up on 40 years since this journey began!

“The idea of creating new music together is so exciting and I absolutely cannot wait to hit the road and get to play live for a whole new generation of fans that weren’t ever able to see this line-up before…

“There’s no place like home!”

Dream Theater’s upcoming 16th album will be their first with Portnoy since the release of Black Clouds & Silver Linings in 2009.

The band’s previous album, A View From The Top Of The World (2021), was promoted with the lead single The Alien. The song won the Grammy Award For Best Metal Performance in 2022.

At time of publication, Dream Theater have not announced any future live dates.

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.