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John Petrucci’s Terminal Velocity: prog metal defiance in the face of COVID

John Petrucci reunites with ex-Dream Theatre bandmate Mike Portnoy on pandemic-busting new album Terminal Velocity

John Petrucci: Terminal Velocity

The dawn of the COVID-19-catalysed solo album is upon us. Taylor Swift’s done one, Corey Taylor’s done one and now so has John Petrucci. Joined by ex-bandmate Mike Portnoy, the Dream Theater guitarist has succeeded 2005’s Suspended Animation with an instrumental album so peppy that it masks the bleakness of the lockdown in which it was recorded. It’s the jovial yin to DT’s more existential yang, sharing the same technicality while also flaunting a more optimistic sound. Whether it’s through the jazz-like smoothness of Out Of The Blue, the swaggering Way Things Fall or a track aptly named The Happy Song, Terminal Velocity is a fun prog metal distraction.


Louder’s resident Cult Of Luna 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.