Liquid Tension Experiment’s LTE3: instrumental prog metal masturbation – and proud of it

Dream Theater fans rejoice! Mike Portnoy reunites with John Petrucci and Jordan Rudess for Liquid Tension Experiment’s gleefully self-indulgent comeback

Liquid Tension Experiment LTE3 album review
(Image: © InsideOut Music)

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As soon as opening track Hypersonic swings into action, you’re caught in a virtuoso maelstrom. All the musicians here – Dream Theater guitarist John Petrucci and keyboard player Jordan Rudess, plus bassist Tony Levin and ex-DT drummer Mike Portnoy – let rip in an astonishing show of instrumental masturbation. This sets the tone for the supergroup’s first album in 22 years. It’s exhausting yet uplifting. The four revel in playing off one another. They draw from jazz, classical and metal with a joyous abandon that accentuates this as a labour of love. At times, such as Beating The Odds, LTE stray into melodic territory. Liquid Evolution takes them into tribal realms while Chris & Kevin’s Amazing Odyssey is… well, bizarre. They’ve even done an interpretation of George Gershwin’s jazz classic Rhapsody In Blue, which works remarkably well. One for those who enjoy unrestrained musical excellence.

Malcolm Dome

Malcolm Dome had an illustrious and celebrated career which stretched back to working for Record Mirror magazine in the late 70s and Metal Fury in the early 80s before joining Kerrang! at its launch in 1981. His first book, Encyclopedia Metallica, published in 1981, may have been the inspiration for the name of a certain band formed that same year. Dome is also credited with inventing the term "thrash metal" while writing about the Anthrax song Metal Thrashing Mad in 1984. With the launch of Classic Rock magazine in 1998 he became involved with that title, sister magazine Metal Hammer, and was a contributor to Prog magazine since its inception in 2009. He died in 2021