Skip to main content

Next To None: A Light In The Dark

The next generation of prog metal royalty?

The drummer of Next To None is Max Portnoy, 16-year-old son of former Dream Theater drummer Mike.

Signed to the prog rock label responsible for issuing a proliferation of past Portnoy product, it’s understandable that alarm bells would ring.

However, Portnoy Junior has played drums for half his life and learned those lessons well. Though the four members of Pennsylvanian-based outfit are all in their mid-teens, they’re by no means novices, and this full-length debut – produced by Portnoy Sr, and featuring cameos from two of dad’s mates – current GN’R guitarist Bumblefoot and Transatlantic bandmate Neal Morse – is sufficiently accomplished to suggest they’ll flourish if and when those apron strings are severed. A complex paradiddle from Portnoy marks out their territory within 90 seconds of opener The Edge Of Sanity, though they’re a little heavier than most of their Inside Out labelmates thanks to the growls of keyboardist Thomas Cuce. A positive start.

Dave Ling was a co-founder of Classic Rock magazine. His words have appeared in a variety of music publications, including RAW, Kerrang!, Metal Hammer, Prog, Rock Candy, Fireworks and Sounds. Dave’s life was shaped in 1974 through the purchase of a copy of Sweet’s album ‘Sweet Fanny Adams’, along with early gig experiences from Status Quo, Rush, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Yes and Queen. As a lifelong season ticket holder of Crystal Palace FC, he is completely incapable of uttering the word ‘Br***ton’.