LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT, the instrumental progressive rock/metal project featuring DREAM THEATER keyboardist Jordan Rudess and guitarist John Petrucci, alongside ex-DREAM THEATER drummer Mike Portnoy and progressive rock icon Tony Levin (bass) of KING CRIMSON and PETER GABRIEL fame, will release its third album, “LTE3”, on March 26 via InsideOut Music. The effort will arrive 22 years after the release of 1999’s “Liquid Tension Experiment 2”. The official Christian Rios-created music video for the album’s third single, “Hypersonic”, can be seen below.

Portnoy said: “‘Hypersonic’ was the last song we composed of the four new compositions. We knew we needed an opener that was just going to take people’s heads off from the minute you hit play. ‘Paradigm Shift’ opens with this five-second run that just punches you in the face. This time around, we open with a 30-second run before we even settle into the main riff and groove. It was absolutely designed that way and to me it’s kind of a cross between ‘Acid Rain’ and ‘Paradigm Shift’ mixed with a lot of ‘The Dance Of Eternity’ kind of insanity. We purposely threw everything including the kitchen sink into that one.”

Added Petrucci: “As we were putting the album together, we all felt that there needed to be a track that had some chops and speed and that frantic nervous energy that a song like ‘Paradigm Shift’ from the first LTE album or ‘Acid Rain’ from LTE2 had — something heavy and full of energy. This song definitely checks off that box. There are a lot of intricate, full-band unison moments where the challenge is to be as locked as possible and I think those types of passages on this song are a testament of how well we work together. This song really reflects the personalities of all four of us and has a lot of very musical, as well as quirky moments, that just make it a very fun ride.”

“LTE3” track listing:

01. Hypersonic (8:22)
02. Beating The Odds (6:09)
03. Liquid Evolution (3:23)
04. The Passage Of Time (7:32)
05. Chris & Kevin’s Amazing Odyssey (5:04)
06. Rhapsody In Blue (13:16)
07. Shades Of Hope (4:42)
08. Key To The Imagination (13:14)

The bonus disc includes almost an hour of improvised jams.

The album will be available as:

* Limited deluxe hot pink 3LP+2CD+Blu-ray Box Set (including a poster and 4 artcards, Blu-ray includes a 5.1 surround mix with visuals, and full band interview from the studio)
* Limited 2CD+Blu-ray Artbook
* Limited 2CD Digipak
* Gatefold black 2LP+CD
*Digital album (2CD)

Speaking about why now was the right time to resurrect LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT, Portnoy told Revolver: “The main reason is the insanity of 2020. The pandemic and the lockdown is pretty much what allowed it. But we’ve been talking about it for many, many years. It’s been 10 years since I left DREAM THEATER, and it didn’t make sense to do LTE while I was still in DREAM THEATER. Because it was three members of the same band. Then after I left, it took many years of healing and all the drama to pass and the dust to settle before the relationships with John and Jordan got real good again. And musically, Jordan and I played together a few years ago on the Cruise To The Edge, and then obviously John Petrucci and I played together last year for his solo album [‘Terminal Velocity’]. So it seemed like the time was right to finally do it. And the pandemic, for better or worse, gave us a window of opportunity where none of us were on tour and we could actually align the schedules and do it.”

On the topic of his musical chemistry with Petrucci, Portnoy said: “Well, John and I were writing partners and producing partners for 25 years. And when we reconvened last year for his solo album, I guess I will say the difference was that the roles were redefined, because it was his album. It wasn’t like DREAM THEATER where we wrote together and produced together. When I got together with him for ‘Terminal Velocity’, I was coming in and playing a much different role, as was he. John had written it all and I was there to do a service for him. And I’m very comfortable playing that role, being a session guy or a hired gun. But then when we got together to do LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT a few months later, that was more of the natural chemistry of us writing together, working together, making decisions together. Once we got to that relationship, it was exactly as it had been when I left DREAM THEATER. It was just so immediately comfortable.”

In November 2017, Mike told Loud that he left DREAM THEATER because he wanted to expand his musical horizons. “[I didn’t] want to go to my grave and just be the drummer from DREAM THEATER,” he said. “I knew there was way more to what I had to offer.”

Photo credit: Tony Levin

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