Hear John Petrucci + Mike Portnoy Together on New Song for First Time in 11 Years
Dream Theater guitarist John Petrucci has officially unveiled Terminal Velocity, his first solo album in 15 years and second overall. The release also features his former bandmate, drum legend Mike Portnoy, making the newly released title track their first piece of new music together since 2009.
The undeniable chemistry between the two is entirely palpable on "Terminal Velocity." It's an instrumental song loaded with cinematic, talkative lead guitar work and sports a rhythm section (rounded out by Dixie Dregs and Flying Colors bassist David LaRue) that shows enough restraint to really let Petrucci remain in the spotlight without limiting their own progressive flourishes.
"Having Mike play drums on this record was really special for me and he did an absolutely incredible job navigating the various styles and technical challenges my music presented in the way that only he can do," asserted Petrucci. "It was very cathartic for the both of us," he continued, feeling renewed by the collaborative work. "I think, to be playing music together again after all these years and it really felt great! Mike’s spirited, intuitive and energetic playing truly helped to elevate these new songs to a level that I couldn’t be happier with."
Speaking about the title track specifically, the guitarist enthused, "'Terminal Velocity' was actually the first new song that I wrote for the album when I entered the studio in March of this year. It stemmed from one of the many ideas and seeds that I had collected over the past several years. I literally began with the opening motif and built the rest of song from there. I think it’s a great lead-off single and nicely represents a few of the different stylistic sides of this record that I wanted to explore as a guitar player; The melodic/thematic side, the riffing side, and the shred side."
The album is also a byproduct of the coronavirus pandemic. With Dream Theater's 2020 tour plans dashed, Petrucci had a new window of opportunity to record his first solo album since 2005's Suspended Animation. Entering the Dream Theater headquarters in Long Island with producer Jimmy T, the two worked on the follow-up over the next two-and-a-half-months.
"I believe that making this record when I did really helped me to maintain a sense of stability and normalcy during such a crazy time in our history," the guitarist confessed, adding, "It was encouraging for me and my family to embrace something so hopeful and positive as we faced a very uncertain future in the music industry and in the world and for that, I am truly grateful for having music be such a big part of my life."
Listen to "Terminal Velocity" directly below and view the album art and track listing further down the page. Look for Terminal Velocity to be released digitally on Aug. 28 with physical copies arriving on Oct. 30 from The Orchard Music. Pre-order your copy here and visit the Newbury Comics site for a limited edition option (colored vinyl, signed CDs).
John Petrucci, "Terminal Velocity" Music Video
John Petrucci, Terminal Velocity Album Art + Track Listing
01. "Terminal Velocity"
02. "The Oddfather"
03. "Happy Song"
05. "Out Of The Blue"
06. "Glassy-Eyed Zombies"
07. "The Way Things Fall"
08. "Snake In My Boot"
09. "Temple Of Circadia"
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