Liquid Tension Experiment – LTE3

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Have you been busy ? Well Mr. Mike Portnoy has been busy the past year. Besides releases with Transatlantic, Neal Morse Project and Flying Colors among others he is finally back after almost 22 years with a follow up to Liquid Tension Experiment 2. It has been a very difficult task to pick a good album title, so they just named it 3 ! As this is an album that is purely instrumental, it will be super music food for the more nerdy musical progressive lovers out there.

LTE3 consists of Portnoy, Rudess, Petrucci and Levin. Yes, you read it right, two members of Dream Theater and one senior ex-member, obviously some music will sound like the big name in the progressive music scene. Maybe this is again a step closer, a first step was made when Mike contributed to Petrucci‘s solo album, to a reunion of Portnoy with his old band mates, now that would be a wet dream coming true for a lot of Dream Theater fans.

Opener ‘Hypersonic‘ is a fast and intense song. This rollercoaster of instrumental madness grabs you by your throat where the hunger for more madness is slowly entering your mind. This song sounds a lot like Dream Theater. Petrucci and Rudess are fighting a war to produce as many notes as possible at moments. Happily there is Tony Levin who is bringing in some air with his typical playing style that can also be heard with this work with King Crimson and Peter Gabriel.

Next to Hypersonic there are another 3 songs that the guys have written together. The Passage Of Time was the first song they have written in 22 years. A heavy track that meets The Beating Of The Odds which is not as heavy as the latter, rather how the song is arranged. A riff opening song with some symphonic parts in it plus the melodies used by Petrucci.

Happily LTE3 is not full of instrumental madness, there are also some more quiet and calmer music pieces on it. Shades Of Hope is a very good of example of that, together with The Key Of Imagination, which has an epic vibe. A lot of time signatures changes, yeah just what you are thinking, a lot of Dream Theater.

Rhapsody In Blue, their version of the American anthem from Gershwin has finally been recorded. This song was played several times live, so it was about time this song got a studio version. It’s not the odd duck on the disc, no the song fits remarkable well. Liquid Evolution is an improvisation song where Levin together with Rudess are up front. It must have been a daunting task for Petrucci and Portnoy to keep quit for such a long time.

LTE3 is a very nice album to listen to and a very good follow-up to LTE 2 . Expect nothing excitingly new, we know what these guys are capable of. And of course with 3 members that have very tight bounds with Dream Theater, it’s more than obvious you hear a lot of musical influences from that band. This is for sure food for the musical lovers of intense instrumental music where it stills the hunger a bit for the dream of a reunited Dream Theater.

Release Date : March 26th 2021
Label : Inside Out Music
TrackList :

  1. Hypersonic
  2. Beating the Odds
  3. Liquid Evolution
  4. The Passage of Time
  5. Chris & Kevin’s Amazing Odyssey
  6. Rhapsody in Blue
  7. Shades of Hope
  8. Key to the Imagination


  • Music8/10
  • Production9/10
  • Artwork9/10
  • Originality8/10
  • Virtuosity8/10
8.4Liquid Tension Experiment 3 delivers once again what they are known for. Super music food for the more nerdy musical progressive lovers out there.
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