Instrumental, Technical
"After 22 years of silence, Liquid Tension Experiment delivers a third album of very high quality. Instrumental progressive metal that is as much about technical prowess as it is about the pleasure of playing."
NEWF (02.04.2021)  
(0) opinions from our readers (2) comment(s)

Maybe finally, this world pandemic has not only had bad sides. If for many of us, it remains synonymous of isolation and social distancing, for others, it marks the time of reunion. 2020 saw the reformation of the John Petrucci/Mike Portnoy duo for the guitarist's second solo album, "Terminal Velocity". 2021 will be just as important for the instrumental progressive metal fans with the resurrection of the supergroup Liquid Tension Experiment, which was thought to be dead and buried after Jordan Rudess joined Dream Theater in 1999. Because even if the quartet had given a series of concerts in 2008 to celebrate the ten years of the combo, it is necessary to admit that, considering the ministers' agendas of Portnoy, Petrucci and Rudess, as well as Tony Levin who played with almost all the top musicians of the planet, the release of a third album of Liquid Tension Experiment seemed as improbable as to see Mike Portnoy join Dream Theater again. And yet here it is, this "Lte3" that we have been waiting for for 22 years. And let's say it right away, the four virtuosos prove once again that the elite of the world progressive metal is them and no one else when it comes to marrying technique and pleasure to play.

Pleasure, it is a question of it on each title which composes this album. The four musicians are obviously delighted to meet again and share their joy from the first track, 'Hypersonic', a monster of precision, virtuosity and velocity, in the line of 'Acid Rain' from 'Lte2' and 'The Dance Of Eternity' from Dream Theater. Except that it is strewn with melodic fulgurances which mark a clear difference with its glorious elders.

As old hands experienced in the art of composing incredibly complex musical pieces, our four heralds of polyrhythm and unplayable riffs know very well that in order to keep the listener awake under a deluge of notes, they have to catch his attention with identifiable melodic patterns. And the guitar/keyboard duo formed by John Petrucci and Jordan Rudess do not deprive themselves of it by competing with melodic lines more beautiful than the others, making the listening of the most virtuoso pieces of an incredible fluidity ('Beating The Odds', 'The Passage Of Time' and the enormous 'Key To The Imagination').

Two duets, one between Petrucci and Rudess ('Shades Of Hope') and the other between Tony Levin and Mike Portnoy (the experimental 'Chris & Kevin's Amazing Odyssey'), frame what will remain as the bravura piece of "Lte3" : 'Rhapsody In Blue'. Liquid Tension Experiment had already covered Gershwin's work on stage in 2008 but its transposition in the jazz metal register takes a new dimension here. Because besides the technical and musical challenge that such a cover implies, it is the complicity between the four musicians that comes to the ears when listening to what will remain for a long time the most beautiful proof that music is eternal and can adapt to all styles when it is composed with so much genius.

So certainly, "Lte3" is a tour de force, a monument of velocity that will satisfy all the fans of technical progressive metal and will leave the others doubtful. But whatever you're looking for in music, just take an hour of your time to listen to these four aliens in action. One hour to realize that they may be among the world's elite musicians and master their instruments like no other, but they are first and foremost a bunch of buddies who are just happy to get together and play music.

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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

John Petrucci: Guitares
Jordan Rudess: Claviers
Mike Portnoy: Batterie
Tony Levin: Basse
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(2) COMMENT(S)    
C’est fascinant comme après plus de vingt ans le groupe parvient à retrouver l’esprit unique que j’ai tellement apprécié dans les 2 premiers LTE. Certes on retrouve un peu plus Dream Theater dans ce disque, quand les deux précédents réussissaient à s’en détacher, et beaucoup d’idées de ses deux aînés mais l’alchimie de groupe est là. Dans ce festival instrumental virtuose qui a ses éclairs de créativité (‘The Key To Imagination’) et ses moments ennuyeux (les expérimentations de ‘Liquid Evolution’, le retour de Chris et Kevin) je reste particulièrement bluffé par la jouissive reprise du ‘Rhaspody In Blue’ de Gershwin déjà jouée en live en 2008 et 2009. De bons morceaux qui font leur effet sur le moment, à voir sur la longueur si ces titres seront toujours aussi agréables à écouter vingt ans plus tard, comme la plupart de ceux des deux premiers LTE.
Note : 7/10.
Tous ceux qui s’intéressent de près aux musiciens de métal connaissent les talents considérables des quatre mousquetaires de LTE, donc pas de sujet : les compos stratosphériques nous emmènent très loin ou très haut, c’est selon.. ma seule interrogation concerne la véritable »finalité » du projet ? À moins d’être un adepte d’un jazz rock pechu ou un ancien musicien, difficile d’apprécier à sa juste valeur la proposition de LTE ! Le harder commun décrochera au bout de 5/6 minutes : trop complexe,trop fouillé ( fouillis ?) difficile à suivre, bref trop !
Contrairement à un Satch aux morceaux articulés autour d’une mélodie fil-rouge assortis de solis divers et variés,donc mémorisables pour l’essentiel,ici pas de filet, c’est du base jump, au gré du vent !
Perso j’adore mais je doute que ça se vende,que ça se diffuse (même sur RM!),quand à la tournée, pour les réunir tous,on n’est pas rendus ! Alors après, l’exercice consistera à capter un extrait de ce magnifique album dans un fond sonore de documentaire…si si, ça arrive..
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