Liquid Tension Experiment -

(CD 2021, 63:34, Inside Out Music)

The tracks:
  1- Hypersonic(8:25)
  2- Beating The Odds(6:08)
  3- Liquid Evolution(3:25)
  4- The Passage Of Time(7:32)
  5- Chris & Kevin's Amazing Odyssey(6:45)
  6- Rhapsody In Blue(13:11)
  7- Shades Of Hope(4:44)
  8- Key To The Imagination(13:14)

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When I heard, found out, that the super group Liquid Tension Experiment, consisting of Tony Levin (bass guitar), John Petrucci (guitars), Mike Portnoy (drums) and Jordan Rudess (keyboards) would release a new album I was thrilled and over the moon. Finally, after a twenty-two-year hiatus, there would be a third instrumental album by some of the best rock musicians ever. Their debut was released in 1998, followed by LTE2 in 1999 and both were truly awesome prog rock/metal albums, yearning for more actually....

Well, here it is LTE3, and if you liked their first two albums, then this one will also blow you away. Besides the awesome music it is always a treat and a pleasure to hear Petrucci and Portnoy playing together again, like in the good old Dream Theater days!! Hypersonic is the opening track of LTE3 and what an opening it is; full prog metal in your face; what an amazing, trashy, riff from Petrucci and the rest of the eight minutes is sheer bliss, as in being very complex and progressive indeed. In follow up Beating The Odds Petrucci shines with amazing guitar melodies and solos and that one really is an upbeat song that puts you in a good mood; love this song and play it f..... loud, if you can !! Actually, there is never a dull moment on this entire album and sometimes the music is so awesome that my ears cannot actually handle all of it at the same time! Liquid Evolution is really jazz-infused and has a remarkable melody (check out Petrucci's solo!!!), while Chris & Kevin's Amazing Odessey is rather avant-garde and probably the weirdest and most difficult track on the album, featuring lots of improvisation and twists and turns. The two masterpieces of LTE3 are: Key To The Imagination, starting off with a beautiful, emotional guitar solo (shivers down my spine), and evolving into a DT=like prog rock monster which you must love and listen to over and over again! The other highlight is a cover, go figure, namely Rhapsody In Blue (Gershwin), which the band has been playing live since 2009, and I can hardly describe it in words; it is an epic, and it sounds phenomenal indeed.

What more can I say about this truly awesome prog rock/metal album, all has been said, so buy or die and LTE3 will end up very high in top 10 of 2021, that is for sure as I am already addicted to songs like Key To The Imagination, Hypersonic and The Passage Of Time. Sheer bliss, Levin, Petrucci, Portnoy and Rudess really set the musical world on fire with this one!!! Play it LOUD!!!

***** Martien Koolen (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)

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