Charlie Benante Announces New LP Release Date, Specs

Courtesy: Megaforce Records

Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante will release his new album this spring.

Silver Linings is scheduled for release May 14 through Megaforce Records. While the record sees Benante as the primary figure in its presentation, he stressed during a recent interview, that the album is not a solo record.

“This isn’t a solo album,” Charlie said, “This is a record of my favorite songs done with some of my friends during a very dark time.  We found a shining light and this is the result of that light.  I was really happy that my musician friends came on board and helped make this record what it is.  I appreciate all of them, and they all did such a fantastic job.  Despite all of the darkness we’ve experienced this past year, there are ‘silver linings,’ that’s why I chose that title for the album.”

He added, the album’s creation came about through the advice of someone close to himself.

“Back in February of last year, with COVID and all the other B.S. that was going on, I was glued to the 24-hour news cycle on the TV and my phone, and I started to get really depressed,” he said.  My girlfriend said I needed to turn off the news and suggested I do something creative, whether it was art or drumming or writing new songs, and she was right.”

According to information provided about the 14-song record, it will feature an all-star cast of guest musicians and performers, such as guitarist John 5 (Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson), Alex Skolnick (Testament), and Corey Taylor (Slipknot).

Also featured on the new record are Run DMC member Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, Rob Caggiano (Volbeat), and Ra Diaz (Suicidal Tendencies). The group recorded the song “Run-DMC Medley,’ which is one the songs featured in the album. The group premiered the song’s quarantine video in June 2020.

The whole of Silver Linings‘ track listing is noted below:

* “City of Blinding Lights”/U2 – Frank Bello, Mark Osegueda, Charlie Benante

* “Chloe Dancer / Crown of Horns”/Mother Love Bone – Mark Menghi, Mark Osegueda, Charlie Benante

* “Teardrop”/Massive Attack – Carla Harvey, Ra Diaz, Charlie Benante

* “Run DMC”/Run DMC – DMC, Rob Caggiano, Ra Diaz, Charlie Benante

* “Rhiannon”/Fleetwood Mac – Mark Menghi, Jennifer Cella, Randy McStine, Charlie Benante

* “Yer So Bad”/Tom Petty – Carla Harvey, Ra Diaz, Charlie Benante

* “Transylvania”/Iron Maiden – Snake Sabo, Frank Bello, Jon Donias, Charlie Benante

* “Presto Vivace”/U.K. – Ra Diaz, Alex Skolnick, Jordan Rudess, Charlie Benante

* “Bad Guy”/Billie Eilish – Ra Diaz, Charlie Benante

* “Jimmy James”/The Beastie Boys – Ra Diaz, Charlie Benante

* “All The Way”/KISS – PJ Farley, Joe McGinness, John 5, Charlie Benante

* “Mr Speed”/KISS – Joe McGinness, PJ Farley, Charlie Benante

* “Public Image”/Public Image – Hank Von Hell, Dave Brownsound, Jason “Cone” McCaslin, Charlie Benante

* “Funny Vibe”/Living Color – Ra Diaz, Corey Glover, Henry Flury, Charlie Benante

More information on Charlie Benante’s new album is available along with all of his latest news at:




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Liquid Tension Experiment Debuts ‘The Passage Of Time’ Video

Courtesy: InsideOut Music

Liquid tension Experiment fans are getting their first full preview of the band’s next album.

The band debuted the video for its new single ‘The Passage of Time‘ Friday. The song is the lead single from the quartet’s forthcoming album LTE3, which is scheduled for release March 26 through InsideOut Music.

The video features footage of the band members — Mike Portnoy, John Petrucci, Tony Levin, and Jordan Rudess — performing their respective parts to the song as images of multi-colored liquid plays over the noted footage. The musical arrangement that accompanies the video is everything that audiences have come to expect from Liquid Tension Experiment and from Dream Theater.

Two of the LTE’s members — John Petrucci and Jordan Rudess — are band mates in Dream Theater. Founding member and drummer Portnoy departed the band in 2010. To that end, it is understandable why this latest song sound stylistically so much like much of the body of work from Dream Theater.

Portnoy talked about the creation of ‘The Passage of Time’ during a recent interview with himself and his LTE band mates.

“‘The Passage of Time’ was the very first song we composed together when we reunited this past summer, he said. “It was so exciting to be back in a room creating together again after so long (22 years for all 4 of us and over 10 years for the 3 of us since being together in DT).  This serves as a great first taste for the listeners as it combines so many of the musical elements that makes LTE unique”

Petrucci expanded on Portnoy’s comments.

“This was the first song we worked on and when it was done, we all knew once again how amazing it was to be working together,” said Petrucci. “We knew we were on to something and that this was going to be a really amazing album. Nothing about the passage of over two decades could’ve done anything to change that. To me this song truly reflects the collaborative songwriting efforts of all four of us.”

Ruddess also shared his thoughts during the interview.

There is an undeniable chemistry that happens when the four of us are together,” he added. “Entering the studio and starting work on ‘The Passage of Time’ after 22 years literally gave me a whole new perspective on these important musical (and personal) relationships and the way time is so relative. We just jumped right in, it was like no time had passed at all, and we created a song that has so many of the elements that make LTE unique. Not a day has gone by since our last release when I wasn’t asked, “When is LTE getting back together again?” Now we can finally deliver, and I can’t wait for everybody to hear our creation.”

Levin put the accent to the discussion, noting there is more to come from Liquid Tension Experiment.

“From the murky depths of the lockdown, LTE has re-emerged, galvanized, dripping with ideas, and taking no prisoners,” said Levin. “‘The Passage of Time’ is just the beginning.”

More than two decades have passed since the quartet released its then most recent record Liquid Tension Experiment 2. That record, released in 1999, was followed up by the release of the album Spontaneous Combustion in October 2007 by three quarters of the group, which opted to call itself Liquid Tension Trio. Portnoy, Levin, and Rudess recorded the album while Petrucci and his wife welcomed their then baby.

The new album’s track listing is noted below.

1. Hypersonic (8:22)
2. Beating The Odds (6:09)
3. Liquid Evolution (3:23)
4. The Passage Of Time (7:32)
5. Chris & Kevin’s Amazing Odyssey (5:04)
6. Rhapsody In Blue (13:16)
7. Shades Of Hope (4:42)
8. Key To The Imagination (13:14)
Bonus Disc: Includes almost an hour of improvised jams.

The album will release on the platforms noted below. Pre-orders open now.

•Limited deluxe hot pink 3LP+2CD+Blu-ray Box Set (incl. 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)

More information on this and other titles from InsideOut Music is available along with the label’s latest news at:




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Hammerfall Drops The Hammer On 2020’s Top New Live Recordings List

Courtesy: Napalm Records

Live music and live music venues took a big hit this year thanks to the global COVID-19 pandemic.  That goes without saying.  Music acts and venues from the independent level all the way up to the big names were force to put their live music plans on hold indefinitely as a result of the pandemic.  However a glimmer of hope rose this week when Live Nation head Joe Berchtold was quoted by major media outlets as saying that he believed live music would return by summer 2021.  One can only hope that Mr. Berchtold is right, and that when it does return, audiences will welcome its return rather than let the germaphobes control their minds.  Until then, audiences do have lots of live music to enjoy on CD, DVD and Blu-ray that was released this year.  Hammerfall released its latest live recording Live! Against The World this year.  Dream Theater also dropped its new live recording Distant Memories: Live in London.  Metallica even celebrated the anniversary of its landmark S&M show with the release of S&M2.  These are just some of the recordings that made Phil’s Picks 2020 Top 10 New Live Recordings.  They were joined by new live material from the likes of Myrath, The Rolling Stones, and Kamelot.

As with each list from Phil’s Picks, this collection features the Top 10 new titles in the given category and five additional honorable mention titles for a total of 15 titles.  Without any further ado, here is Phil’s Picks 2020 Top 10 New Live Recordings.


  1. Hammerfall – Live! Against The World
  2. Jimi Hendrix – Live in Maui
  3. Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra – A Swingin’ Sesame Street Celebration
  4. Def Leppard – London to Vegas
  5. The Rolling Stones – Steel Wheels Live
  6. Devin Townsend – Order of Magnitude: Empath Live Volume 1
  7. John Lee Hooker – Live at Montreux 1983 & 1990
  8. Waylon Jennings – The Outlaw Perrformances
  9. Myrath – Live in Carthage
  10. Kamelot – I Am The Empire Live from the 013
  11. Dream Theater – Distant Memories: Live in London
  12. Metallica – S&M2
  13. Delta Rae – Coming Home To Carolina
  14. Bush – Live in Tampa
  15. Dee Snider – For The Love of Metal

Up next from Phil’s Picks is one of the last three music categories of the year, Phil’s Picks 2020 Top 10 New Rock Albums.  After that will be the year’s top new hard rock & metal albums, and then last but not least, the year’s top new albums overall.  From there, it’ll be on to the DVDs and Blu-rays in all of their categories.  Stay tuned for all of that.

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Dream Theater Fans Will Find Band’s Latest Live Recording More Than A “Distant Memory”

Courtesy: InsideOut Music

As 2020 nears its end, few, if any, bands are announcing any live performance plans.  There are many festivals whose dates are tentatively rescheduled for 2021, but even right now, those dates are just tentative.  That means that there is still just as much need for live recordings as ever as we head into the end of this year and the start of the New Year.  Enter veteran prog-metal band Dream Theater and its latest live recording Distant Memories: Live in London.  Released Friday through InsideOut Music, the band’s ninth live recording offers audiences a set list and performance thereof that is certain to engage and entertain listeners.  It will be discussed shortly.  While the set list does its own share to engage and entertain audiences, its audio production does pose something of a concern.  This will be discussed a little later.  Making up for the concern raised by the concert’s audio production is the video production.  It rounds out the recording’s most important elements and will be discussed later.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of Distant Memories: Live in London’s presentation.  All things considered, they make the concert worth experiencing at least occasionally. 

Dream Theater’s latest live recording Distant Memories: Live in London is a presentation that the band’s longtime fans will find a mostly enjoyable concert experience.  That is proven in part through the recording’s set list.  The 21-song set list focuses specifically on two of the band’s albums, its most recent recording, Distance Over Time and its classic album Metropolis Part 2: Scenes From A Memory.  Along with those albums, the band also goes back to 2009 and the band’s album Black Clouds and Silver Linings.  Audiences get the band’s performance of Metropolis Part 2: Scenes From A Memory in whole here, as a celebration of the 20th anniversary of its release while five of the nine songs from Distance Over Time (more than half of its body) are also featured here. 

For those who do not know the band’s history, Metropolis Part 2: Scenes From A Memory was Dream Theater’s first-ever concept album, and a long-awaited record, too.  It is a record for which the band’s fans had until that point, pleaded ever since the band released its landmark 1992 album Images & Words, which featured ‘Metropolis Part 1.’  It was also the debut of the band’s current (and third) keyboardist Jordan Rudess, and a very heavy work, focusing on the concept of past life experiences.  Its story is unique to say the very least.  Not to give away too much for those who have not taken in that record, it does not have a happy ending.  How many musical acts past or present can say they have taken on such a concept for any album or even song?  Exactly. 

The inclusion of a song from Black Clouds and Silver Linings is interesting here, too.  That is because that record was the last on which now former drummer and Dream Theater founding member Mike Portnoy would take part.  He would go on to be replaced by current drummer Mike Mangini on the band’s next album, the aptly titled A Dramatic Turn of Events.  Simply put, between this one song and the featuring of the aforementioned album, audiences are presented with a work that was the first for one member and the last for another member.  Whether that contrast was intentional is anyone’s guess.  Regardless, it’s there, so that adds even more interest to this set list.

Adding to the whole is of course that the band made certain to promote its latest album along with everything else.  That the group focused on a much material as it did here is the virtual icing on the cake here.  Of course, the band’s performance of the noted set list adds even more to the concert experience.  That early moment in which Jordan Rudess breaks away from his stationary position and puts on one of those portable, shoulder-strap keyboards, taking his moment to really get in the limelight is just one of so many highlights of the band’s performance.  Seeing his smile and taking in the energy of his performance will make audiences smile just as much.  The rest of the band members – John Myung (bass), John Petrucci (guitar), Mangini (drums), and James LaBrie (vocals) – were at ease throughout the concert, displaying such mastery of their instruments while putting their full talents on display.  Watching Petrucci rip his way through the solos is just as enjoyable.  His arms and hands barely move, yet the riffs (solos included) are just so heavy and intense.  Watching Myung meanwhile during the concert’s higher energy moments leaves full understanding of why he is nicknamed “the octopus.”  His fingers move like an octopus’ tentacles as he plucks the strings of his bass.  His left hand moves just as fluidly across the strings as he lays down the harmonies in each song.  All the while, his facial gestures never change, even when his hair is not covering his face.  Even LaBrie shines during his moments on stage as he leads the way.  Now while the concert’s set list and the band’s performance thereof does plenty to ensure audience’s engagement and entertainment, the concert is not perfect.  The concert’s audio production does raise some concerns.

Throughout the course of the roughly two-and-a-half-hour concert’s run time, there are many moments in which the audio sounds somewhat unbalanced.  LaBrie’s vocals, at many points, sound washed out in favor of the performance of his band mates.  It does not happen in every single song, but it does happen enough that one cannot ignore the issue.  Those moments are not the only points at which the audio production proves problematic.  The pre-recorded narration in the Metropolis Part 2: Scenes From A Memory also comes across as being rather washed out.  It is audible, but sounds more like it was recorded in the distance by a smart phone than by an actual professional recording device.  It is a minor matter, but still important to the presentation of the album’s story in its own right.  Losing that element detracts from the recording’s presentation in its own right.  There are also moments when the sounds from Rudess’ keyboards echo more than they seemingly should through the concert hall.  As with the sound of the narrator in the Metropolis Part 2 set, the sound just comes across as being too “raw” in those moments.  Thankfully, even with the noted audio concerns in mind, they are so spread out that they do not make the concert experience a failure.  The concerns raised by the concert’s audio issues are countered by the positives of the recording’s video production.

Throughout the course of the concert, audiences are given the best seat in the house.  Forget just looking up at the band from floor level.  At some points in the show, audiences are taken not just on stage but to an up close level with Rudess thanks to a camera mounted on his stationary keyboards.  Additionally, audiences are taken high above the audience at other points, and on stage, showing each member of the band at work.  The shot transitions are smooth and help to amplify the energy in the songs and performances, adding even more enjoyment and engagement to the recording.  When this aspect is considered with everything else noted here, the presentation in whole proves to be a work that Dream Theater’s longtime fans will find an enjoyable occasional concert experience.

Dream Theater’s latest live recording Distant Memories: Live in London is an interesting new addition to its catalog of live presentations.  The band’s ninth live recording, it presents a unique set list that will engage and entertain listeners in its own right.  The audio production used in the recording does present some problems for the concert’s presentation, but not to the point that the concert is not worth experiencing.  The video production featured in the recording gives audiences the best seat in the house, and works with the band’s performance to ensure audiences’ engagement and enjoyment.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the band’s new live recording.  All things considered, the band’s new recording proves to be a presentation that in the long run, will be more than just a distant memory for the band’s fans.  It is available now. 

More information on Distant Memories: Live in London is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:




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Illuminated Minerva Debuts New Single, ‘Wilder (Mother Goddess)’

Courtesy: Asher Media Relations

Independent prog-rock band Illuminate Minerva debuted the latest single from its new album last week.

The band debuted its new single ‘Wilder (Mother Goddess) Thursday through New Fury Media. The song is the third single from its album Enigma Adamantine, which is available now. Its debut comes more than a month after the band premiered the album’s second single single, ‘Abductions,’ and approximately two months after the debut of the record’s lead single, ‘Sightings’ and its companion video.

As with the song’s predecessors, this work’s lyrical content follows the record’s overarching theme of UFOs and alien abductions. Its musical arrangement is a heavy but controlled prog-metal composition that will appeal to fans of bands, such as Fates Warning and ream Theater, as well as Arch Echo.

The track listing for Enigma Adamantine is noted below.

Track Listing:
1. Heart Beat of Creation (9:48)
2. Sightings (5:08)
3. Abductions (7:05)
4. Wilder (Mother Goddess) (8:37)
5. Illuminatus Majoris (13:03)
Album Length: 43:44

More information on Illuminated Minerva’s new single is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:



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Arcana Premieres Debut EP’s Lead Single, ‘Wings’

Independent rock band Arcana debuted the lead single from its forthcoming debut EP Letters From A Lost SoulAct I: The World One Forms this week.

The band debuted its new single ‘Wings’ Wednesday through The Prog Space. The song is a full instrumental composition and the record’s only instrumental track, according to a statement from the band.

“’Wings’ is the instrumental track on the EP and acts as a kind of overture to the whole project, displaying a variety of sounds that will be used and called back upon throughout the EP and future releases,” the statement reads. “It ranges from hope to despair, longing to contentment, and shows where the project is capable of going.”

The polyrhythmic patters in the drumming, guitars and drums will appeal to fans of bands, such as Rush, Scale the Summit, and Dream Theater. Listeners can also compare the arrangement to works from the likes of Caligula’s Horse and Leprous to an equal degree.

Letters From A Lost SoulAct I: The World One Forms is scheduled for release Nov. 6. The EP’s track listing is noted below.

Track Listing:
1. Letters From A Lost Soul (0:53)
2. Wings (7:11)
3. Tailwind (3:55)
4. Octosun/Wings (Reprised) (9:54)
EP Length: 21:55

More information on Arcana’s new single and EP is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:



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Arch Echo’s New EP Is Sure To Help Continue Building The Band’s Fame

Courtesy: Earshot Media

Independent prog-metal band Arch Echo did not make its fans wait long for its latest release.  The band released its new EP Story I Friday.  The four-song record’s release comes less than two years after the release of its then most recent studio recording, its 2019 album You Won’t Believe What Happens Next!  The eight-song album was released April 24, 2019.  The band previewed its new EP last month when it premiered the video for the EP’s lead single, ‘To The Moon.’  That song and the rest of the record’s compositions come together to make the record so appealing.  The sequencing of the record’s songs adds to the EP’s appeal in its own way while the production puts the finishing touch to the record’s presentation.  All three items are in their own way, key to the EP’s presentation.  All things considered, they make the EP a work that will appeal to any prog-rock and metal fan.

Story I is a musical story that will appeal widely to fans of the prog-metal and rock realms.  That is due in part to the EP’s featured arrangements.  The arrangements in question lend themselves easily to comparisons to so much work from Dream Theater.  That is evident through the collective guitar work, drumming, keyboards and bass.  The sound created by the whole harkens back specifically to compositions created by Dream Theater during the mid and late 1990s.  At the same time, audiences could just as easily make comparisons to some works from Spock’s Beard.  The polyrhythmic patters presented throughout each work and the varied approaches give the songs their own unique identities separate from the works of the noted influences.  What’s more, the way the songs’ moods change within each work adds to their appeal.  Case in point is the duality presented in ‘Strut.  At times fiery, but still positive in its sound, and at others more relaxed, the song paints such a rich musical picture.  ‘To The Moon’ meanwhile hints at influences from not just Dream Theater, but also Scale The Summit, with its keyboards, bass, precise and percussive guitar work and equally precise time keeping.  The picture that it paints is just as vivid as that created through ‘Strut.’  ‘Measure of a Life’ meanwhile creates its own deep, moving musical environment through its own unique arrangement that is anchored through each band member’s performance equally.  The noted influences are there, and yet again, they still serve only as groundwork of sorts.  Not once do audiences have to worry about the band copying its influences here or in the EP’s other songs.  Keeping all of this in mind, the EP’s arrangements featured throughout this brief presentation make it a presentation that while short, is still engaging and entertaining in its own way.  They are collectively just one way in which the EP shows its strength.  The arrangements’ sequencing adds to the EP’s appeal.

As has already been noted, the arrangements featured in Story I show clear influence from a handful of Arch Echo’s more well-known prog-metal and prog-rock counterparts.  For all of that audible influence, the arrangements still present their own unique, enjoyable identities.  The sequencing of those original compositions builds on the foundation formed by those arrangements.  The record starts strong with its lead single/opener ‘To The Moon.’  The only point at which is necessarily pulls back even slightly comes in ‘Leonessa.’  It is important to note here that while the song does have plenty of more “relaxed” moments, those moments are entwined into some more high-energy moments throughout.  So the EP does pull back here, but not entirely.  The balance between the more energetic and reserved moments here make for a good “break point” of sorts for the EP.  It serves to break up the record and keep things interesting for listeners.  It is because of this moment that the EP’s finale, ‘Measure of a Life’ that much more impacting as the record’s closer.  When all of this is considered together, it leaves no doubt as to the importance of the EP’s sequencing.  When this aspect is considered along with the record’s arrangements, those two elements collectively make the record that much more appealing for listeners.  They are not the EP’s only key aspects.  Its production rounds out its most important elements.

The production that went into this record is important to note because so much is going on in each song.  Between the sometimes frenetic riffing and the precision in the time keeping, even with all of its flourishes, the harmonies in the bass line and the kinetic energy in the keyboard performances, each song boasts so much.  Considering how much is happening in each of the EP’s songs, it is clear that a lot of time and effort had to be put in to balance each performance within each song.  That painstaking effort paid off, too.  Each musician gets his own moment and attention within each song.  The end result here is a record that is just as engaging and appealing for its technical work behind the glass as for that in front of the boards.  It becomes a work that every prog-metal and prog-rock fan will enjoy.

Arch Echo’s new four-song EP Story I is a strong new presentation for the up-and-coming prog-metal outfit that is sure to help build the band’s reputation within the noted communities just as much as its predecessors.  That is proven in part through its arrangements.  The arrangements feature influences from some of the prog-metal and rock communities but that also maintain their own unique identities.  The sequencing of the noted arrangements builds on the foundation formed through the arrangements and makes the EP even more enjoyable.  The record’s production puts the finishing touch to the EP’s presentation and cements it that much more.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the EP. All things considered, they make the record a work that every prog-metal and rock fan should hear at least once if not more. 

More information on Arch Echo’s new EP is available along with all of the band’s latest news at

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Infinite Eve Debuts ‘2020’ Video

Infinite Eve debuted the video for its latest single this week.

The band debuted the video for its new instrumental single ‘2020‘ Tuesday.  Written and performed by Infinite Eve guitarist Paul Warren, the song also features a guest appearance by guitarist Any Wood (Scott Stapp, Rascal Flatts, Sebastian Bach).

The video’s visualization does its own share to engage audiences.  It features an eye whose color constantly changes, as well as what is believed to be Warren performing the song and various digital graphics.  throughout it all, the accents in the bars are echoed in a specific fashion, too.

Courtesy: O’Donnell Media Group

The song’s arrangement features a heavy yet controlled guitar riff that echoes the tensions felt by audiences this year.  The ethereal choral vocals and the subtle electronics and keyboards lend the arrangement to comparisons to works from the likes of Dream Theater and Devin Townsend.

More information on Infinite Eve’s new single, video and more is available online now at:






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Arch Echo Debuts ‘To The Moon Video’

Courtesy: Earshot Media

Independent prog-metal band Arch Echo debuted the video for its latest single this week.

The band debuted the video for its new single ‘To The Moon‘ Thursday.  The fully instrumental song is the lead single from the band’s forthcoming EP Story I, which is scheduled for release Oct. 2.  Its release will come less than a year after the release of the band’s most recent studio recording, You Won’t Believe What Happens Next!  The band released its self-titled debut album in 2016.

Arch Echo’s new video features its members — Richie Martinez (drums), Joe Calderone (bass), Joey Izzo (keyboards), Adam Rafowitz (guitar), and Adam Bentley (guitar) performing the song against a tunnel-like backdrop from various angles.  The song’s arrangement immediately lends itself to comparisons to works from Dream Theater.  Comparisons are also possible to fellow up-and-coming prog metal outfit The Dead Centuries and to the veteran prog-metal band Scale The Summit.

The single and video’s debut comes more than two months after the band debuted the video for its then latest single, ‘Stella.’

Izzo talked about the arrangement featured in ‘To The Moon’ during a recent interview.

“To the Moon is contagiously uplifting and a really fun sonic journey. The groovy part in the middle is a bit of a new adventure for us and then it ends with a huge keyboard solo that was a ton of fun to make. I’m really happy with how this one turned out!”

The track listing for Story I is noted below.

Story I track list

1. To The Moon – 4:13

2. Strut – 4:32

3. Leonessa – 5:02

4. Measure of a Life – 7:15

More information on Arch Echo’s new EP is available along with all of the band’s latest news at,

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Petrucci’s New Solo LP Was Worth The 15-Plus-Year Wait

Courtesy: Sound Mind Music/The Orchard

Prog-metal band Dream Theater’s members are some of the hardest working musicians in the music community today.  Front man James LaBrie has kept himself busy in the past with his Mullmuzzler project.  Keyboardist Jordan Rudess has released any number of solo albums throughout his professional career.  Bassist John Myung has recorded with the likes of Platypus, Gordian Knot, and Explorer’s Club.  Even famed former Dream Theater drummer and founder Mike Portnoy has kept himself constantly busy during and after his extensive tenure with the band, recording and performing with Winery Dogs, Yellow Matter Custard, Transatlantic, and countless other projects. Fellow former members Derek Sherinian and Kevin Shirley also have kept themselves constantly busy.  This weekend, longtime guitarist John Petrucci, who has kept himself busy in his own right, released his latest solo recording in the form of Terminal Velocity.  The nine-song instrumental record is a positive new offering from Petrucci whose last solo record Suspended Animation was released 15 years ago.  Its success comes from the fact that just as with that record, it shows the depth and breadth of his talents.  ‘Happy Song,’ the album’s third track is one of the songs that serves to support the noted statements.  It will be discussed shortly.  ‘Out of the Blue,’ which comes a little later in the record’s 55-minute run time does the same in its own fashion.  It will be addressed a little later.  Much the same can be said of ‘Snake in My Boot,’ the album’s penultimate track, as the other two songs noted here and many of the album’s other songs.  When those songs and the compositions addressed here are considered together, they make Terminal Velocity a welcome solo return for John Petrucci that is certain to find wide appeal.

John Petrucci’s sophomore solo album Terminal Velocity is a presentation from the famed guitarist that proves it was well worth the wait.  That is proven from the start to end of the nearly hour-long instrumental presentation.  One of the songs featured in this record that serves well to support the noted statements comes early in its run in the form of ‘Happy Song.’  ‘Happy Song’ is one of the most mainstream accessible works that Petrucci has ever crafted in his extensive career.  The six-minute opus opens with a driving, upbeat composition that is reminiscent of his work as a member of Liquid Tension Experiment, but then quickly shifts gears, transitioning into a more poppy punk rock vibe in its lead verse section.  The riff there is the kind of style that one would expect more from Sum 41, Blink-182 and other similar bands.  From there, the arrangement just as quickly shifts to a more ballad type work that is still catchy in its own right.  One could even argue that there is a touch of 80s hair metal infused into the sound in the chorus sections.  What is interesting about the whole of the song is that as much as these two stylistic approaches are unalike one another, they still blend so well here.  That is a testament to Petrucci’s talents as a musician and producer.  By the time the song ends, audiences will feel wholly fulfilled even despite the song’s length.  That in itself says a lot about the song and about Petrucci.  That he can take two sounds that are so starkly unalike one another and manage to make them work so solidly in one work and do so for six minutes is worthy of applause.  It definitely lives up to its title, as it will make any listener happy. To that end it is just one of the ways in which this album proves so impressive.  ‘Out of the Blue’ is another of the album’s strong points.

‘Out Of The Blue’ is a well-placed addition to Terminal Velocity.  It breaks up the high energy exhibited in the rest of the album’s songs.  It starts off with a nice bluesy approach akin to something one might expect from Joe Satriani, but then eases its way into an equally introspective work that is more along the lines of something that fits into Dream Theater’s 1997 album Falling Into Infinity.  Again, here is quite an interesting juxtaposition of styles, yet even with such a notable difference in sounds, the two styles manage to work so well alongside one another.  The end result is a work that is so unlike anything else featured on Terminal Velocity and that because of that difference shows even more why this album is well worth hearing.  It is just one more of the album’s most notable works.  ‘Snake in My Boot’ is yet another interesting addition to the album.

‘Snake in My Boot’ is distinct from so much of the material on Terminal Velocity just as much as ‘Out Of The Blue’ and ‘Happy Song.’  This time out, Petrucci offers audiences a song that is more deeply rooted in the hair metal of the 80s than anything progressive.  The opening bars, with their foot stomping, clapping and infectious guitar riff immediately conjure the noted thoughts.  That whole creates a fun vibe for listeners that will keep audiences fully engaged and entertained right to the song’s end.  The steady, solid time keeping, with its nonstop eighth note patterns and occasional flare from the cymbals enriches the song even more, as does the companion bass line.  The whole of all those elements paints so many pictures.  It goes without saying that this composition is one that will become a live favorite for audiences.  In fact, listening to the claps and foot stomping, one can immediately see an audience doing just that in person while Petrucci plays his riffs for the masses.  Keeping that in mind, that ability to pain such a rich musical picture and the ability to get stuck so easily in listeners’ minds while standing on its own merits makes clear why it is another important addition to Petrucci’s new album.  When it is considered along with the other songs addressed here and the rest of the album’s songs, the whole of the album becomes a work that though 15 years in the making, was well worth the wait.

More than 15 years passed between the release of John Petrucci’s new solo album Terminal Velocity Friday and its predecessor Suspended Animation.  Considering how busy Petrucci had kept himself in that time in his work with his band mates in Dream Theater, it comes as no surprise that so much time had passed.  Even with so much time having passed, this record shows that Petrucci had not lost his creative side by any means.  All three of the songs addressed here clearly support the noted statement.  Each song proves that Petrucci is more than just a talented prog-metal guitarist.  Rather, it shows the true depth and breadth of his talent.  From 80s hair metal to the blues to even pop punk and things in-between, the album shows Petrucci has quite the talent.  All things considered, this album shows once more why John Petrucci remains one of the elite guitarists in the music community in whole and why the this album was worth the wait.  It is available now.  More information on Terminal Velocity is available along with all of John Petrucci’s latest news at:









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