It doesn't often happen that a one-off project the likes of Liquid Tension Experiment (with John Petrucci and Mike Portnoy of Dream Theater, Jordan Rudess of the Rudess/Morgenstein Project and Tony Levin of King Crimson and countless others) gets a chance to be a two-off project. Thankfully (if there's a god, he loves progressive music!) that is exactly what happened.

LTE 2 features 70+ minutes of instrumental music that's guarenteed to get any prog's rocks off. It kicks right off with a hard-core, fast, progrock anthem in the form of the sickening "Acid Rain" (sickening, that is, if you're an aspirant musician yourself). There's "Biaxident", for example, which seems like a bunch of songs thrown together in one, including a latin-inspired section and an ending like the better Yes songs. There's the insanely heavy "Another Dimension", reminiscent of a Dream Theater instrumental, featuring a decidedly odd harmonica/reggae section and what appear to be a lot of meter changes (or so I read in the liner notes, I don't really spot that kind of thing myself, I just liked it). And there's the epic, nearly 17-minute ear-pleaser, "When the Water Breaks". Some of John Petrucci's most beautiful guitar work is in here, and Portnoy lays down some positively baffling drumming tracks.

The first Liquid Tension Experiment album had a few odd-ball songs. You won't find them on LTE 2. Instead, they seem to have been replaced by a few below-par tunes that didn't succeed to fascinate me after all that prog onslaught of the first 5 tracks. Especially the last 15 minutes seem unfocused, and prevent the album from attaining a full-blast five bullet rating. There's still about an hour of excellent stuff on this CD, though :-)

Even though a few of the final songs fail to captivate unequivocally, I think it's a miracle that a couple of musicians can produce such amazing music in such a short time - again. Hats off to the band members, and to Magna Carta for once more allowing these talented people the chance to show the world what they're capable of.

Click here to check out or buy this CD at 30% off!



Written June 1999


Go to the Official Dream Theater Web Site (from where I purloined the above LTE2 banner logo)

Go to the Official Jordan Rudess Web Site

Go to the Official Tony Levin Web Site

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