US - New York - Full Moon 34 - 07/28/99
Liquid Tension Experiment
Liquid Tension Experiment 2
Just plain sick. That's the short and easy way to describe these four
great musicians and the music they make.
Guitarist John Petrucci and drummer Mike Portnoy, both of Dream
Theater. Keyboardist Jordan Rudess, who has joined Dream Theater
after recording this disc. And bass legend Tony Levin, the reason why
you move your feet when you listen to a Peter Gabriel song. They all got
together to record a "supergroup" project for Magna Carta Records, and
the first L.T.E. CD, released March last year, was a success both
musically and commercially. The hard, progressive instrumental music
went over well, it seems!
So they got together again last autumn, to see if they could repeat the
experiment. Did they ever!
Kicking off with Acid Rain, the guys show the listener no
mercy whatsoever, no warning, they just let it rip right away. Fast, wild,
furious. John Petrucci in particular gets a workout here, and as he writes in
the liner notes, it's some of his fastest playing ever. Which brings me to
an important point about Liquid Tension Experiment: There's no law
against showing that you know how to play your instrument. They make
absolutely no excuses about it.
This doesn't mean that the CD is a 74-minute shred-fest, though.
There are quieter moments to be found. Even within the framework of a
heavy number like Another Dimension there is room for some
acoustic guitar - and a nice keyboard solo with an accordion sound! The
ending though, is one of the heaviest pieces of music they've ever
When the Water Breaks is another interesting track, which
goes through a lot of changes during the 17 minutes it lasts. Some really
wild riffs with about 200 different twists and turns, and lots of jamming
and soloing makes it interesting throughout the entire song.
There are some slower paced stuff towards the end of the CD.
Liquid Dreams is an improvised jam that shows the four musicians
taking a slightly slower approach to things - "Yes we can play slowly!"
And finishing off the CD is Hourglass - a beautiful
Rudess/Petrucci duet that rounds out the collection of songs in a lovely
way, making sure that you're not completely exhausted. You're ready to
go one more time!
Copyright © 1999 Kentil'zha