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Liquid Tension Experiment - 90%

Morgoths_Bane, July 9th, 2007

Four inexplicably talented artists merge their skill and experience to create an incredibly mesmerising band, aptly named Liquid Tension Experiment. John Petrucci, the guitarist. Jordan Rudess – the mastermind keyboardist, Mike Portnoy – the percussion machine and last but not least Tony Levin – the bassist. Three of the four men mentioned here are part of the legendary progressive metal group Dream Theater. The band/experiment/musical collaboration created is an instrumental band, no vocals; there is no need of course because the music they create is enough to captivate the mind.

Dream Theater are a band who have had their ups and downs. But one thing that has remained the same all throughout their existence is the inclusion of lengthy solos, by each member of the band, save James Labrie. The man cant sing for too long. Furthermore, every solo is pitch perfect, every riff, every note is just perfect and spot on. This quality they have carried forward to Liquid Tension Experiment and then added some more to it.

This is the first album recorded by Liquid Tension Experiment. One of two releases they ever did. Produced and recorded in a week, it is a remarkable achievement in terms of music. Liquid Tension Experiment is not just a band, it is a way for these guys to say, we are not just good, we are awesome, and we can create music which is better than the best.

Right, onto the music. This record has 13 tracks. The first 8 are just one off tracks, but tracks no. 9-13 are part of a 30 minute musical masterpiece, called Three Minutes Warning. All the tracks are highly reflective of the guys talent, and you wont find any track on here which isnt full of musical chaos. There are riffs flying everywhere. The amalgamation and harmony of the members is just astonishing. The production, clarity and overall feel of the music is of the highest order.

Paradigm Shift has probably the most explosive start to any album I have ever laid my hands on. That energy and madness is continued for the next 9 minutes and then comes the first filler, Osmosis, a mellow, soft track, with no real riffs, feels a bit like heaven. Kindred Spirits is another song with a mixture of everything, softer bits to really heavy riffs. Freedom of Choice has one of the best performances but Rudess, and as ever Petrucci’s there to join him. Track 8 Universal Mind is another compilation of excellent riffs, beautiful keyboards and ultra cool drumming. This track kinda slows down and then picks up again towards the end. But all these tracks are just appetisers before the grand finale. And what finish it is to an amazing record. The 28 minutes of my life spent listening to Three Minutes Warning were absolutely exhilarating. Each and every part is a masterpiece in itself. Part 1 starts it off, nothing great about it. But the subsequent parts are so awesome. My favourite has to be Part 2, starts off where Part 1 leaves (duh), some cool riffage, and some cool drum work, but it really kicks off towards the end. Its like Petrucci and Portnoy have a competition, who can go the fastest, without fucking it up. And neither of them does.

There are quite a fillers in this album, some necessary, to change the pace of the music, some quite unnecessary, for. e.g, Chris and Kevin’s Excellent Adventure. O_o, this track is clearly not a part of this album. State of Grace is a another waste of time, really soft and boring.

The production, clarity and overall feel of the music are of the highest order.
Three Minute Warning is an excellent end to an excellent album, and if you do have the fortune of coming across it, I would advice you to give it try, just to listen to some awesome awesome Hyper Wankery.