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Levin - Minnemann - Rudess - LMR CD (album) cover


Levin - Minnemann - Rudess


Heavy Prog

4.04 | 123 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer
5 stars I'm just going to throw down the gauntlet here: Levin Minnemann Rudess is one of the best instrumental prog experiences you'll ever hear ... and it's a travesty that this album has been kept a secret for years since its release. How am I only the third reviewer!? Well I hope that changes in a hurry, because this is one of the best musical discoveries I've experienced for a long time.

Not that it was much of a gamble, really. Come on, Tony Levin is legendary for a reason. Jordon Rudess is like keyboard wizard (stifled now for years in Dream Theatre), and Minnemann is a drumming journeyman whose probably played with groups or artists currently in your collection. Getting them together is a sure-fire win, but probably not at the level you maybe assume ... it's better.

This record really is one of the best instrumental prog releases I've ever heard. You can compare it to Liquid Tension Experiment, but while that project (also featuring Levin and Rudess) was also heavy on Petrucci guitar and improvisation, Levin Minnemann Rudess is a meticulously crafted technical masterwork. These guys have instrumental chops that are mind-blowing, and are put on display with a very high level of songwriting finesse and ambition. You'll have a lot of fun with these tunes.

It would be difficult to go through individual songs, because they're so twisty-crazy and diverse, but suffice to say this release is modern heavy-prog that features huge riffs, timbre that ranges from manic to mellow, and improvisational highlights throughout. Tony Levin's playing is sharp, creative, and personality-filled. There really is no one that sounds quite like him; bravo Tony for continuing a 30-year streak of excellence. Rudess is like a knight in shining armor for me. I've loved his playing since I first him on 6 Degrees of Inner Turbulence, but his contributions to the mediocrity of Dream Theater had me pretty much writing him off - but holy cow does he cook here. The man carries much of the melodies throughout this album, and brings tremendous energy and charm to the songs. Minnemann also impresses by shifting between the tracks' numerous style and time changes with ease. Very technical; very hip. Exceptional work across the board.

How this record has gone undiscovered here on the Archives is beyond me, but I hope everyone reading this checks it out and supports this group's collaboration. I'm rounding up to a 5-star because there really hasn't been anything quite like this for a while, and it's just excellent. A first-rate instrumental experience!

Songwriting: 4 - Instrumental Performances: 5 - Lyrics/Vocals: NA - Style/Emotion/Replay: 4

Prog Leviathan | 5/5 |


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