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Liquid Tension Experiment - Liquid Tension Experiment 2 CD (album) cover


Liquid Tension Experiment


Progressive Metal

4.10 | 582 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars A series of well thought through jam sessions with jazzy, proggy and metal bits

Seven months after releasing their relatively successful debut album, Mike Portnoy decides to once again summon the legendary bassist Tony Levin, the keyboard virtuoso Jordan Rudess and his fellow bandmate and guitarist John Petrucci to record another album in a week for the Liquid Tension Experiment project, that would be known later as Liquid Tension Experiment 2. This time, however, the songs took much longer to be composed and recorded because, in the early stages of rehearsing, jamming and composing, John Petrucci's daughter was born, and that made him be outside the studio for a wile.

With more time in their hands to rehearsal, jam and compose, the trio Rudess, Levin and Portnoy came up with a lot of material that would be reworked or used as the base for other songs. That, for one side, is very good because the songs in this album seem to be better structured, making the album sound more like something that was completely finished, that was well thought through, that was prepared to be the best thing possible. For the other side, however, the project lost its meaning partially, because it was meant to be something raw and completely spontaneous, and that spontaneity was partially lost because they had more time to prepare their material. I mean, they recorded the songs between October and November of 98, so they had much more time to do things.

This Liquid Tension Experiment album, much like the first one, blended essentially 3 different music genres: jazz fusion, progressive rock and metal, but here we have more than only those. A considerable dosage of latin music and, in a smaller degree, folk music were added to the mix, making this album even more different. Also, the jazz element is stronger in this album than it was in Liquid Tension Experiment 1. Still comparing both Liquid Tension Experiment albums, the second one have a considerable darker atmosphere than the first one and sounds, overall, heavier, maybe due to the darker mood.

At first i was going to make a list of the highlights of the album, but then i realized that the whole album is just very very good, so i will say that every song of this album is great and deserve equal attention.

On a side note, i would like to say that this album was also very important to do Dream Theater, as it was during the recording sessions of this album that John Petrucci and Mike Portnoy asked for Jordan Rudess to be a full-time member of Dream Theater, and this time he accepted. With Jordan as a full-time member of the band Dream Theater started a new phase that continues until today. However, Dream Theater present production is definitely not as good as this first 3 years with Jordan Rudess were (97-99).

Grade and Final Thoughts

What a great album! The original Liquid Tension Experiment studio albums never cease to amaze me every time i listen them. Great songs, great musicianship and, SPECIALLY, originality make both albums great albums. Though i personally like the first one better, the second album is definitely not far behind. Its only flaw, to me, is that it lack the freshness and spontaneity of the first album, but the first one still have its drawbacks. But do the better finished songs make up to it? Sure they do, and that is why i am giving this album a perfect score: it is a freaking amazing series of well thought through jam sessions.

CCVP | 5/5 |


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