John Petrucci - Terminal Velocity - Album Review - Progressive Rock / Metal from New York, USA

John Petrucci - Terminal Velocity - Album Review - Progressive Rock / Metal from New York, USA
John Petrucci - Terminal Velocity - Album Review - Progressive Rock / Metal from New York, USA

Today, I have the privilege of reviewing the second solo album from the legendary composer and guitarist of Dream Theater, John Petrucci. In this article, I delve into his electrifying album, 'Terminal Velocity,' exploring its character, style, story, potential, and more.

After a 15-year hiatus since the release of 'Suspended Animation,' John Petrucci returns with 'Terminal Velocity.' Collaborating with two iconic musicians, Mike Portnoy (Ex-Dream Theater, Transatlantic, Winery Dogs, Sons Of Apollo) on drums and Dave LaRue (Dixie Dregs, Flying Colors) on bass, this album is a testament to Petrucci's enduring talent.

John Petrucci has long been one of my musical heroes, admired for his exceptional musicianship, distinctive personality, and innovative thinking. My musical journey began with the discovery of Metallica in fifth grade, but it was Dream Theater that opened another window of perspective, forever changing my life. As I continue to make music, write about music, and work in the music industry, I owe a great debt of gratitude to them. Growing up, I listened to Dream Theater, watched their mesmerizing live performances such as 'Metropolis 2000: Scenes From New York,' and practiced guitar while immersed in 'Rock Discipline.' I even sold my Ltd Explorer guitar and acquired an Ibanez in high school because I was so inspired by John. He has always served as an example of a true artist, a mentor, and a guiding force in my musical journey. The period when Mike Portnoy, John Petrucci, Kevin Moore, and John Myung were together will forever hold a special place in my heart. Perhaps it was their overall energy and the excitement they channeled through their music at the time. They were young, passionate, playing like no one else, creating phenomenal music, and exuding an undeniable aura of coolness (especially Mike Portnoy, with his long hair and old-school thrash metal tank tops in the "Lie" music video).

Throughout my extensive musical experience, I have come to appreciate the irreplaceable chemistry that occurs when true musical partners play together. Just as the right chemistry with a partner can create magic in the bedroom, a similar chemistry exists between musicians. I am fascinated to witness the reunion of my all-time favorite heroes, Mike Portnoy and John Petrucci, since Mike's departure from Dream Theater on September 8th, 2010.

'Terminal Velocity' is a phenomenal album featuring nine highly progressive songs. John Petrucci fearlessly experiments with a blend of ideas from early-prog, modern-prog, blues, traditional rock, flamenco/Spanish guitar, and country-rock music. The overall mood of the album is uplifting and positive, reflecting John's desire to offer a sense of hope during these challenging times. Even before watching his interview with Ola Englund, I sensed that this positivity had become a defining characteristic of John's music. His well-deserved happy life naturally shines through his music.

My personal favorite track on the album is the fourth song, "Gemini," due to its captivating diversity. It seamlessly blends old-school progressive rock elements with technical intricacies, evoking nostalgia for classic Dream Theater compositions like "A Change of Seasons," "Voices," and "Erotomania." John delivers a beautiful melodic solo that showcases his prowess as one of the greatest guitarists in history. His ability to infuse his playing with emotion and melody sets him apart. Additionally, the incorporation of Spanish guitar and flamenco elements adds depth to the composition. "Gemini" perfectly exemplifies the album's collective instrumentation, offering a dynamic yet emotionally charged experience, particularly in the powerful-sounding sections (intro and outro) and the soulful beauty of John's solo (1:47).

Throughout the album, the harmonious collaboration between John and Mike transported me back to my childhood, reviving cherished memories from Dream Theater's "Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence" and "Metropolis Pt.2: Scenes from a Memory" eras. Whether it was the overall vibe, the riffage, the patterns, the energy, or the ebb and flow of the songs, each moment forged a powerful connection with the listener, evoking a beautiful sense of nostalgia.

From a technical standpoint, 'Terminal Velocity' upholds excellent standards. Despite the challenges posed by COVID-19, John Petrucci, Mike Portnoy, and Dave LaRue were unable to rehearse together before recording the album. However, their unparalleled musicianship transcends such obstacles. In my opinion, this album sounds flawless. The production achieves a perfect blend and balance, with the guitars rightfully taking the spotlight.

Considering everything mentioned above, I am ecstatic to have a new record from John Petrucci. 'Terminal Velocity' is undoubtedly one of the brightest highlights in this tumultuous year. I extend my heartfelt gratitude to John Petrucci, Mike Portnoy, and Dave LaRue for their dedication in creating this album amidst such difficult circumstances. Special thanks to John and Mike for rekindling the spirit of old-school Dream Theater, taking us fans on a nostalgic journey. It is also exciting to anticipate the forthcoming Liquid Tension Experiment project, which promises to be legendary.

In conclusion, the Metalhead Community Team wholeheartedly congratulates John Petrucci on his musical masterpiece, 'Terminal Velocity.' Thank you for taking the time to read my review.

John Petrucci - Terminal Velocity

Terminal Velocity was written and produced by John Petrucci
Guitars: John Petrucci (Dream Theater)
Drums: Mike Portnoy (Transatlantic, Winery Dogs, Sons Of Apollo)
Bass: Dave LaRue (Dixie Dregs, Flying Colors)
Recorded by James ‘Jimmy T’ Meslin
Mixed and mastered by Andy Sneap (Judas Priest, Killswitch Engage, Arch Enemy)
The artwork was created by Sean M. Smith at Echo Designlab (Stone Sour, Hollywood Undead, In This Moment)


Official Website
Stream/Buy Terminal Velocity

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