REVIEW: After Two Decades, Liquid Tension Experiment Are Back With New Album, ‘LTE3’

A long time coming, see how the Supergroup have resurfaced with the most highly anticipated Progressive Metal album of recent years.

Following an extensive wait spanning over twenty years, Prog fans across the globe were left stunned last December by the announced reform and upcoming album of Metal Supergroup, Liquid Tension Experiment.

Comprising of John Petrucci (Dream Theater), Tony Levin (King Crimson), Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater) and Mike Portnoy (ex-Dream Theater/Avenged Sevenfold), it comes as no surprise that the final product results in a whirlwind of technicality quite unlike anything else on the scene.

Albeit an unattainable level of expectations to meet given a twenty-two-year hiatus, LTE3, as a whole delivers exactly what was expected from the band with a sense of ease. 

Nowhere is this distinctive edge seen better than in the first thirty seconds of the album’s opening track, aptly titled ‘Hypersonic’. Convoluted, incomprehensibly technical and yet still perfectly condensed, the band hold back no punches when it comes to immediately delivering the sound fans crave most. 

‘Passage Of Time’ and ‘Key To The Imagination’ help provide this signature sound with even more clarity. Toying with moments of both simple elegance and intense showboating, the dramatic shifts explored throughout these tracks delivers the precision and uniformity that could only be created by LTE.

Yet, despite the band’s initial loyalty to their original sound, that isn’t to say that they are reluctant to broaden their horizons throughout the new release.

Conveying a newfound sense of direction throughout the remaining tracks, whilst LTE3 may not be the bands strongest release, their new approach to the genre showcases the unique dynamic between the members- a sound that could only be achieved from years of experience.

For instance, ‘Liquid Evolution’ and Petrucci/Rudess ballad, ‘Shades of Hope’, both stand as potentially the band’s most unique and stunning releases to date.

Somewhat shying away from the exorbitant layering of instruments and unlimited amounts of shred, the two tracks instead opt for an emotion-driven, sombre route rarely touched upon throughout the band’s discography. 

As a whole, for the most part the band remain devoted to their origins and are certain to meet the lengthy list of expectations from those anticipating the release. However, it appears to be the moments of nuance and authenticity that prevail strongest throughout LTE3.

Proving to be more than their infamous montage of shred and technicality, new elements of heart-rendering simplicity come as a welcome change to the band’s sound. Still drenched in dexterity as a result of their synchronised rhythms, LTE have discovered a new element of intrigue in their already distinctive discography; raising questions for the future of the supergroup and formulating a new approach to the 70s-inspired Prog genre.

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LTE3 is out now and available on all major streaming platforms.

What are your thoughts on the album? Let us know via the comment section!

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