DREAM THEATER Guitarist JOHN PETRUCCI Releases Animated Video For Solo Track “Temple Of Circadia” With Drummer MIKE PORTNOY


In October 2020, Dream Theater guitarist John Petrucci released his second all-instrumental solo album, Terminal Velocity. This is his first solo album in 15 years. He released an animated video for the last track on the disc, “Temples Of Circadia”.

Terminal Velocity was written and produced by John Petrucci, recorded by James ‘Jimmy T’ Meslin and mixed and mastered by Andy Sneap (Judas Priest, Killswitch Engage, Arch Enemy). Artwork was created by Sean M. Smith at Echo Designlab (Stone Sour, Hollywood Undead, In This Moment).

The album sees the return of bassist Dave LaRue (Dixie Dregs, Flying Colors) who played on John’s first solo album and subsequent G3 tours, as well as a much-anticipated reunion with former Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy ( Transatlantic, Winery Dogs, Sons of Apollo). “It was great to bring Dave back to play bass on this album. He’s such a monster player who can handle anything you throw at him with taste and unparalleled musicianship. His melodic approach to basslines as well as impeccable technique and groove for days really stand out on these tracks.

Portnoy’s appearance on Terminal Velocity marks the guitarist and his former bandmate’s first recording in over a decade and the first since Portnoy left the band in 2010. “Having Mike play drums on this record was really special to me and he did an absolutely amazing job navigating the different styles and technical challenges that my music presented in a way that only he can do. It was very cathartic for both of us, I think, to playing music together again after all these years and it was really great!Mike’s fiery, intuitive and energetic playing really helped elevate these new songs to a level that I couldn’t be happier with.

The video for “Terminal Velocity” can be seen below. John Petrucci on track and video: “Terminal Velocity was actually the first new song I wrote for the album when I entered the studio in March of this year. It stemmed from one of the many ideas and seeds I had collected over the past few years. I literally started with the opening motif and built the rest of the song from there. I think it’s a great debut single and it represents some of the different stylistic aspects of this record that I wanted to explore as a guitarist; The melodic/thematic side, the riffing side and the shred side.

“Both Mike and Dave did an amazing job of bringing this song to life, with all the energy they injected while recording their performances.

“The video was created by Wayne Joyner who directed all promotional videos for Dream Theater’s Distance Over Time album as well as all visuals for the 2019/2020 DT Live Tour including all updated video content by Scenes From A Memory. The follow-up footage of me, Dave, and Mike in the studio has a sort of gaming vibe while Wayne did his magic adding some amazing 3D graphics and special visual effects to help tell a story. I think the end result is a really unique and engaging video that captures the energy of the song and definitely does the first single justice. Really excited for people to see and hear this!

In early March 2020, as the global COVID-19 pandemic relentlessly wreaked havoc around the world and particularly in New York City, John began working on the music that would compose Terminal Velocity at DT’s headquarters in Long Island with the engineer Jimmy T at the helm. “All of DT’s tours for the rest of the year have been canceled or postponed and although I had already planned to start the project this spring, I suddenly found myself with many unplanned months at home. Jimmy T and me was going to DTHQ 5 days a week for about 2 and a half months and as I was writing and building the new material he was there capturing everything and turning it into a record Initially we programmed the drums and shared bass playing responsibilities just to get the ideas to a place where they sounded like complete, cohesive songs, but we still anticipate that the ‘ongoing’ drums and bass would eventually be replaced.”

Terminal Velocity’s nine songs showcase John’s affinity for writing tightly woven guitar instrumental powerhouses that feature everything from monster riff breaks to passion-filled melodic themes worthy of movie soundtracks, to the extravaganzas of shredding that make the listener feel like they’ve just walked off a thrilling musical roller coaster ride. “Just like the songs on my debut solo album, Suspended Animation, I wanted the new tracks to really show who I am as a gamer and give an up-to-date representation of where I am musically and what I’m into. I like to express myself on the instrument. It’s about capturing the attitude of the performances and of course, as always, capturing the tone that I’ve worked so hard over the years to develop and refine.

Although some of the songs that make up Terminal Velocity were actually written quite a long time ago and even performed live but never properly recorded, over half of the album’s content is new music that John has created. in the studio during quarantine. “I believe making this record when I made it really helped me maintain a sense of stability and normalcy during such a crazy time in our history.” “It was encouraging for me and my family to embrace something so hopeful and positive as we faced a very uncertain future in the music industry and in the world and for that, I’m really grateful that music is such a big part of my life.”

Track list:

“Terminal Velocity”
“The Oddfather”
“Happy Song”
“From nowhere”
“Glass-Eyed Zombies”
“The Way Things Fall”
“Snake in My Boot”
“Temple of Circadia”

(Photo – Larry DiMarzio)

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