Liquid Tension Experiment 2
LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT

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LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT - Liquid Tension Experiment 2 cover
3.96 | 33 ratings | 6 reviews
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Album · 1999

Filed under Progressive Metal

Tracklist

1. Acid Rain (6:36)
2. Biaxident (7:41)
3. 914 (4:01)
4. Another Dimension (9:50)
5. When The Water Breaks (16:57)
6. Chewbacca (13:35)
7. Liquid Dreams (10:50)
8. Hourglass (4:25)

Total Time 73:57

Line-up/Musicians

- Mike Portnoy / drums, percussion
- Jordan Rudess / keyboards, effects
- Tony Levin / bass, Chapman stick
- John Petrucci / guitars

About this release

Released by Magna Carta.

Thanks to andyman1125, Lynx33 for the updates

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LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT 2 reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

Warthur
Opting to call their second album "Liquid Tension Experiment 2" rather than give it a distinctive title was a sound call on the part of Liquid Tension Experiment, because like so many sequels the album is just like its predecessor, only more so.

On the plus side, there's no equivalent here of the extremely long Three Minute Warning improvisation from the first disc; all the music on here seems much more composed and there's little sign of the band just jamming away simply to fill up the CD. So if you wanted to love the first album but found yourself hitting "stop" as Three Minute Warning began you'll probably enjoy this one from beginning to end.

On the other hand, what's left is much the same as the composed material on the previous album - very technically flashy, little emotional depth or substance. If you're cool with that, add another star.
Stooge
Some sequels are right up there (if not higher) than the original: The Godfather Part 2, T2: Judgement Day, The Empire Strikes Back. LTE 2 is something of a sequel, and while I don’t think this one tops the first LTE, it can definitely stands proudly beside it.

Right off the bat, we get “Acid Rain”, which is probably heavier than any song that was on their previous album in spite of the constant presence of various keyboard sounds. One thing that I noticed immediately was a riff that repeats in the last few minutes of the track that sounds similar to Al Di Meola’s “Race With The Devil On Spanish Highway”.

“Biaxident” revisits a bit of that Dregs/Kansas progressive rock territory the band touched on greatly in the debut album. Rudess’ keys give this composition most of its colour. “914” has hints of 80’s fusion music in the tone and phrasing of Rudess’ playing. This fades into “Another Dimension”, which is one of the LTE songs that most reminds me of what Dream Theater does. In the more minimal riffing sections, Labrie’s vocals wouldn’t sound too foreign on top, but he’s got his own side projects to worry about.

While the debut only had “3 Minute Warning” to push casual listener’s patience, this album has a total of 3 tracks that push past the 10-minute mark. “When The Water Breaks” begins as a delicate number. The members soon deviate a bit spin off their exercises of skill, and the pacing of the track picks up speed as it moves on. “Chewbacca” does not quite bring the Wookie to mind, nor is it epic like the movies he starred in. I’d say it’s the least memorable track on this album despite the awesome name. Fortunately, with “Liquid Dreams” and album concluder “Hourglass”, both tracks that are on the softer side, the album ends on a bit of an upswing.

One thing that disappoints me with this one is that while the Petrucci-Portnoy-Rudess trio built on their already solid chemistry (all now DT members at this time), it seems like Tony Levin’s presence is reduced to some degree. While you can hear him throughout most of the album, the volume isn’t at the level it was on the debut (aside from on “914” and the few parts that make more liberal use of his skills). I also preferred his tone on the debut (in this case, a minor complaint), but this may account for my perceived differences in volume.

I very much consider LTE 2 to be a natural follow-up to their first album, and think this too is a rather good instrumental rock/metal record. The first gets the edge in terms of composition, but this follow up tops it in the increased willingness to experiment.
Phonebook Eater
After the disappointing and, honestly, boring debut, side project Liquid Tension Experiment come back one year later with an excellent album, surprisingly.

While the first album was all technical virtuosity with absolutely no feelings, this album, even though it still exaggerates sometimes with the solos, is much more eclectic, intelligent, and with a more melodic section, and, I must say, much more cool sounding. Many moments are truly unforgettable, like the firing "Acid Rain", or the dynamic and epic "Another Dimension".

Actually, this album has everything an instrumental prog metal album should have: melody, but with interesting and catchy arrangements( the two mentioned songs, "914") long, strongly build songs,("When The Water Breaks") calm moments,("Hourglass", most of "Biaxident") weird, and creepy atmospheres ("Chewbacca"). "LTE 2" is indeed a huge melting pot of prog metal elements.

But I must admit, sometimes they go a little too far, especially in the long "When The Water Breaks", or even "Liquid Dreams", not so appealing as the others. Certainly, it could have been a little better, but the second effort of Portnoy, Petrucci, Rudess and Levin together as a group is definitely to consider and to admire.

Members reviews

Dellinger
The second Liquid Tension Experiment album is a very similar affair to their first one, though this one only has one of those soft ballad kind of songs, it mainly has the full blown Prog Metal songs, and the improv ones. Once again I like better the metal ones, since I'm not so fond of improvs. However, my very favourite songs here, and the main reason to have this album, are "Acid Rain", and "Another Dimension", which are really spectacular. "Acid Raind" kind of reminds me of "Paradigm Shift" from the previous album, and "Another Dimension" is just heavy and excellent, with even an accordion section near the end of the song, which if not done righty would totally ruin the song, but in this case it's just great. The other great metal song would be the epic "When the Water Breaks", which is indeed very good, but perhaps a bit overlong and not as tight as the previous ones. And "Biaxident" would be for me the more boring (and softer) of the metal songs, though it still has some very good moments.

As I said, I'm not particularly a big fan of improvs, but I still can enjoy them, and this ones are rather nice, particularly "Chewbacca", which has a very nice hard rock riff. Not much more to say about then anyway. And the album ends with the only straight ballad, which once again is nice but nothing that I really crave to listen to.
Earendil
Liquid Tension Experiment blows their first album out of the water with their second release by creating one of the best instrumental rock albums of all time. While there are some tracks that are technically impressive progressive metal reminiscent of Dream Theater, overall, the album is groove after groove of eclectic, jazz-influenced rock. All the musicians are world-class, and LTE2 contains some of their best jams as a group. The first few tracks are primarily shorter progressive metal songs with various other influences mixed in, while the last few compositions are mostly longer jams. All of the tracks fit together perfectly in terms of balance on the album; there are enough catchy riffs and grooves to balance the more abstract sections of the longer tracks. It's a rare occurrence that an album can be extremely catchy and memorable while at the same time being technically mind-blowing and compositionally moving. However, Liquid Tension Experiment manages to bring all of these factors to levels of near perfection in their second release and pushes musical boundaries farther into new territory.

Rating: 9/10
Valarius
Liquid Tension Experiment 2 reunites John Petrucci, Jordan Rudess, Mike Portnoy and Tony Levin to do what they better than anyone else.

Fans of the first LTE album should know what to expect here, and should in no way feel disappointed with what is on offer. In fact, the first thing I noticed about this album is how much more 'complete' it feels than the first. That's not to put down the LTE1 album, but there is less improvising and 'random' songs (such as the Kevin & Chris Adventure one) and more full sounding songs, for example, the instant classic ‘Acid Rain’, ‘Biaxident’, ‘Another Dimension’ and the mind-boggling ‘When the Water Breaks’.

Of course this album isn't without its low points. Where the first five songs are pretty much musical masterpieces in my opinion, the last three songs are kind of dull and boring, which is a shame because at the rate of the first half of the record, it was definitely headed for five stars.

As you would expect with a group that mostly consists of Dream Theater members, the musicianship here is beyond words, in fact I believe the saying is 'often imitated, never duplicated'.

This is definitely an album for Dream Theater fans, and also people who just like to hear amazing instrumentals. I don't think it's better or worse than its predecessor, but of the two albums, if you're looking to check the band out I would definitely recommend this album first.

Ratings only

  • floflo79
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  • MetalMirror
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  • Colt
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  • Lynx33
  • kogaionon
  • sauromat
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  • Zarahuztra
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