LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT
Progressive Metal • United States

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Liquid Tension Experiment was an instrumental progressive rock/metal project consisting of Dream Theater members John Petrucci (guitar), Jordan Rudess (keyboard), and Mike Portnoy (drums), as well as progressive rock icon Tony Levin (bass, Chapman stick) of King Crimson. The combo was formed as a side project to Dream Theater in 1997. Rudess was asked to join the band largely because of the success of the Liquid Tension Experiment; Mike Portnoy mentioned it in the introduction of the "Liquid Drum Theater" instructional DVD and in the Score Documentary. Jordan Rudess had previously declined the offer to join in 1994, instead becoming a member of the Dixie Dregs. The band played fast, fusion-based pieces similar to those of Dream Theater, if somewhat more jazzy, less orchestral, more virtuosity, and (almost entirely) devoid of vocals.

Liquid Tension Experiment released two albums, Liquid Tension Experiment (1998) and Liquid Tension Experiment 2 (1999). A third album,
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Liquid Tension Experiment 2Liquid Tension Experiment 2
Magna Carta 1999
Audio CD$10.05
$6.18 (used)
Liquid Tension Experiment 1Liquid Tension Experiment 1
Magna Carta 1998
Audio CD$9.88
$3.97 (used)
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Magna Carta
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Import · Remastered
King Japan 2011
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Magna Carta
Audio CD$38.14
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VICTOR JAPAN
Audio CD$88.92
$0.86 (used)
Vol. 2-Liquid Tension ExperimentVol. 2-Liquid Tension Experiment
2004
Audio CD$62.59
$20.00 (used)
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LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT Discography

LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 3.51 | 33 ratings
Liquid Tension Experiment
Progressive Metal 1998
.. Album Cover 3.95 | 31 ratings
Liquid Tension Experiment 2
Progressive Metal 1999
.. Album Cover 2.06 | 7 ratings
Spontaneous Combustion
Progressive Metal 2007

LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT EPs & splits

LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT live albums

.. Album Cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Live In NYC
Progressive Metal 2009
.. Album Cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Live In LA
Progressive Metal 2009
.. Album Cover 2.00 | 1 ratings
When The Keyboard Breaks: Live In Chicago
Progressive Metal 2009

LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT boxset & compilations

.. Album Cover 2.69 | 4 ratings
Mike Portnoy: Prime Cuts
Progressive Metal 2005
.. Album Cover 3.67 | 4 ratings
LTE Live 2008
Progressive Metal 2009

LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT singles (0)

LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
3.00 | 1 ratings
Live In NYC
Progressive Metal 2009
.. Album Cover
3.00 | 1 ratings
Live In LA
Progressive Metal 2009

LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT Reviews

LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT Liquid Tension Experiment 2

Album · 1999 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
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.

LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT Liquid Tension Experiment

Album · 1998 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Dellinger
This would almost be a Dream Theater instrumental release, and a very good one too. However, when it was released, it wasn't so close to DT's sound at the time, but it did give a hint of things to come once Jordan Rudess joined the band (mainly faster and and crazier keyboards than before, and somewhat less atmospheric). I guess this album can be divided in three kind of songs:

The metal proggy songs, which are by far the ones I enjoy the most, being my very favourite one "Paradigm Shift", which would resume what I like best of this album. In this category also fit "Kindred Spirits", "Freedom of Speech", and "Universal Mind".

Then there are the soft and light hearted songs, kind of included to give you a moment of breath after the other frenetic songs. I'm not really particularly fond of this songs, but they are still enjoyable.

And last is the "Three Minute Warning" songs, or song. This ones are mainly a long 30 + min improvisation jam. Now, I'm not really the biggest fan of improvs, mainly becaus it shows they could use a bit more work to polish them, and they hardly ever have strong melodies, and this one is not the exception, but it is still very enjoyable too, and anyone who is really fond of them should really give this one a listen.

I go with 4 stars with this, mainly because I find the metal songs really great, but the rest are just good, but not essential in my book.

LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT Liquid Tension Experiment 2

Album · 1999 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
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

LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT Liquid Tension Experiment

Album · 1998 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
AtomicCrimsonRush
My affection for Dream Theater drew me to Liquid Tension Experiment and I expected something incredible with the likes of Tony Levin on bass, John Petrucci on guitar, Mike Portnoy on drums and Jordan Rudess on the keys. Instead the album comes across as a good diversion from the usual brilliance of Dream Theater. The album admittedly has some amazing musicianship but it is missing the magic that encompasses the Dream Theater albums. Labrie is missing of course and Myung is also absent. Without these members naturally it is far from Dream Theater, and I was underwhelmed overall.

The music dominates over every track and the highlights are definitely the amazing 'Universal Mind', that ends with a circus theme, and the massive epic 'Three Minute Warning' that runs for a whopping 28 minutes.

I enjoyed the weirdness of jazz infestation 'Chris and Kevin's Excellent Adventure' that brought back memories of that strange film, but the awful 'Osmosis' and 'The Stretch' really are filler songs to skip.

I would say that overall, the debut for Liquid Tension Experiment is a curio worth checking out but could have been so much better without all the filler tracks and with more brilliance and less experimentation.

LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT Liquid Tension Experiment 2

Album · 1999 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
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.

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