I want to open this review by saying that the talent and obvious skills of all the musicians involved in this record is undeniable, these are musicians that have been proving over and over again why they are recognized as some of the top artists in their genre and why they have the following they have. Having said that, this solo album by John Petrucci (Dream Theater) was not for me. And though we can argue that this kind of album is for a specific sector in the Progressive Metal realm, I truly cannot digest music that is made to show off the skills that “x” or “y” musician has in their instrument and that is my perception of Terminal Velocity (Sound Mind Music/The Orchard).
And though we know that this is the style of music that Petrucci leans on, I would prefer to listen to him playing something out of his comfort zone and try to risk a bit more with other genres and showcase his godly talent with the Progressive Metal world. Not all tracks are a complete snooze fest though, tracks like ‘The Oddfather’ and ‘Out of the Blue”, which performs a very “Bluesy” composition that portrays perfectly the type of risk that I am talking about, are tracks that really stand out way more than the others. The rest of the album is just an exaggerated overflow of sweep picking arpeggios that makes the whole album sound like one long, boring track that lasts fifty minutes. Maybe in some concept, this is a good album to leave as background music while you’re cleaning your home or driving a long-distance trip and you have someone along with you to have a conversation with.
The rest of the musicians in this album include Dave LaRue (Dixie Dregs, Flying Colors) on Bass and ex-Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy. LaRue’s job is very on point and keeps everything together between Petrucci’s riffs and solos and Portnoy’s drumming. Now, talking about Portnoy’s playing, it leaves a lot to desire, especially after this was such an anticipated work between the Petrucci and Portnoy duo since the departure of the latter from Dream Theater in 2010. Portnoy brings his usual style of drumming to this album but does not exceed as the superb drummer he once was. Not sure if it is a matter of age or simply that he just fell in his comfort zone as a drummer, but his playing on this album, though not bad, is not necessarily great, especially knowing the capacity and talent that he has.
In conclusion, this is an album directed to fans of Dream Theater and Petrucci, but for me, it feels like watered-down Dream Theater tracks and does not bring anything new or interesting for the genre. This is an album you can skip, especially knowing that there are a million other more interesting albums out there.
Buy the album here: https://orcd.co/TerminalVelocity
6 / 10