The hardest working drummer in music continues to pound out great music, one project at a time. In March, former Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy’s two most prominent projects will release debut albums. Fans already got a taste of Adrenaline Mob last year when the band released its taste-test EP. Joining Portnoy in the Mob are Symphony X vocalist Russell Allen and up-and-coming guitar demon, Mike Orlando. Subsequent touring served to whet a collective appetite for more. The band’s full length debut, Omerta, will be released on March 13th on Elm City/EMI records. The first track released from the album, “Undaunted” has a Disturbed vibe to it. In a strange twist of fate, the band announced this week the addition of Disturbed bassist John Moyer to the Mob.
Also being released two weeks later is the eponymous debut of Flying Colors, which features guitar legend Steve Morse (Deep Purple, Dixie Dregs, Kansas), bassist Dave LaRue (Dixie Dregs, Joe Satriani), keyboardist Neal Morse (Transatlantic, Spock’s Beard), and vocalist Casey McPherson (Endochine, Alpha Rev). The cumulative talent in this band is mind-boggling. Adding to this wealth of unbridled sonic genius is producer Peter Collins (Rush, Queensryche, Alice Cooper). Our review of this record won’t come out for a few weeks yet, but trust me, it’s a stunning chapter for Portnoy’s career.
Slowly receding is the shadow of Mike’s 20 year marriage to Dream Theater, and his one tour stand with Avenged Sevenfold a perfect sonic salve to help heal the soul. These days Portnoy is free to concentrate on the future, and so far that’s pretty bright indeed. This week I caught up with the man who is arguably the best drummer in the world not named Neil Peart. We talked about his full dance card, Adrenaline Mob, Flying Colors, his time with Avenged Sevenfold, his non-project with John Sykes, and his power trio project with Billy Sheehan and Richie Kotzen. He tells us which are his essential progressive metal albums, and after a bit of arm twisting even throws in a Dream Theater pick. With all this going on, he will still fit in a special Brazilian performance behind the kit for Fates Warning on April 14th in São Paulo.