JOHN PETRUCCI – Terminal Velocity

JOHN PETRUCCI - Terminal Velocity
  • 9.2/10
    JOHN PETRUCCI - Terminal Velocity - 9.2/10


Sound Mind Music
Release date: August 28, 2020

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Instrumental Prog Heaven

In March of this year as COVID was wreaking havoc on the world and shutting down a large part of the music business, guitar virtuoso John Petrucci (Dream Theater) was putting together his second solo effort with the aid of his old band mate Mike Portnoy (Sons of Apollo, Winery Dogs) and bassist Dave LaRue (Dixie Dregs, Flying Colors). For John Petrucci fans the wait has been 15 years since his first solo instrumental Suspended Animation captured Heavy Metal hearts, and for this reviewer the wait was well worthwhile.

Power Trio

The album is written and produced by John Petrucci with Andy Sneap providing his expert mixing and mastering talents. Returning bassist Dave LaRue was on the first solo effort, and has a great presence here playing off of Mike Portnoy’s impeccable drumming. The album brings a reminiscence of early Dream Theater the way the trio play together, as strong melodies combine with technical virtuosity to bring the listener in and keep them hooked.

Favorite Tracks

The 9 tracks are strong and very uplifting as the sweet guitar tones and catchy chord progressions take you on a wild roller coaster ride of joy. Right out of the gates the title track “Terminal Velocity” brings back thoughts of Images and Words, as John’s incredible sense of melody and rhythm show what he feels in his heart. The songs are all hitting at around the 6-minute mark or better with the exception of “Snake in My Boot”, a fun riff rock groove that evolves into a super guitar boogie on steroids. The track “Gemini” is epic in its musical changes, crying guitars and wild Spanish break down with John shining on the classical guitar.

Final Notes

When an artist this caliber is able to self-produce music from his heart, you know that something special has been captured. From the excellent, bluesy “Out of the Blue” to the heavy chunkiness of “Glassy-Eyed Zombies”, John Petrucci’s new album has an awful lot to offer the connoisseur of Instrumental Guitar and Progressive Metal. Terminal Velocity is a top notch effort that absolutely has to be in your Prog Metal collection.


John Petrucci – Guitars
Mike Portnoy – Drums
Dave LaRue – Bass

Terminal Velocity – Tracklist

  1. Terminal Velocity
  2. The Oddfather
  3. Happy Song
  4. Gemini
  5. Out Of The Blue
  6. Glassy-Eyed Zombies
  7. The Way Things Fall
  8. Snake In My Boot
  9. Temple Of Circadia


  • Bryce Van Patten

    Bryce is an audio engineer and a graphic designer here at Metal Express Radio. From the day he purchased his first album (Machine Head by Deep Purple), he has had a passion for heavy music, which has influenced his whole life. Bryce is from the great Pacific Northwest in USA, and has played in metal bands like Babylon, Holy Terror, The Wild Dogs, Warhead and Egypt through the 80s. He had his first interview for the Portland, Oregon publication The Rock Rag with guitarist Paul Gilbert in his Racer X days. Then he was honored to get to have drinks, and talk for an hour with the legendary Dan McCafferty of Nazareth for his second interview. In 2013, he spent an amazing hour talking to Andi Deris of Helloween, which was the high point of his heavy metal journalism.   In the year 2001, he formed Man in Black Music Publishing. They released recordings by several local bands, and in the spirit of the old Metal Massacre compilations, he created a 2-album series called The Defenders of Metal. The albums featured classic styled Metal bands from all around the world, with bands from Australia to England, and from Argentina to Russia. Currently, he is the producer/creator/vocalist of the Metal band The Black Tuesdays.

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