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Mike Portnoy has rejoined Dream Theater

Portnoy left the prog powerhouse in 2010 after working on Avenged Sevenfold’s fifth album, Nightmare.

Mike Portnoy

Credit: Miikka Skaffari/FilmMagic

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Drummer Mike Portnoy has rejoined Dream Theater, 13 years after departing the band in 2010.

In a new statement released by the prog heavyweights, they confirm plans to enter the studio with the newly reformed lineup to record their 16th studio album, and Portnoy’s first since 2009’s Black Clouds & Silver Linings.

“I am overwhelmed with joy to be returning home and reuniting with my brothers!” Portnoy says. “There is so much shared history between us all… so many memories, so much music… to think we’re coming up on 40 years since this journey began!

“The idea of creating new music together is so exciting and I absolutely cannot wait to hit the road and get to play live for a whole new generation of fans that weren’t ever able to see this line-up before… There’s no place like home!”

Obviously, the return of Mike Portnoy means the departure of Mike Mangini, who has served in the band throughout the 13 years Portnoy has been gone.

“I understand Dream Theater’s decision to get Mike Portnoy back at this time,” Mangini says. “As was said from day one, my place was not to fill all the roles that Mike held in the band. I was to play the drums in order to help the band carry on.

“My main role of keeping our live show working tightly on a nightly basis was an intense and rewarding experience. Thankfully, I got to experience playing music with these iconic musicians, as well as some fun times laced with humour. I also really enjoyed spending lots of time with the crew.

“And then there’s the Grammy win, which was amazingly satisfying. To the fans: thank you so much for being amazing to me. I cherish the pictures I have of you all losing your minds and having fun. Finally, I really love the band, crew, and management and wish them and the entire organisation all the best.”

Adds bassist John Myung: “It’s great to be back true to form with our original drummer Mike Portnoy. We started playing together as Majesty almost 40 years ago and I am excited to see what this next phase of Dream Theater creates for the future.

“I wish nothing but the best for Mike Mangini for all the blood, sweat, and tears he put into DT during his 13-year tenure with the band.”

In a tribute of his own, frontman James LaBrie calls Mangini “one of the most amazing and naturally gifted drummers I have had the pleasure of working with”.

He continues: “Having Mike Portnoy back in the band is exactly where we and things should be. Things have a way of going full circle and in this case, it makes perfect sense. I am excited with the prospects of this classic DT lineup being reunited. I can say with absolute confidence this will be the final incarnation of DT with many chapters still to be written well into our future.”

Mike Portnoy originally left Dream Theater in late 2010, after he had worked with Avenged Sevenfold on their fifth album, Nightmare, earlier that year. Portnoy played with Avenged Sevenfold on the tour which supported Nightmare, though they ultimately chose to let him go following its conclusion.

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