Mid way through today I saw a post on Twitter referencing Mike Portnoy’s departure from Dream Theater. Just didn’t see that one coming. After being a driving force in the band for more than 25 years, and from all accounts visible to the fans a pretty controlling band member, he announced his departure today via his website.
I always thought Dream Theater would continue to produce powerful music as a seldom-changing 5-piece for many years to come, until perhaps one day linking arms as a band and announcing their final studio album and farewell tour.
They have already announced in their press release plans to continue after Mike’s departure – on the one hand I’m happier to hear this than if the group disbanded completely, but it’s going to be a big change.
The drum intro in the opening bars to 6:00 from 1994′s Awake album will always be one of the strongest musical memories I have. I hope the connection can continue with whoever picks up the sticks next. It’s a big kit to fill.