Dream Theater will finally be revealing who their new drummer is in a series of videos posted on YouTube. The seven who auditioned are: Mike Mangini, Virgil Donati, Marco Minnemann, Peter Wildoer, Thomas Lang, Derek Roddy and Aquiles Priester.
From the first two videos, Mangini and Minnemann seem to be the front-runners for the job so far. Both of them are first-rate and will probably be good fits. From rumours going around the interwebs, it’s Mangini, but we’ll see I suppose.
This is a change that’s good for both Mike Portnoy and Dream Theater. As an old fan dating from the Images and Words days, I must say their output after Six Degrees has been generally underwhelming with what I consider to be less memorable songwriting compared to the earlier days.
Another big problem I have with the later albums is Mike taking a shine to some godawful rap/growl vocal stylings that he’ll stick somewhere on every album. I’m probably being petty, but I can’t stand it.
It got so that I preferred the various side projects the members participated in, such as An Evening With John Petrucci & Jordan Rudess, the Mullmuzzler albums by Labrie and Frameshift’s Unweaving the Rainbow (speaking of which, Henning, we want Frameshift 3). Hopefully playing with a new drummer will get their creative juices again, and here’s hoping that Mike finds himself interesting new projects too.
Edit: Mangini got it. I thought Minnemann would have given the band a fresher sound and is a little disappointed, but still, both are excellent choices.