Before you all get excited, let me begin by explaining the title. That was what we in the biz like to call a “catch,” where I mention a prominent/popular figure in the title to get YOU to read the post. Little did you know, I’m only giving Mikey Portnoy about two sentences. It’s only fitting, though: I mentioned Dream Theater in the last news update, so it’s now time for the obligatory “let’s check on Mike and see how he’s going to respond” routine. Without further ado… THE NEWS:

  • So Mike Portnoy has yet another band. According to Bravewords.com, the enigmatic ex-Dream Theater drummer announced he’s starting a new power trio with some unnamed bassist and guitarist John Sykes, who is mostly known for his work with infamous butt rock acts Thin Lizzy and Whitesnake. This will apparently be in addition to his work with Adrenaline Mob and his little side project with the Morse’s, so Portnoy’s gonna be a busy, busy boy.
  • In the wake of his new albums Deconstruction and Ghost, the always entertaining Devin Townsend will be embarking on a North American tour this October. It’s odd that the tour is billed as “North American,” because all of the fourteen announced dates at the time of this writing appear to be in the United States. He can’t have something against Canada; he was born there. Maybe he just doesn’t like Mexico?
  • American sludge metal group Mastodon released Black Tongue, a track off their upcoming album The Hunter, which will be released on September 27. For those of you who have enjoyed their steady incline into more progressive music these past few albums, you’ll probably be making the same confused grunts and savagely constipated faces that I made while listening to the new track. But let’s cut them some slack until we hear the whole album; Crack the Skye was sick and they’ve earned it!
  • According to their Web site, German power metal band Blind Guardian have been inspired by a German “high fantasy” author and are writing an orchestral album. Don’t get too excited, though, because lead man Hansi mentioned the year 2013 when referring to how long the band is going to be kept “busy.” But here’s the real question: What’s the over/under on how many dice are going to be rolled in the band’s Dungeons & Dragons sessions between now and the completion of the album?