I’m always delighted to hear that a member of a band I enjoy is releasing their own solo album. This time it’s Dream Theater keyboardist Jordan Rudess, whose upcoming album Wired for Madness will come out this spring. With Dream Theater’s own brand of melodic prog and their sophisticated albums with layers of complexity, you can’t help but wonder what kind of metal melodies are lying inside Jordan’s brain.
The first song I ever heard by Dream Theater was “Wait for Sleep,” and as a freshman in high school filled with adolescent angst, I was confused. While my ears were being soothed with soft vocals and soulful piano, “Wait for Sleep” was seemingly the most metal song I had ever heard because to me, at the heart of metal is raw emotion conveyed through instruments. Thus began my journey into the depths of melodic metal and prog. Although Jordan Rudess wouldn’t join the band until years later, his new solo effort “Wired for Madness Pt. 1” has delivered me with the same experience.
Wired for Madness will include guest appearances from Dream Theater frontman James LaBrie and guitarist John Petrucci, as well as drummers Marco Minnemann and Rod Morgenstein and guitarists Vinnie Moore, Guthrie Govan and Joe Bonamassa. Rudess elaborates on the album’s debut single, which I could best describe as sci-fi prog:
“It is not a concept album, however the title track does have a story that I was envisioning while writing it. The idea was about a guy who wanted to go about a transformational process involving becoming partially computerized and robotic. His functionality as a human was noticeably diminishing and he takes advantage of a modern medical procedure to “upgrade ‘and extend his physical and mental capabilities. Through the course (or curse) of this process he becomes more and more separated from the outside “normal” world, allowing the computer front end to take over much of his day to day tasks and decisions. This leaves his mind free to travel between madness and spiritual enlightenment. After an angel visited him, the listener is left wondering whether he is experiencing true enlightenment or if he is moving out of the physical world to the next dimension.”
Jordan Rudess offers us all the intricacy that we crave and expect from a Dream Theater member, but with a refreshing originality that could only come from a solo album. You can pre-order his new album here (it will come out on April 19th) and stream the lyric video to “Wired for Madness Pt. 1” below.