Mangini v. Portnoy

MasterCylinder

Senior Member
Mangini v. Portnoy
As we all know, Mike Mangini has replaced Mike Portnoy behind the kit at Dream Theater...............and both are drum-monsters.

After having the time to take in the new DT release featuring Mangini, and comparing it to the previously released DT material with Portnoy (which we all do), what are your observations about the music as presented by these two drummers ?

Pros and cons ?

DISCUSS............
 

mo2vation

Senior Member
Mangini v. Portnoy
As we all know, Mike Mangini has replaced Mike Portnoy behind the kit at Dream Theater...............and both are drum-monsters.

After having the time to take in the new DT release featuring Mangini, and comparing it to the previously released DT material with Portnoy (which we all do), what are your observations about the music as presented by these two drummers ?

Pros and cons ?

DISCUSS............
**** Let me preface this by stating this is not a personal attack on you. ****

These are the types posts that make me nuts.

On a forum, its always best to lay our your side of a take, THEN invite discussion, asking others to comment on your opinion of the issue you've laid out.

There's a reason you made the post - you have a take. By hiding your side you've just neutered the post and relegated this post, this one right here, into the Drummerworld scrap heap of "what HH is best?" "what's your favorite stick?" and "best drummer ever?"

Simply tossing a subject out there without presenting your well crafted take, side, angle, opinion (all we know of your thought on the subject is, "both are drum-monsters") is like setting a turd bomb on the porch of a neighbor you loathe, setting it ablaze, ringing the doorbell and running to hide in the bushes.

Lay out your premise - your personal background on the issue, your personal side of an issue, the things that have convinced or led you to believe a specific way

Drop your question in a manner that lets someone take a side - so there is tension, civil discussion, polite disagreement, and others can share their learned opinion as you just have (otherwise its just a poll.... Mike v Mike)

Then set the specific parameters of your question - "I'm not interested in what size stick is best, I'm looking for the most durable material for the smaller size sticks I prefer", or "I understand groove is deeply subjective, as is music it's self... so I'm not asking about the most popular bass player, I want to know the one that you reach for when you need to be inspired in the gym..."

Lets try this:

I've been a DT fan for nearly 20 years - since Images and Words. I remember where I was the first time KLOS played Pull Me Under. I was hooked and have been ever since. I've seen Dream Theater probably 10 times over the years - from small clubbish venues like House of Blues Sunset to very large venues like Gibson and Nokia.

I've also been a huge fan of Mike's side projects and probably have 15 or more CD's of this stuff from Liquid, to all the Neal Morse stuff, Transatlantic to A-mob to the new Flying Colors - having also seen TA and Neil Morse no less than 4 or 5 times.

The two Mikes could not be any more different in their playing styles. And with Portnoy's very strong presence in the booth in DT's post - their differences I'm sure were magnified on the most recent CD.

I thoroughly enjoyed "the search" DVD as I had only heard of Mangin, but never spent any time with his playing. Donati I knew pretty well, and Marco - but Mangini was under my radar. I had floor seats for Mangini Theater at Nokia this past Fall - the set where James literally forgot the timing and came in wrong on Pull Me Under... only to skewer himself in a hail of profanity and disgust.

Yea - I'm a fan.

My thoughts are these..... (insert your thoughts)

My question to all of you is this... (insert your question)





So - here's my take:

Portnoy v Mangini

Very different guys

I miss Portnoy's accented quads on the new DT record - probably my second fav thing about his playing. I miss Portnoy's cymbal work - my very favorite thing about his playing. I miss Portnoy's jungle drum work... Knowing him as well as I do, missing him is cast in sharper relief as I hear songs where 'he'd have done XYZ here...."

Mangini brought some precision footwork to DT's new record that really turned my head. The double kick riffs that were in unison with the theme of the tune was, I thought, outstanding - and a departure from Portnoy's work. His drums weren't too hot in the mix, which has happened on many occasions with Portnoy. His second snare work is nice, offering a new dynamic pallet to some of the songs.

Those are my top thoughts. I was very sad to see Portnoy leave. The live show at Nokia was really sad for me. I truly hope the next stop for DT live is not to become the Caberet act Van Halen has become - with short sets of fan favorites, then 'thank you - good night' in place of where the 2-hour 40 minute live set used to live.


We'll know Mangini better on the next record - when we're not in transition.


-Ken
 

Xero Talent

Silver Member
One isn't better than the other, rather each bring different energy and creativity to the band.

It's all relative.
 

Swiss Matthias

Platinum Member
I liked Dream Theater and Mike Portnoy, but I kind of grew out of the style.

I like the newest album though, and with all respect to Mr Portnoy, Mike Mangini
is certainly on a different level, obviously technically, and to me musically as well.

One thing Mike P never mastered in my view is mellow grooves, slow passages,
restricted playing. We hear examples of those beautifully played by Mike M now.
 
B

Balto

Guest
I liked Dream Theater and Mike Portnoy, but I kind of grew out of the style.

I like the newest album though, and with all respect to Mr Portnoy, Mike Mangini
is certainly on a different level, obviously technically, and to me musically as well.

One thing Mike P never mastered in my view is mellow grooves, slow passages,
restricted playing. We hear examples of those beautifully played by Mike M now.
Go have a listen to the new Flying Colors CD with Mike Portnoy playing. It might give you a different perspective on his playing.
 

MasterCylinder

Senior Member
**** Let me preface this by stating this is not a personal attack on you. ****

These are the types posts that make me nuts.

On a forum, its always best to lay our your side of a take, THEN invite discussion, asking others to comment on your opinion of the issue you've laid out.

There's a reason you made the post - you have a take. By hiding your side you've just neutered the post and relegated this post, this one right here, into the Drummerworld scrap heap of "what HH is best?" "what's your favorite stick?" and "best drummer ever?"

Simply tossing a subject out there without presenting your well crafted take, side, angle, opinion (all we know of your thought on the subject is, "both are drum-monsters") is like setting a turd bomb on the porch of a neighbor you loathe, setting it ablaze, ringing the doorbell and running to hide in the bushes.

Lay out your premise - your personal background on the issue, your personal side of an issue, the things that have convinced or led you to believe a specific way

Drop your question in a manner that lets someone take a side - so there is tension, civil discussion, polite disagreement, and others can share their learned opinion as you just have (otherwise its just a poll.... Mike v Mike)

I miss Portnoy's accented quads on the new DT record - probably my second fav thing about his playing. I miss Portnoy's cymbal work - my very favorite thing about his playing. I miss Portnoy's jungle drum work... Knowing him as well as I do, missing him is cast in sharper relief as I hear songs where 'he'd have done XYZ here...."

Mangini brought some precision footwork to DT's new record that really turned my head. The double kick riffs that were in unison with the theme of the tune was, I thought, outstanding - and a departure from Portnoy's work. His drums weren't too hot in the mix, which has happened on many occasions with Portnoy. His second snare work is nice, offering a new dynamic pallet to some of the songs.
-Ken
Thank you, Ken.
I appeciate your answers as provided after explaining your rules I was supposed to follow; perhaps the mods will place your wisdom in a sticky so we won't make such mistakes in the future. If these type of posts drive you nuts, just ignore and move on.

Here is my (required) take :

Dream Theater is fun even though much is overplayed................it is part of their M.O................Portnoy can overplay the overplayed part. All of the instrumentalists in the band are extraordinary technicians; at times, the technician can get in the way of the musician.

Example : "Misunderstood" (6DOIT)...............drum parts so unnecessary that they become annoying during otherwise nice passasges of music.

Mangini (so far) keeps the music as the priority, which I appreciate.
Portnoy prefers (at times) to show off; he is such a good technician, he gets in his own way.

I completely agree that it is sad to see Portnoy leave the band he helped create.
Since this apparently had to occur, I'm happy with DT's replacement choice.
 

sbowman128675

Senior Member
Well, Ive been a fan of DT since Train of Though. It was weird for me when my Dad got my "Live at the Budakahn," for a gift and, after hearing that, buying Images and Words. It was like.."I Thought they were Metal......what???? @_@" Having said that, I love the divercity of DT. One thing I always have heard is that divercity in MP's playing, he seems to have so many diffrent sounds around the kit in ways of grooves...not so much fills though, just 4, 6 and 8 note fills alot of the time.

For me though, I love how Mike Puts ALOT of creativity into his parts, MM just plays solid constant beats most of the time. I got sick of hearing his hi-hats on Outcry at times. Actually, on the entire new album. Didnt help taht they were mixed horrably.

I think MMs playing has made DT a bit sterile in comparision to MP's playing. Its like they just got off the coffee and started drinking tea.

In all fairness, MM is not very diverce in a way. Its like I listen to his parts on DT and I hear the same thing when he did some solo with Extreme in the 90s, or some part in a Steve Vai song. For me, MM just doesent seem to groove as Phat as MP did. And I dont think were gonna see alot of crazy grooves outa MM, even on a new album. Grooves like that cool tom to splash thing from "Caught in a Dream," or the double bass beat from "Under a Glass Moon," Or all of "In Constant Motion." To me, MM just dont got what MP had and to me, its a loss.

And MP does play simple. Listen to "Lie", or "Another Day," Or Even "Pull me Under."

Hope I dont sound to craby, I am an avid DT fan.
They lost a great drummer.
 

Dream Team

Junior Member
Well, Ive been a fan of DT since Train of Though. It was weird for me when my Dad got my "Live at the Budakahn," for a gift and, after hearing that, buying Images and Words. It was like.."I Thought they were Metal......what???? @_@" Having said that, I love the divercity of DT. One thing I always have heard is that divercity in MP's playing, he seems to have so many diffrent sounds around the kit in ways of grooves...not so much fills though, just 4, 6 and 8 note fills alot of the time.

For me though, I love how Mike Puts ALOT of creativity into his parts, MM just plays solid constant beats most of the time. I got sick of hearing his hi-hats on Outcry at times. Actually, on the entire new album. Didnt help taht they were mixed horrably.

I think MMs playing has made DT a bit sterile in comparision to MP's playing. Its like they just got off the coffee and started drinking tea.

In all fairness, MM is not very diverce in a way. Its like I listen to his parts on DT and I hear the same thing when he did some solo with Extreme in the 90s, or some part in a Steve Vai song. For me, MM just doesent seem to groove as Phat as MP did. And I dont think were gonna see alot of crazy grooves outa MM, even on a new album. Grooves like that cool tom to splash thing from "Caught in a Dream," or the double bass beat from "Under a Glass Moon," Or all of "In Constant Motion." To me, MM just dont got what MP had and to me, its a loss.

And MP does play simple. Listen to "Lie", or "Another Day," Or Even "Pull me Under."

Hope I dont sound to craby, I am an avid DT fan.
They lost a great drummer.
I agree with a lot of what you said. As a huge DT fan, I was underwhelmed by MM's drumming on the new album, but I think a lot of that was because he patterned his playing from JP's drum machine demos. MP was the absolute master of wicked odd-time rhythms. That's what I hope MM will bring on the next album.
 

Swiss Matthias

Platinum Member
MP was the absolute master of wicked odd-time rhythms. That's what I hope MM will bring on the next album.
Really? I always thought he plays them very "basic", so one clearly hears every broken
quarter note, i.e. a 19/16 tended to sound like a 4/4 plus three extra 16th notes on the snare. He didn't do any syncopated phrasing or accents, and he didn't really smooth
odd-times out.

MM on the other hand has some cool sophisticated rhythmical stuff going on the new album.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
I'm never much of a fan of drummer A vs drummer B threads.
Partially, because based on what criteria? Just technique? Feel? Song writing? As a human being?

Further, such discussions never seem to acknowledge that music had a definitive and traceable path where one thing leads to another. There are no chicken or eggs debates, because we can see how one thing lead to the 2nd thing.

Without Porntoy, Mangini is still teaching at Berklee. Without Porntoy, Dream Theater doesn't exist. So who is better is somewhat irrelevant.

And from there, what can be judged is not quite equal. Portnoy was a songwriter in DT and has numerous albums to compare with.

Mangini has one album, of which he didn't write anything, he didn't even write most of his own drum parts.

That said, I've seen DT with Portnoy some 15-20 times, going back to Images and Words tour.

I have seem DT once with Mangini.

Mangini gave the best pure drumming performance I have ever seen, by anyone in any setting. He is truly amazing live.

But that doesn't take anything away from Portnoy's accomplishments.
 

z1lt0id

Member
MM playing is more subtle compared to Portnoys. But what sounds like a standard groove is very far from that. On that not it is comparing apples to oranges. Both are fantastic drummers, despite the constant rap Portnoy gets from the general public.
 

mo2vation

Senior Member
Perfectly said, buddy

Thank you, Ken.
I appeciate your answers as provided after explaining your rules I was supposed to follow; perhaps the mods will place your wisdom in a sticky so we won't make such mistakes in the future. If these type of posts drive you nuts, just ignore and move on.

Here is my (required) take :

Dream Theater is fun even though much is overplayed................it is part of their M.O................Portnoy can overplay the overplayed part. All of the instrumentalists in the band are extraordinary technicians; at times, the technician can get in the way of the musician.

Example : "Misunderstood" (6DOIT)...............drum parts so unnecessary that they become annoying during otherwise nice passasges of music.

Mangini (so far) keeps the music as the priority, which I appreciate.
Portnoy prefers (at times) to show off; he is such a good technician, he gets in his own way.

I completely agree that it is sad to see Portnoy leave the band he helped create.
Since this apparently had to occur, I'm happy with DT's replacement choice.
What the hell was going on in Misunderstood with the octoban parts and all that HH nonsense in the quiet passages? Seriously... WTF?

I'm currently on play 40+ On Flying Covers (iTunes counter) - and that's just on the lapper the last couple of weeks (doesn't count the car plays). Excellent first effort. I know all the players so well - its like Structural Damage meets One. I really love most of the tunes on there. With some being the freshest stuff I've heard in years.

Mike's one of the very few people who I will follow and listen to everything he does. I've always loved his choices in (side)projects more than I've loved his playing. And I like his playing a lot.

-K
 

MasterCylinder

Senior Member
"I've seen DT with Portnoy some 15-20 times, going back to Images and Words tour.
I have seem DT once with Mangini.
Mangini gave the best pure drumming performance I have ever seen, by anyone in any setting. He is truly amazing live.
But that doesn't take anything away from Portnoy's accomplishments. "


Agreed...............well said.
 

MasterCylinder

Senior Member
Re: Perfectly said, buddy

Mike's one of the very few people who I will follow and listen to everything he does. I've always loved his choices in (side) projects more than I've loved his playing. And I like his playing a lot.
Agreed -- Portnoy's contributions to the original O.S.I. release is top-notch amazing work.
 
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