Progressive metal champions Dream Theater are poised to release their latest album, a self-titled effort, next month, marking the group's second disc with drummer Mike Mangini. As we all know, Mangini replaced former drummer Mike Portnoy, who left the band then attempted to return but was rebuffed. With Portnoy recently again saying he would return to the band in a heartbeat if asked, frontman James Labrie has weighed in on the matter.

Radio Futuro [via Blabbermouth] conducted an interview with Labrie, asking for his opinion on the possible return of founding member Mike Portnoy.

"That possibility, I don't see it ever happening. It's not gonna happen, because, first and foremost, Mike Mangini is a full-fledged member of the band now; he's a phenomenal drummer and he's doing everything that we could possibly want as a drummer in a band. He's helping us realize exactly what we wanna do right now musically. And he will be our drummer until the day that we finish doing this, when we conclude."

LaBrie adds, "Mike Portnoy was a big part of our past, but I think that's where it's going to remain. He was a drummer from the past. And as far as presently and into the future, it will be Mike Mangini, and we all feel very strongly about that. He's an incredible drummer, he's an incredible asset to the band, and he is fulfilling out wildest dreams as far as what we're doing musically and what we're doing with each album. So that's the way it stands."

Dream Theater seem to have a new energy since Mangini joined the band, as members are constantly gushing over his skills. The band are legendary for their proficiency and perfection, all members striving towards a common goal of creating incredibly progressive music. The music has always been the priority for the band, never taking the time to bask in rock star excess.

With Mangini manning the sticks, the band is focused and looking ahead, putting everything else behind them. This can still be a tough pill for old-school Dream Theater fans to swallow, but, like the band's attitude seems to represent, the music can do the talking.

Dream Theater's self-titled new album drops Sept. 24, while James LaBrie's most recent solo album, 'Impermanent Resonance,' came out last week. Meanwhile, Mike Portnoy recently left the band Adrenaline Mob and is currently focused on his new outfit the Winery Dogs.