Report: Mike Portnoy, Phil Demmel, Bobby Blitz + Mark Menghi Plot New Project
"Somethin's cookin' and it's NOT what you think," Vio-lence guitarist (and former Machine Head member) Phil Demmel revealed on social media last month (July 22). The stifled admission came alongside a photo he reposted from drummer Mike Portnoy (The Winery Dogs, Sons of Apollo, ex-Dream Theater) that shows the pair with Overkill vocalist Bobby Blitz and Metal Allegiance bassist Mark Menghi. The four are reportedly working on a new music project, as posited by Blabbermouth Wednesday (August 7).
But it remains to be seen what could result from the alliance of seasoned musicians. Regardless, the meeting was described as an "incredibly productive day hanging and jamming with these boys," Portnoy declared on Facebook, contiguous to the image Demmel subsequently shared. See the photos down toward the bottom of this post.
Portnoy added the quartet were "working on something very kewl" with "details coming down the road." On Instagram, the percussionist continued the tease. "Look who stopped by Camp Portnoy for a day or two," he wrote. "Hmmm, wonder what we're up to?"
While that places the foursome at Portnoy's domain when the photo was taken, a separate image shows Demmel recording with engineer Juan Urteaga (Testament, Cattle Decapitation) at Trident Studio in Pacheco, California. It's currently unclear if this tracking session is for the same project teased by both Demmel and Portnoy.
All four have previously collaborated together in Metal Allegiance, the supergroup centered around Menghi's songwriting powered by Portnoy and Megadeth's David Ellefson. Currently, that band includes former Testament guitarist Alex Skolnick, who took the place of Andreas Kisser in 2014. But Demmel played rhythm guitar for Metal Allegiance in 2016, and Blitz contributed vocals to their 2018 album Volume II - Power Drunk Majesty.
Metal Allegiance does have a Halloween show at the Bottom Lounge in Chicago on their schedule, but the absence of other MA members plus the length of time still left until that show makes it possible the foursome are working on something other than a Metal Allegiance rehearsal.
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