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Watch Dream Theaters Mike Portnoy learn drums to Tools “Pneuma”

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Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy perhaps answered the musical equivalent of “What happens when an unstoppable force meets and immovable object?” in a new video from the YouTube channel Drumeo.

In the clip, Portnoy is tasked with learning the drum part to Tool‘s song “Pneuma,” the 12-minute epic off their 2019 comeback effort, Fear Inoculum. Over the course of several hours, which is edited down into a 30-minute video, Portnoy listens to the track over and over in an attempt to crack the song’s complicated time signature and nail down the intricacies of Danny Carey‘s playing.

“This isn’t a song,” an exasperated Portnoy says at one point. “This is a mathematic equation.”

At the end of the video, Portnoy delivers a full performance of “Pneuma” with the skill you’d probably expect from him, but it’s still comforting to know that some songs can trip up even one of prog’s most acclaimed drummers.

Portnoy was previously featured in a Drumeo video in which he played along to Nickelback‘s “Burn It to the Ground” after hearing it for the first time.

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