Progressive metal giants DREAM THEATER have released the following statement regarding the departure of the band's drummer, Mike Portnoy:
"To all of our loyal fans and friends: It is with profound sadness — regret — we announce that Mike Portnoy, our lifelong drummer and friend, has decided to leave DREAM THEATER.
"Mike's stature in the band has meant the world to all of us professionally, musically, and personally over the years. There is no dispute: Mike has been a major force within this band.
"While it is true that Mike is choosing to pursue other ventures and challenges, we can assure you that DREAM THEATER will continue to move forward with the same intensity — and in the same musical tradition — that you have all helped make so successful, and which is truly gratifying to us.
"Fans and friends: File this episode under 'Black Clouds and Silver Linings.'
"As planned, we begin recording our newest album in January 2011, and we'll follow that with a full-on world tour.
"'The Spirit Carries On.'
"All of us in DREAM THEATER wholeheartedly wish Mike the best on his musical journey. We have had a long and meaningful career together. It is our true hope that he finds all he is looking for, and that he achieves the happiness he deserves. He will be missed."
DREAM THEATER supported IRON MAIDEN on a North American tour which kicked off on June 9 in Dallas, Texas and concluded on July 20 in Washington, D.C.
DREAM THEATER's latest album, "Black Clouds & Silver Linings", sold 40,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 6 on The Billboard 200 chart.
DREAM THEATER's last CD, "Systematic Chaos", opened with 36,000 units in 2007 to enter The Billboard 200 chart at No. 19. 2005's "Octavarium" premiered with 27,000 copies to debut at No. 36.
In addition to the standard-version CD, DREAM THEATER's tenth studio album, "Black Clouds & Silver Linings", was also made available on vinyl LP, as well as a three-disc, special-edition CD that includes the full album, a CD of instrumental mixes of the album and a CD of six cover songs.