Unlike last year when Portnoy's victory was very decisive, the race was very close with Portnoy barely beating out runners-up, Neil Peart (RUSH), Mike Mangini (DREAM THEATER), Chris Adler (LAMB OF GOD) and Chad Smith (RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS).
In part, Portnoy's victory may be a result of how busy he was this year. As noted in the July 2012 issue of DRUM!, Portnoy founded two bands (FLYING COLORS and ADRENALINE MOB), and was on the bus with numerous acts. "Portnoy has demonstrated his popularity and dedication to the drumming arts," said Phil Hood, publisher and co-founder of Enter Music Publishing. "With his second victory, he has proven that his drumming is recognized by drummers, regardless of age or demographic."
The same factors regarding Portnoy reflect his taking "Best Progressive Drummer." He beat out last year's winner, Gavin Harrison (PORCUPINE TREE), and other runner-ups, Mike Mangini, Darren King and Virgil Donati.
Portnoy, who co-founded DREAM THEATER more than 20 years ago, abruptly quit the band in September 2010 while on tour with AVENGED SEVENFOLD. He has since been replaced by Mike Mangini (ANNIHILATOR, EXTREME, JAMES LABRIE, STEVE VAI).
Portnoy played on AVENGED SEVENFOLD's latest album, "Nightmare", following the death of that band's drummer, Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan, and toured with them for the entire second half of 2010.