Dream Theater founder Mike Portnoy has left the prog-rock kings to continue drumming with Avenged Sevenfold.

"After having had such amazing experiences playing with Hail, Transatlantic and Avenged Sevenfold this past year, I have sadly come to the conclusion that I have recently had more fun and better personal relations with these other projects than I have for a while now in Dream Theater," the Long Beach native wrote in a statement on his website. "I've come to the conclusion that the DT machine was starting to burn me out."

Portnoy said he hoped the band would decide to go on hiatus to "recharge our batteries," but the rest of the band declined.

"They determined they do not share my feelings and have decided to continue without me rather than take a breather," Portnoy wrote. "While it truly hurts for me to even think of a Dream Theater without Mike Portnoy (hell, my father named the band!!), I do not want to stand in their way."

Portnoy will continue touring with Avenged Sevenfold through at least November. No announcement has been made on whether he will continue with the band.

The Long Island band, whose "Black Clouds and Silver Linings" album debuted at No. 6 last year, issued a statement on its website confirming the split. "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," they wrote. "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."

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