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Dream Theater - Metropolis Part 2: Scenes From A Memory CD (album) cover

METROPOLIS PART 2: SCENES FROM A MEMORY

Dream Theater

 

Progressive Metal

4.29 | 2132 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

1800iareyay
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Scenes For A Memory was a make or break record for DT. After the fairly good Falling Into Infinity flopped, Portnoy and Petrucci took over as producers for hte band's albums and insisted that the label could not force them to make "commercial" songs, which led to FII's failure.The band was on the edge of breakup and their future depended on this album. The result was one of the finest masterpieces of newer prog (neo prog and prog metal). The concept revolves around a man who is hypontized in order ot communicate to his past life. The setting reverts to 1928 and the album revolves around a romantic tryst and murder. Every member shines on this disc.

"Regression" is a spoken word opener much like "I Remember Now" on Operation Mindcrime. It leads inot the first instrumental "Overture 1928." This recalls some passages of Metroplois Pt 1 and creates new ones that will be heard later on the album.

"Strange Deja Vu" is a riffy number that has a nice groove to it, rare for DT, though don't expect it to be danceable. "Through My Words" brings out the Queensryche creepy atmosphere for a suprisingly beautiful piano piece.

"Fatal Tragedy" is where you should really start paying attention to the lyrics, if you haven't already. The instrumental break with Rudess' keyboard riff into Petrucci's solo is incredible.

"Beyond This Life" is an absolute shredfest with a great riff. The latter half of the song belongs to Petruucci, who unleashes a mega solo that winds through time and style changes. Listen for the awesome Zappa-like part of the solo. "Through Her Eyes" is the tribute to Floyd, with the guitar and keyboard ethereality. A great stripped-down song.

The softness fades into Home, which starts with a slowly building guiat riff that is complemented by Rudess' Eastern keyboard and Myung's bassline. THe song erupts into a full headbanger with a heavy riff. The keyboard and guitar solos are some of the players' best.

"The Dance of Eternity" is DT's ultimate instrumental. When it starts, you could easily think that Overture 1928 came back on. The songs soon abandons the similarity and launches inot a six minute tour de force complete with Myung's best bass work yet and a neat ragtime piano break by Rudess. One of my personal favorite songs.

"One Last Time" resumes the story that went on hiatus for the solos. Reverts back to softness after the sonic bludgeoning of Home and Dance. "The Spirit Carries On" is La Brie's moment in the spotlight. He delivers some great voals and Petrucci's restrained solo brings back memories of the great parts of Falling Into Infinity. THis song is DT's second most beautiful after Space Dye Vest. "Finally Free" brings the concept to a close and the band ends their finest studio album on a peak.

In the end, DT manages to write a unique record while still paying obvious homage to their heroes. The only flaw is that the solos of Home and Dance of Eternity steal time away from lyrics, but both are stunners and the lyrics fit perfectly elsewhere so it isn't a problem. This album is the only DT studio record worth five stars (Images and Words is extremely close, plus all live albums except Once in a Livetime and Live @ Marquee deserve five). This album would be bettered on the Live Scenes album with the inclusion of Changes of Seasons, Learning to Live, even LTE's Acid Rain.

This stands as a prog metal masterpiece, to me second only to Operation Mindcrime. Anyone who likes this should check out the aforementioned OM, The Wall, Pain of Salvation's The Perfect Element Pt 1, or Symphony X's V.

1800iareyay | 5/5 |

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