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DREAM THEATER

Dream Theater

 

Progressive Metal

3.45 | 490 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

metropolis2k
5 stars With great anticipation I have been looking forward to the release of Dream Theater's next masterpiece. The band have given the fans an opportunity to listen to a live stream of the album, which is due out tomorrow 9/23. At the time of writing this review, I have had the opportunity to listen to the album a few times and I'm so excited about it, I wanted to write a review of it to share with other Dream Theater and prog metal fans in general. Not everyone may have had an opportunity to listen yet so hopefully my analysis will be beneficial to those pondering to purchase. I think the guys have been able to produce an album that packs together all that Dream Theater is all about. A delicious combination of Dream Theater history. Worthy of it being an eponymous album. It has edgy metal songs, beautiful ballads, two instrumentals and of course the lengthy prog epic. When A Dramatic Turn of Events hit the shelves back in 2011, I was a bit skeptical that they could pull off releasing an album worthy of carrying the name Dream Theater. After Mike Portnoy left the band, I was having doom visions of the band splitting up after releasing the next album or something. But then the audition video's came. And I knew that after they picked Mike Mangini, they had chosen a worthy replacement drummer. Boy, was I ever surprised with A Dramatic Turn of Events. An absolutely killer album, in my view some of their best material since Images and Words. I saw them on tour and couldn't believe the enthusiasm of the fans and how rejuvenated the band seemed. And now, a couple of years later, the follow-up album. This album has Mike Mangini as a full contributing musician. Involved in the writing process and everything. Like many fans, I've been able to listen to the album now and I absolutely love it! I had already heard The Enemy Inside and Along for the Ride, released by Road Runner on Dream Theater's youtube channel, but having had the chance to listen to all 9 songs was great. I'll review the songs one by one: 1. False Awakening Suite- The album opener is an instrumental 3-piece overture in a bombastic orchestral style. When I first heard it I could envision the band opening with this at their concerts. It is very reminiscent of some of the instrumentals in Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence. It is a very short instrumental though, only 2:42 minutes long. But I like it very much, a great way to open the album! 2. The Enemy Inside- The already released first single off the album is a great prog metal tune that I thought would have fitted nicely on Train of Thought as well. It really has that steamroller kind of feel to it. 3. The Looking Glass- With the first riffs I thought I was listening to a Rush song. This is a super accessible song that I think would also make a great single. LaBrie sounds awesome in this song too! 4. Enigma Machine- The second instrumental song and it is a great tune that reminds me a bit of Hell's Kitchen or Stream of Consciousness ... outstanding guitar work by Petrucci and keyboard work from Rudess. 5. The Bigger Picture- A song that I have played many many times. I really believe one of the best on the entire album. LaBrie's vocals are awesome. In this song he really puts his soul in it. Petrucci's guitar solo is phenomenal and Rudess' piano parts are a memory to the kind of piano playing on Steven Wilson's Grace for Drowning album on which he also contributed. 6. Behind the Veil The song starts out very atmospheric and then kicks in with some awesome heavy riffing. I was really impressed by the guitar solo in this song. 7. Surrender to Reason Another song that kind of reminds me of a Rush song, especially the keyboard parts. 8. Along for the Ride The song that could be considered the ballad on this album. A great vocal opportunity for LaBrie who really shines in this one. And the keyboard solo? A trip back to 70's ELP! 9. Illumination Theory- 22 minutes of epic progness, that's what you get with the last song on the album. I think it's a song full of surprises. Love the symphonic part in the middle of it! All in all, I really love this new album. It exceeds my expectations and I can't wait until the band starts their US tour schedule.
metropolis2k | 5/5 |

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