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Dream Theater - Dream Theater CD (album) cover

DREAM THEATER

Dream Theater

 

Progressive Metal

3.32 | 764 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

sukmytoe
5 stars I can understand why a person who has no enjoyment of metal or hard rock at all in his or her blood doesn't like DT. I can't understand people who enjoy harder edged music who constantly criticize the band. Certainly all of their albums don't hold the flame as high as their more appreciated work but the flame is held pretty damn high by any of their albums when you compare it to other bands and music out there. I don't understand people who constantly compare albums from an artist with other albums by the same artist. To down rate the Dream Theater self titled album because it isn't up to the same standard as "Images and Words", as far as I'm concerned, is a nonsense approach. How does the damn thing stack up to other releases released in the prog metal or hard edged prog sphere - now that makes sense. Against "Images and Words" "Dream Theater" doesn't come close. Against just about anything else it leaves much of the competition in the dust.

I enjoy prog because of the fact that the music is more complex in theme and structure than the radio friendly drivel that you get with a flick of a radio switch. I enjoy prog because it is music for intelligent ears and not for bunny hopping airheads. I enjoy prog because most of the time the musicians know how to play their instruments and I enjoy the fact that many of the prog musicians prove that fact by playing what they do.

There are all kinds of elements and structure throughout DT albums and if the musicians "wank" with their instruments then yay - that's part of the reason that I love the music. If Petrucci is a better guitarist than the guy in your favorite band then that isn't his fault - and I love the jealous nonsense arguments that you use to pull him down a peg in your own estimation. The same applies to Mangini, Myung and Rudess. Face it - they are probably way better by a country mile - and I love it when they constantly prove it. Those who can't fault the instrument prowess claim that their reason for DT hatred is La Brie - are you kidding me?! Anyone who claims that the man can't sing doesn't know very much about vocal ability. If he was a weak link in the band don't kid yourself that he would still be there because the other band members are nice puppy hugging guys that don't have the heart to get rid of him. With DT every element of their music screams quality.

Fact is I really don't care about the haters hatred of the band because I will bet those haters that DT don't much care about their hatred anyway - their loyal listener base is strong enough that they don't have much reason to care. I will also bet those haters that the DT follower base is way way stronger than that of the bands that those haters love.

This isn't DT's best album by a long way but it is a very strong album in its own right. This could be their weakest album and as far as I'm concerned it falls at the back end of their catalog but it will smack most of the competition upside the head. Well, time for me to weigh in on the new Dream Theater release. This band is the top of the heap for me and I'm not ashamed to say so. It is probably the only band that leaves me open mouthed a lot of the time while listening wondering how in hell they just did that and, more so, how they did that coherently. The technicality is astounding a great deal of the time and through that technicality they are highly melodious. I took my time coming up with this review - you have to with an album like this as there is just so much that you miss on first listen or the next few listens after that. I will say that few bands come remotely close when it comes to the expertise that is on display instrumentally throughout a Dream Theater album and this is no exception to that rule. Few bands hold the amount of melody packed into an album than Dream Theater does and they do it so easily.

John Petrucci - Man, what a guitarist! I don't know that anyone else in music today is even remotely close talent wise. Beyond that the rest of the band members are so highly skilled that the impact of what they do astounds me a lot of the time especially when they do it live.

"False Awakening Suite" - Grand opening to the album. Almost theatrical musically. Bombastic, almost cheesily so.

"The Enemy Inside" - Hard metal opening that settles into a hard rocking number. A lot of riffing here. Mike Mangini stands out with his technical precise drumming. Petrucci and Rudess are always on top form.

"The Looking Glass" - A nod to Rush is clear here. Rocking, more light hearted track. La Brie's voice is as strong as ever thus far. Again Mangini impresses, he is just so spot on. The Petrucci solo is sublime and you can clearly hear John Myung in the mix which is nice as it is not always easy to discern his part in the sound as a whole.

"Enigma Machine" - A rocking instrumental which borders on fusion in places. Very solid, fun, track.

"The Bigger Picture" - Emotive, softer side of the band which they do so well - which serves as a very pleasant break from the hardness of the previous tracks. I love this one. The lead guitar is very moving on this one.

"Behind The Veil" - Starts off gently before seguing into diamond hard rock territory interspersed with melodious rousing sections. Rudess struts his stuff as does Petrucci with the ever present rhythm machine that is Mangini and Myung driving them.

"Surrender to Reason" - Another clear nod to Rush to begin with followed by nice acoustic guitar fronting La Brie. The track hardens into hard rock territory with rousing vocals and lead guitar. I like the bass in this one.

"Along for the Ride" - Nice softer side of the band once again. Rousing stuff.

"Illumination Theory" - The album's giant weighing in at in excess of 22 minutes. Grandiose start. This track is a musical adventure showcasing the talent of the band. It segues from hard rock turf into fairground type rock before softening at the third way through point into a "Gates of Delirium" psychedelic kind of section. The orchestra turns the track towards the majestic with a rousing section. Already a musical adventure and we haven't reached the halfway point yet. The orchestral section is ended by a hardcore Led Zeppelinish kind of hard rock piece coming in followed by some brilliant musical interplay involving all of the members - this is jamming at its best. The grandiose returns and it is stunningly beautiful.

Wow! Anyone who does not see the merit in this must not attempt to tell me that they have any kind of musical appreciation within them. Love it or hate it the album is a pure showcase of the best musical talent in the world today. It may be too heavy in parts for some but the technical brilliance and ability, the melody throughout as well as the pure quality of what is on offer cannot be disputed. It really has a bit of everything in it and it serves up some of the best music that the band have released. A very solid 5 stars from me.

sukmytoe | 5/5 |

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