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Dream Theater - Dream Theater CD (album) cover

DREAM THEATER

Dream Theater

 

Progressive Metal

3.44 | 486 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

AndAhls
4 stars This was an initial disappointment. The album might have been overhyped. I think that was it. After a few listens I am quite convinced this is a good album. Not a masterpiece, but really enjoyable (3.5 stars at least). Most of the tracks are quite strong, though they lack variation, especially in the choruses. The mixing isn't great either, but it isn't that bad.

It starts out with the three piece track False Awakening Suite, which, disappointingly is less than 3 minutes long, but sure, it does contain three parts. It introduces the album quite neatly, though it is nothing special.

One highlight of the album is The Looking Glass which is a very Rush-esque song. The Bigger Picture and Behind the Veil are likewise great tracks.

The ballad we have come to expect from Dream Theater on every album is called Along for the Ride. It is probably the weakest track on the album, with little to commend. I'm not convinced about Mangini's drumming on it; he is way too flashy to fit the slow tempo of the song.

As one would expect from Dream Theater, there is technical mastery to be found on this album. New drummer Mike Mangini, replacing Portnoy, the other Mike, is fully integrated this time (on the previous album he wasn't involved in writing) and he is actually a great fit for the band. I can't tell whether Portnoy or Mangini is the better one, but I really enjoy both, and Mangini was able to take a role that wasn't very easy to take.

LaBrie's singing is great. He isn't as flashy as he has been on many earlier albums, but he is very consistent.

The final track, Illumination Theory, is a 22 minute epic. Dream Theater has succeeded with those very well before and many of them are personal favorites by this band. This can't compete with the best but it is nonetheless a great track.

AndAhls | 4/5 |

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