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DREAM THEATER

Dream Theater

 

Progressive Metal

3.44 | 518 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

AlexDOM
5 stars I have never written a review on a Dream Theater album, never feeling the need to, but with this one I did. In my opinion I could not think of any other album by them that should be self titled. Don't get me wrong this is not my favorite album by them at all. However, I could not think of any album that so appropriately defines Dream Theater. Yes, it's not revolutionary but if this came out during the Images and Words era it might have been.

Dream Theater is the best album title they could have chosen for it because that is all I heard, Dream Theater period. It is the most Dream Theater sounding album they have created. (If you like that, I do) Another massive thing that stood out to me was one such influence permeated throughout. RUSH!!!! This is their most Rush sounding album to date and is that ever bad? Rush is one of their heroes and they lovingly nodded to their long-time influences. The album was very nostalgic too, their shorter songs harkened back to their debut (which I think is amazing minus the piss poor quality). I haven't heard that type of sound visited by them in quite some time. If Limelight had a cousin from a different band it would be the The Looking Glass. The Looking Glass is so Rushy and passionate. Brings the fine zest of the Images and Words days back (I'm thinking Surrounded). Enigma Machine is a pulsating instrumental with delightful noodling, but its not on par with most of their instrumentals. False Awakening Suite is a delightful and pounding instrumental opener. The Enemy Inside reminds me of Panic Attack which is the song that got my into Dream Theater so I enjoyed that one. Got to have a technical modern heavy beast and that's what that song is. The ballad Behind the Veil nodding once again to the Prog Giants of Rush is a tender, sensible song. Behind the Veil and Surrender to Reason each with a hint of Rush are concise and have some of the best choruses I've heard from Dream Theater. "Restless Angels Help Me Find My Way!" I can see that becoming a chant among fans for years to come. Empowerment! Those two songs also remind me a lot of the debut which I mentioned earlier. Along for the Ride, well it's James's Time to Shine. He does and there is a cutesy moog solo. Jordan likes that. Now comes the epic, Illumination Theory. I can see how its not on par from some of their previous epics, but it's still outstanding. Epic and crushing opening, interesting chorus, and then about 7 min. into we transition into YES. Wait I thought this was a DT album? I hear a nod to Close to the Edge (I do not want to ever compare them on the same scale since Close to The Edge is perfection, but this section just made me smile reminding me of the "slow section") Then comes a beautiful orchestra section that puts shivers in my spin. So beautiful and unexpected. It's so random, but I love it. After that, it all goes down. John Myung must have been having some coffee with Geddy Lee (no change that to wine, Geddy Lee is a classy connoisseur of fine wine) discussing a way to enter in after that orchestra section. After playing that bass part, Geddy smiles stating the reminiscence it has to old school dirty lines he played during the early Rush days. Myung humble and grateful for this, goes forward with it. That bass part after the orchestra section is power. (Not to mention this album overall is bass heavy, some of the most upfront and dirty bass playing I've heard in a while from him). The section explodes into some Awake sounding Labrieness. Did his voice come back? WOW!!! He sounds incredible. Instrumental section explodes, Rudess and Petrucci go on their dueling battles. Mangini has some very fast and complicated drumming. Epic ends nicely courtesty of Petrucci and Labrie. Wait, False ending, Rudess and Petrucci come back with such simplicity and beauty sounding like their "An Evening With...:" album.

To me this album encompasses everything Dream Theater has to offer. There are a few things not tried before, but it's Dream Theater take it or leave it. It might not be the most technical and with song length shortenings, but they are concise and to the point like those in Awake. The sound quality is not on par, but pay a few bucks more and get the 5.1 surround DVD Mix. Ahh! Much better. Mangini is different than Portnoy but he's got some chops and speed! The Cd doesn't give Mangini the credit due but the 5.1 Mix does. The separation is supremely better too. I hope in the next album they get that worked on.

I am a fan no doubt. But I believe that if this album came out during the Images Era it would be considered a masterpiece. Timing is everything. But that is my opinion. Five out of Five. Thanks Dream Theater!

AlexDOM | 5/5 |

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