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Dream Theater - Dream Theater CD (album) cover


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

3.28 | 955 ratings

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Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The Enemy Inside is a great track!

When I first listened to this album I was really impressed with the opening track "False Awakening Suite" as the composition is really neat and tight and I expected the duration would be long - as long as the overture of Rick wakeman's 1984 album. Unfortunately this opening track with great orchestration only last less than 3 minutes. But when I looked at the sleeve, oh ....this short track comprises three movements! tah sounds ridiculous. But it's OK, the band has their own reason for doing it this way. But bottom line is the same: this opening track is so captivating and could be used later as the band's concert opening. Pattern-wise, this sort of style is somewahat following what power metal bands like Kamelot made their album - eg. Karma with Regalis Apertura as opening orchestra and followed by power ballad "Forever".

The pattern is really similar as the followup track is something powerful with heavy riffs: "The Enemy Inside" (6:17). These two first tracks were the one that hooked me to this album. The Enemy Inside is really a killer for me personally as I love how the music moves dynamically in fast tempo style, typical of Dream Theater. From this track I learn that Mike Mangini's drumming is really fast as he provides high-speed drum-playing throughout this track - especially at the beginning of the track. What interesting from this track is the combined solo work of Jordan Ruddes and John Petrucci. I really love how inventive the jeyboard sound is in this track.

There is one track that I really hate since the first time I listened to it, i.e. the third track: The Looking Glass. Why i hate? It's simple: the opening guitar riffs as well as when the music moves. It sounds something like Rush"Limelight". So what? Because I hate Rush Limelight - I don't like the guitar work, really's not rockin' at all. So is the case with The Looking Glass - it's so boring to me.

"Enigma Machine" (6:01) is a nice instrumental piece.Again, I enjoy how mangini plays his drum set. "The Bigger Picture" (7:40) is a relatively slow tempo music with nice melody. Labrie sings nicely here. But ..."Behind the Veil" (6:52) is for me is an excellent track like thw second track. It starts in an ambient mood using thin keyboard work that reminds me to Ocatavarium's epic. The music then blasts off loudly followed with heavy riffs similar to what it sounds on The Great Debate of Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence. The riffs I really like very much. The melody as it is sung by Labrie is really excellent as well. I also love the interlude part that demonstrates great keyboard work by Ruddes and followed with guitar solo by Petrucci.

The next two tracks are also very good in composition: "Surrender to Reason" (6:34) and "Along for the Ride" (4:45). What makes me interested with this album is the last track that serves as epic as the duration is 22 minutes. "Illumination Theory" is no doubt very intelligently composed. It has soft as well as very soft break. Again I love how mangini plays the drums especially at the beginning part (transition) when he has to plays his multi size tom at approximately minute 3:30. What follows is the heavy riffs in the vein of The Great Debate. One of the strengths from this composition is its ability to combine heavy and soft sides excellently. I really enjoy this epic. In someway it's similar with the disc two of Six Degrees album especially with the orchestra work in the middle of the epic.

Overall, this is an excellent album with great tracks like: False Awakening Suite - The Enemy Inside; Behind The Veil and Illumination Theory. The album really grew on me as the first time I listened to it I felt like being bored with this kind of DT music. But it's OK now especially when lately I love Behind the Veil and Illumination Theory. Keep on proggin' ...!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Gatot | 4/5 |


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