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Dream Theater - Awake CD (album) cover


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

4.12 | 2069 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Awake is perhaps an ironic title for Dream Theater's third studio album. The two previous albums flowed like a dream but this album is where the nightmare starts to kick in with its heavy edge and dark lyrics. What is also ironic is that it will be impossible to sleep through the dramatic intensity of this album. Awake follows on well from Images and Words with a darker edge to it. LaBrie's vocals are more confined, sounding drastic and evil. This plays well with The heavier and haunting sound that the band have created for this album. This especially makes the mellower songs "The Silent Man" and "Space-Dye Vest" much more powerful and these two songs deliver a great balance on the album. Overall this album is produced well and is a delight for metal fans of the first two albums yet it continues the brilliant prog sound which follows on from the previous album.

Petrucci never fails to impress on this album and it's nice to see him trying different structres of his guitar work. Mike Portnoy is probably more of a highlight on this album as he offers intense drum work throughout the heavier sections of the album yet manages to keep up the good work for the mellower parts, which is more familiar to Images and Words.

"6:00" automatically draws you into the album with the opening drum solo and furious dark vocals. This track still shows off much progression and it builds up well from the drum solo and "6:00 on a christmas morning" to much more impressive stuff. "Caught in a Web" is a great piece that continues the flow of the album. The bands sound may seem a bit dramatic at times (especially LaBrie's vocals) but it's all good. "Innocence Faded" is one of the more beautiful pieces and somehow reminds me of the "light to dark, dark to light" feel of "Surrounded" on Images & Words. Erotomania is a dark and spellbounding instrumental that reminds me of "The Call of Ktulu" by Metallica. This song always manages to build and fade majestically and is a delight to the ears. The guitar sounds here are pretty manic like the title would suggest. voices adds a slower and paced balance to the album which leads beautifully into "The Silent Man" which is an acoustic ballad, showing off the other side of petrucci and stretching LaBrie's vocals. This song along with "Space-Dye Vest" are really one of kind and sort of show off the heart of the band, offering a "Wish You Were Here" sort of edge to these songs.

"The Mirror" is the centrepiece of the album (reflecting the album cover) offering a more metallic edge to the second half of the album. The album continues smoothly with lengthy "Scarred" and "Lie" which give the latter half the album as much skill as the first. When "Space-Dye Vest" arrives you are no longer awake with the lulling piano piece and experimental voices that are similar to Dark Side of the Moon. Awake starts to turn back into the wonderful dream which is Dream Theater. This is a brilliant album from the band and is just as essential as Images & Words and Scenes from a Memory.

frenchie | 4/5 |


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