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Dream Theater - Metropolis Part 2 - Scenes from a Memory CD (album) cover


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

4.30 | 3094 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Fight Club
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Too great to be rated?

That's how I feel about this album. Ladies and gentleman, this is as perfect as progressive metal can possibly get. An absolute masterpiece. Write now I'm sitting how wondering how can possibly review this album. There's so many fantastic things about it I don't know where to start. Seriously, this album is beyond words, there's no logical way mere humans could have written it. Of course we all know the members of this band are no mere humans. Every aspect of this album is as good as it could possibly get. The structure and arrangements all perfect. It's constantly flowing with melody and feeling, yet the band never lets go of the skills that have made them famous over the past 2 decades. Every member is at their highest here. It's just one of the most enjoyable experiences I can think of.

The album just cannot be reviewed song by song, as it is one continuous journey. Scenes From A Memory is a concept album based upon one man (Nicholas) experiencing visions of his past life. The story telling is fantastic here. There's plot twists, action, suspense, mystery, it's like watching a movie. Don't be fooled though, never once is music sacrificed for the story. Throughout the entire album the listener is blown away by the band's virtuoustic talents. Even non metal fans can appreciate the amount of skill it takes to make this album.

Now this album is a masterpiece for countless reasons. Musicianship never ceases to amaze here. Petrucci's solos are so fast they could break the sound barrier. There's enough sweep picking to amaze even the newest guitar players. And well Mike Portnoy is... Mike Portnoy. There's enough polyrythmic displacement to make people spontaneously combust. The ending of Finally Free is about advanced as percussion can be without constantly shifting time signatures. Enough triplets and double bass to impress the most hardcore death metal fans. Rudess and Myung are no disappointment either. It's almost impossible to keep up with the speed and precision these guys demonstrate.

Now with all the technical prowess I've mentioned you must be thinking there's little room left for songwriting. You are mistaken however! The songwriting is powerful as well. The album rarely fails to be melodic and invoke emotion in the listener. As technical as Petrucci is, he proves he can show feeling in tracks like The Spirit Carries On and Finally Free. If anyone ever had a doubt about this, just feast your ears on those songs.

There's so much variety throughout this epic, that it touches on almost every aspect of prog. Don't think of this as just a prog metal album, but it's virtually genreless. This album can be appreciated by anyone no matter what type of music you are into. It has enough catchy beats and riffs to please modern rock and pop listeners and all the time and key changes a prog listener can handle.

My only complaint and it's a very minor one, is the production. It's good, but at times certain things are unclear. Unfortunately, as usual, Myung's bass tone is very low and drowned out. Don't get me wrong, you can still hear all the skill he pumps out of those fingers, but it could have a little more punch considering the heaviness of the album. The production isn't as good as it could be, but nonetheless the rest of the albums strong points are so visible that I can't even subtract a half star.

This is an album that has to be in any prog or metal fan's collection. It sucks you right into the story and composition and it cannot be left until it's heard all the way through. Absolutely essential music! A masterpiece!

Fight Club | 5/5 |


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