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


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

4.30 | 3095 ratings

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5 stars SPEECHLESS. That's what I feel on how I should review this perfect album. I have refrained myself from reviewing it as this album is too great to be rated. I know really well that there is no such thing that I could rate beyond the top as it does not make any sense at all to give say, 6 stars out of 5? Am I going insane? (Oops .. it seems like BLACK SABBATH's song?). I realize that reviewing this album requires not only rational thinking (eg. structural integrity of the composition, musicianship etc.) but also emotional feeling that is something to do with "mind" and "heart". As a listener and an enjoyer of this album, I don't think I am able to review this beautifully, intelligently, and brilliantly crafted album. From "Close your eyes and begin to relax ..." to "We'll meet again my friend someday soon" until the turntable sound shut-off at the end track I am totally hooked! But, I'll give it a try. At least, if my review does not serve the appropriate appreciation in its totality (which I presume it is), I have given my highest appreciation to this seminal work of the band. I sometime ask myself, "How long this band would last?". I'm really afraid of having this band disbanded. Please don't ..

DT music has united classic prog rock lovers (usually older people) with metal lovers (younger). DT is the first who played what so called progressive metal sub-genre and . man .. I come to realize that I've always loved the pioneer's bands. It happened to me when I felt in love with MARILLION (the pioneer of neo-prog sub-genre) in 1983. Creation-wise, "Scenes from A Memory" is similar to MARILLION's "Misplaced Childhood". But, not in the music and composition. "Misplaced Childhood" was a concept album after MARILLION produced several albums. The same thing with "Scenes ..", because this album was created after DT produced several albums as well.

This album deserves FIVE BIG STAR for following reasons: 1. songwriting 2. story telling 3. structural integrity and variety of tempo 4. musicianship 5. production. Too many things hah? That's what I could say. Each song in the album has been carefully written and well thought-of. The lyrics are simple, something that ordinary listener like me can understand and enjoy. It helps us to understand the whole story of the album. You would notice that there are bits of lyrics that we'd like to emulate as we get used to the album. For example: "Safe in the light that surrounds me ." or "Hello Victoria so glad to see you my friend .." or "Headline. Murder young girl killed .." or "If I die tomorrow I'll be alright .." or "We'll meet again my friend someday soon ..". Many of them, I believe.

Structural integrity? I think, this is key question to ask in any concept album. Don't challenge this album with this question as they have it, strongly! This album flows nicely from a relax conditioning set forth by meditating-like narration "Close your eyes and relax ..", moves to uplifting tempo and slowing down, going up again.. and so on. The music brings your mind and your heart through various waves of musical "orgasm" throughout entire album. I recommend you to enjoy it in its entirety. You would notice how perfect this creation is.

No one would argue the quality of musicians in this album. Not that they are brilliant individually, but they are perfect in "pulling together as a team" (sounds like PINK FLOYD's "Have a Cigar" lyric hah? Rock music always inspires my day mannn .!! Rock on, chappy!). It's so intriguing that they play in nice harmony with high speed tempo in some musical pieces. Many segments demonstrate such pieces as to accentuate the story. Am not sure whether or not NEIL PEART of RUSH has ever commented about how dynamic Portnoy drumming is? I also enjoy Myung's dazzling bass play. Petrucci guitar fills and riffs are really wonderful as well. LaBrie is well-positioned in the band. Rudess plays solo in conjunction with lead guitar. It's stunning.

Production-wise, this album has an excellent sonic production. The statement at the end of the sleeve "patiently and expertly engineered by Doug Oberkircher" is true. You know what? The first time I was "hooked" with this album was the last track "Finally Free" as it has a great melody and music composition, combined with touchy orchestration that creates solid nuances of the story and . most importantly . I like the sounds produced in this track. I usually turn my amplifier volume up in the middle where Portnoy's drumming is dominating the music. Really cool. All sounds of igniting car engine, pistol-shooting, screaming, pouring ice in the glass, turning up the turntable are all can be heard clearly.

So, don't hurt yourself by not having this CD in your collection. It's a masterpiece work that you must have in your collection. BTW, you should also have the DVD of this album performed live in its entirety, "Scenes from New York". Am totally excited watching this DVD! - Gatot Widayanto, Indonesia.

Gatot | 5/5 |


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