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Dream Theater - Metropolis Part 2: Scenes From A Memory CD (album) cover

METROPOLIS PART 2: SCENES FROM A MEMORY

Dream Theater

 

Progressive Metal

4.28 | 2161 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

FishyMonkey
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Well, this is it. Dream Theater's trump card. You argue about whether or not Dream Theater is good, you pull out this album. Someone asks you if they can listen to some good DT, you let them listen tothis album. But is all really that good, worthy of all the praise?

Nope, it's not. It comes damn near perfection at some points, and then at others, it falls flat on it's face. Now what is it all about? Scenes From a Memory is a concept album revolving around one Victoria and her relationship with the Sleeper and the Miracle. The story is rather interesting the first couple times, and even has a few good plot twists. Yes, plot twists in an album. But what about the music? Here's where it gets really debatable. I'm gonna go piece by piece, there's really no other way to do it.

First off we have Regression, with some pretty singing and it really makes you feel relaxed when listening to it. Not a bad piece, but it doesn't count for much, so I'm going to include it with Overture 1928. Overture 1928 is a really killer piece, all instrumental .It's got some great melodies along the way, and is one of the most passionate pieces on the whole album. Yup, that's right, without singing. Excellent piece, 10/10.

Next up is Strange Deja vu, the first real song. Here are some more strong melodies, especially th section "Tonight I am searching for it..." is really powerful and effective. Otherwise, Labrie's voice tends to get wearisome, which holds back the otherwise awesome instrumentals. The song kinda meanders along until it gets to a faster section, then goes back to the original theme with a nice piano entrance. It's nice, but Labrie's voice pisses me off, and it does kinda wander along. Don't think it's a bad piece though, because it's not. 8.5/10

Now we have Through My Words and Fatal Tragedy which are basically one song. Fatal Tragedy suffers from the some wandering as Strange Deja vu, but also has basically the same strengths as Strange deja vu. Labrie's voice is much better here though, and the whole thing seems much more focused until about four minutes in, where they solo for a good two minutes aimlessly until it ends. I used to love the solo section cause it's great musicianship, but now it's just wearisome. Other than that, great piece. 9/10

Next up is Beyond This Life, which kicks off with an awesome guitar section and great drumming, until Labrie's voice comes in and starts singing about a newspaper article. This song really has some great lyrics and great instrumentals, and Labrie comes through very well. Too bad about 1/3 of the way through, once again they lose their focus and solo for about the next four minutes, which sucks. In my opinion this song should be about 6 minutes max instead of 9, and it shouldn't be half awesome and half random solo-ing. Ehh...it would get a 10 if there was no solo-ing. 9/10

Through Her Eyes. THIS is a good piece. LaBrie is dead on here and sounds great the whole time. The lyrics are excellent and the song is well-put together, overall, I have no complaints, it's an excellent piece. 10/10

Home, just like Beyond This Life, suffers from overly long solos and self-indulgence, but has great lyrical sections and once again labrie sounds great. Good lyrics too, just furthers the mystery already drawn up. Excellent stuff, heavy too, very powerful, just the damn solos! That's what holds this album back! 9/10

The Dance of Eternity. Blah. Great instrumental piece, chaotic as it should be, just a bit too long. Cut it back to five minutes and you've got one hell of a piece. I like it quite a lot...just a tad too long like I said. 8.5/10

One Last Time...I dunno know about this piece. It starts off pretty average, with Ruddess farting around playing fast for the sake of playing fast, but builds to something amazing with a familiar melody from earlier songs. Labrie sounds kinda bad hear, especially in the beginning. Portnoy is REAL good here, however. At about the 2:20 mark the song picks up and doesn't let up until the end, where it exits with a haunting piano melody that fades right into The Spirit Carries On. I give it... an 8.5/10.

The Spirit Carries On is one of those songs you don't really like at first but it grows on you pretty fast. I still don't love it, but it's a great sing-along song, hehe. The lyrics are pretty good and the melody is nice and soothing. It isn't really that great, but it's not bad at ALL. 8.5/10

Finally Free is the most powerful song on the album, easily. It reveals the awesome climax of the album which you're better off hearing on your own. It's got some nice piano work and has good background sound effects, which is incidentally all the last four minutes is. Fine work, powerful, I love this song, even if about half of it is just story. 10/10

Now, you may be looking at my individual song reviews and wondering...wait, he gave them nothing below an 8.5. What's with the 4/5? This album is NOT perfect. Number one: it gets stale after a couple listens. Because of the overly long story, some cheesy parts and some bad singing by Labrie, you want to move on to other things. The first listen is extremely powerful, and if I was rating it after that first listen, I'd probably give it a 5/5. However, I try to listen to the albums I review a couple times before I do the review, and this is no exception. It loses all of its' sheen after a few listens, and someglaring flaws stick out. Another thing, the songs on a whole aren't up to par with songs from I&W and Awake, but the thing is, they flow together so well that the first listen will be that great. Then, you will be able to discern after a few more listens that the individual songs aren't masterpieces, at least not them all as you probably first though, but simply great or good osngs that flow together extremely well. As an album, it's unbelievable, as a collection of songs, if you catch my meaning, it's not DT's best. That goes to Awake or SDOIT.

All that aside, excellent album, one that still spins in my CD player occasionally. You should definitely get a copy.

FishyMonkey | 4/5 |

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