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Dream Theater - Systematic Chaos CD (album) cover

SYSTEMATIC CHAOS

Dream Theater

 

Progressive Metal

3.31 | 1712 ratings

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thwok
4 stars I don't understand the relative disdain that my fellow reviewers on PA show for Systematic Chaos. It has the lowest overall rating of Dream Theater's first 10 releases. For me, Systematic Chaos is one of DT's finest releases and deserves four stars. I would rather listen to Systematic Chaos than Metropolis 2, to pick one for comparison. Systematic Chaos isn't apparently a concept album, unlike M2. Maybe that makes Systematic Chaos less "prog". Being progressive in the surface meaning sense of that word isn't the ultimate goal in life. I think the songwriting on Systematic Chaos is generally much better.

The present album has, for me, a lot of DT's most attractive and memorable songs. My personal favorites are "Forsaken" through "Repentance", but I love almost all of it. If it is Mike Portnoy singing "The Dark Eternal Night", I think he does a fine job. No, Portnoy can't sing like LaBrie. However, that's why you hire a lead singer. Systematic Chaos has some of LaBrie's finest work; I don't know if there's a DT album where he performs better. My primary complaint with Systematic Chaos is that "The Ministry of Lost Souls" and "In the Presence Pt. 2" are too long back-to-back. Together they make up almost half of the album. It's just too much epicness at once for my tastes. However, that's a minor issue for me. Systematic Chaos is better than some of DT's better-regarded releases IMHO, and fully deserves four stars.

thwok | 4/5 |

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