Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Dream Theater - Systematic Chaos CD (album) cover


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

3.31 | 1752 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Prog Reviewer
2 stars With "Systematic Chaos" Dream Theater just confirmed the obvious: their ideas have reached a state of exhaustion, and even worse, what we would never think of pointing the finger - their technical rock - even that surprisingly started to succumb, together with the band's obvious lack of effort. It seems that, these days, the band assumes people are more interested on their technical covers of classic albums (aka Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon", Iron Maiden "The Number of the Beast", Metallica, etc, as if they could actually elevate them) than on their own ideas. Almost every moment of this album seems a dejavu from the past.

"In the Presence of Enemies, Pt.1" relies entirely on a variation of the memorable riff of Images and Word's last tracks. And of course we have the same cheesy ballad we are used to, this time "Forsaken". "Constant Motion" shows a refrain virtually equal to Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence's "The Glass Prison". "The Dark Eternal Night" could be a weaker song taken from Train of Thought, with the same tempo changes tricks and dark riffs, but this time even them are trivial and forgettable. "Repentence" is the most compelling track, one of the few moments which we can find some soul on the music, but it copies literally the memorable riff of Train of Thought's "This Dying Soul" and developed it in a more contemplative, depressive way, in the aesthetics of the same album's "Vacant". "Prophets of War", another Muse-like song, an even weaker effort than Octavarium's "Panic Attack". Cliches, cliches, cliches. Two final songs (along with the auto-plagium "Repentence") save the album from the total disgrace, "The Ministry of Lost Souls" with the only original memorable passage a gifted guitarist like Petrucci has to offer (even though I have the impression I've heard something similar somewhere...) and sparse moments of sensibility, together with the last track, but they bring nothing of new as either.

Even if we ignore the overall senseless lack of passion, there isn't the formidable technical wizardry seen on "Images and Words" or "Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence", neither "Train of Though"'s memorable and complex riffs. What impresses more is, while they created a huge musical movement with "Images and Words", and unanimously considered one of the most effective music machines of all times, they reached a point where they even are unable to standout in their own genre. As a band's own member said, this was meant to be "music with balls", a statement that just proves they are not concerned with art anymore, but only in satisfying their easy-going fans.

TRoTZ | 2/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this DREAM THEATER review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.