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Dream Theater - Systematic Chaos CD (album) cover


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

3.31 | 1417 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Back to the future.

Indeed, this new Dream Theater is showing signs of going forward, but the initial buzz fades and soon we realize the wheel hasn't been reinvented. Far from dissing this record, Dream Theater is showing some signs of fatigue and redondance (track 3 and 4 are ressembling strangely) and is clearly picking out stuff out of every album they've made.

Basically, Systematic Chaos is a mish-mash of their prolific career in the land of metallish progressive music. First and foremost, it rocks and rolls and scorches your ears many, many times. A nice and somewhat new feature is the vocals provided by Mike Portnoy, with distorded and scary effects, adding more darkness to an already gloomy record. Yep, DT is meaner than in Octavarium, much meaner.

While Octavarium stated everyday life and such in a contemporary way that made it irresistible, Systematic Chaos is exploring new lyrical ground and heading maybe into a more Nightwishesque pattern. Some will like it, some will not. I frankly feel this kind of fantasy/gothic lyrics are not what DT are doing best and the music is...well...sharing that direction often enough to realize it quickly. Uh oh, exit are the U2 references and the ambient/ electronica keyboards...darn, all the good changes are gone!

Lots of fine instrumental passages are decorating the whole scene, and DT doesn't disappoint here. The oscar goes to Petrucci (once again) with a good mention to some fantastic solos of Rudess. Frankly, everybody seems to enjoy themselves and Labrie's back to his old pattern of 'private parts sqeezing' vocals. And this is too bad for me because I liked the way he sang in Octavarium. Aw man, the good don't last too long and again, Labrie is full front with in voice, like other DT records.

Honestly, DT has good ideas for goths and is surprisingly aggresive in certain moments. I'm not a goth, I'm not into aggresive moments and I dislike the return to the Images and Words/ Awake period.

Not as preppy, classy nor upbeat as Octavarium but still a solid and generous block of concrete.

Menswear | 4/5 |


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