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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

4.29 | 2128 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Shakespeare
2 stars Half this album is Neo Prog! Seriously, most of this album is keyboard-driven, vocal-heavy sometimes-mellow snuff, with intense musicianship still, but not worthy of the tag "Metal". This half I find very stale, very forced. Whether its the keyboard voices, the moaning vocals, or the compositions themselves, something about the neo prog touch is extremely, dare I say, corny.

The metal side of the album is very well done, as far as metal goes. It's very energetic and intense, with really complex song structures, extremely difficult compositions. This part doesn't rely on melodies and vocals as much. But here is my real problem with metal (particularly prog metal): they rely too much on musicianship and complexity, they do not use soulful writing, or a massive amount of creativity, et cetera, et cetera. The main problem is it's unsophisticated; artless. That may be a bit of a stretch, as there is a great amount of artfulness in the complexity, but it is dominated by the adrenaline-pumping edge. It is true that they tried to balance this out with the neo prog-type stuff, but unfortunately, that comes across as insincere (in my very humble opinion).

For examples of the terrible side to this album, the uninspired "storyline" is not only not interesting and not gripping, but it's a real generic storyline, and very lacks an originality. Another would be the screeching/moaning vocals of James LaBrie on The Spirit Carries on, or the really silly and misplaced Through Her Eyes, or the very useless spoken word from the "hypnotist" at the beginning of both Regression and Finally Free.

Good things about the are the really dynamic and extremely progressive Fatal Tragedy, or the infinitely shifting, adrenaline-stimulating Dance of Eternity (one of the few energetic metal moments I can honestly say I enjoy). Home's serene, almost-eerie introduction is a nice change from the intense metal or the synthetic neo prog, and the drumming really complements the simple melody perfectly. But besides those moments, the rest of album, whether paying homage to Marillion or to Cream (they do break into Crossroads in the middle of Strange Deja Vu), the only thing to keep it going is the crazy - the insane musicianship. Metal fans will drool over this one, though!

Shakespeare | 2/5 |

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