Dream Theater - Systematic Chaos CD (album) cover


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

3.31 | 1411 ratings

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4 stars Dream Theater's latest studio offering has all the hallmarks of a great Prog Metal record. In short, everything you have come to expect from a band of their calibre. However on the 24 minute title track at least of their last album, "Octavarium" Dream Theater hinted that they may be moving away from The all out Prog Metal of "Train of Thought". This does not seem to be the case as this album in some ways seems to take a few steps back falling somewhere between 2 in terms of progression. That in itself is not necessarily a bad thing but it would have been interesting to hear them follow that vein a little more.

Fortunately "Systematic Chaos" stands up on the strength of the material and is one of their best releases of recent years. The album is bookended by "In the Prescence of Enemies" , Part 1 and 2 which is one of best tracks on offer featuring the kind of impeccable musicianship you expect of Dream Theater. Heaviest moment comes on "The Dark Eternal Night" which has an instrumental mid section that had me hitting the replay button again and again. The closing riff must be the dirtiest Petrucci riff ever and has a great Keyboard solo from Rudess that I initially mistook for a Guitar.

After the bludgeon of "The Dark Eternal Night" following track "Repentance" is well placed and takes things down a notch. And very good it is too.

Weakest track is "Prophets of War" which lesser bands would no doubt be happy to have written, comes across as ordinary in such illustrious company although you've got to admire their cheek for such obvious Queen influenced backing vocals.

So to sum up, if you're looking for Dream Theater to boldly go where they haven't been before then you may be disappointed with Systematic Chaos. However if you're content to hear them play their Prog Metal in much the same vein as before then this is a highly enjoyable release and one of the best albums of 2007.

Nightfly | 4/5 |


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