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Dream Theater - Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence  CD (album) cover

SIX DEGREES OF INNER TURBULENCE

Dream Theater

 

Progressive Metal

4.13 | 1451 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer
4 stars A three years break between "Scenes" and this album. Of course the band did not sit in a corner for all this time. The promotional world tour for "Scenes" left them completely exhausted and some rest was needed to release "Turbulence".

When you listen to "The Glass Prison" you get a condensed version of most of their work : some nice melodic vocals, some keys work but not too prominent, strong rhythms, very heavy breaks, powerful drumming as well as bass playing and a rageous guitar solo. Did you say "Dream Theater" ? Of course, prog moments are very scarce (to non-existing) during these forteen minutes. So, if you can digest this number, there are good chances that "DT" might pleases you. If not, well I guess you wouldn't read this review anyway.

"Blind Faith" is a typical "DT" song mixing mellow atmosphere and heavy music. I think the one side perfectly balance the other one. There will be more keyboards than usual in this song and drumming is just wonderful. The melodic aspect is not forgotten either; so this song is rather pleasant and multiple.

"Misunderstood" sounds almost as a prog song. Soft and acoustic start, very catchy vocals and good guitar. This mood applies for five minutes; moment from which the beat is catching up to offer a great rock ballad. The great feeling ends during the last minute which sounds just chaotic and directionless. Not a great idea to ruin a song like this.

A long and not very interesting intro for "The Great Debate" will build crescendo and open on a brilliant song. Obsessional bass line, desperate guitar and a damned inspired percussions / vocals interplay in the second half. It might not be "DT" 's best song but it is very effective. Again, there will be more keyboards than usual (maybe Jordan's influence).

The closing number is another rock ballad, but a very good one I have to say. From start to finish. A very pleasant way to close this good disc one.

Now, the mother of all "DT" epic.

It starts almost as a Barclay James Harvest song ("Suicide" but harder. Well actually not that much harder) : flamboyant keyboards, very much ELP oriented later on. It osunds as if there is a full orchestra inthere. This "Overture" is the first full true prog piece of music from "Dream theater". Almost classical. Extremely pleasant. And a great launch for "Degrees Of Turbulence". Because when you have heard this, you know that something special will follow.

There will be A LOT of true prog moments during this eight pieces suite. Actually, if there is one group of songs which can hold the prog label in "Dream Thetar" so far; it is this one.

The epic switches to a more pop sound during "About To Crach" but we remain in the good territory (there won't be any weak moments here). It will also be Petrucci's turn to drop a great and inpired solo to close this part. No transition and we are throwned into the most metal part. It lasts for two minutes and flows easily into the whole.

"The Test That Stumped Them All" is also on the hard edge; wild guitar riff, devastating drumming (but Portnoy is really gifted IMO). Some weird interchange of vocals : lead / backing, and Eastern influences during the guitar break. Almost heavy to be honest and more in-line with the band 's traditional music.

One of my fave section is "Good night Kiss". Ambiant guitar and keys to start, peaceful and delicate vocals, some touching piano in the background. Absolutely brilliant : sublime and wonderfull emotive guitar. I guess that when some of you will read these lines (if anyone reads them though...) you might think I am crazy, but it is just the truth. This is a "Dream Theater" song. And what a song ! Again, some "Suicide" flavour here and there (and believe me, I know this BJH song). The beat catches up towards the end to add some rockier atmosphere. Wunderbar. Magnífico. Bello. Uitstekend. Passionnant. Gorgeous.

"Solitary Shell" sounds amazingly like "Solsbury Hill" (PG). Again, the keys are very performant and really on the foreground. A good pop / prog moment.

Little by little, the listener is brought to end of this epic piece. Time to go back to the earlier "About To Crash" and repeat some of the theme (but this is an epic, right) ?

And you will be absolutely charmed when you will listen to the intro part of the closing number (well, this sounds a bit complicated, sorry...). Wonderful keys again, and vocals are so polished, so convincing, so sweet and gentle (yes, believe me). This is a passionate and great finale. The magnificent closing of a prog epic. And I'm not kidding (and I do promise, I have not been drinking the whole day).

I really recommend to any proghead to listen to this masterpiece of prog music. Of course, it is not "Supper's Ready" or "CTTE". It is DIFFERENT. But have a try, like I did and you might well share my opinion. This is mainly the reason why I started to be interesting into this band. So many people praising it; there was surely something to watch out there.

This raised my interest even more and I in May, I bought my ticket to go and attend their concert in Antwerp next week. I just wish that they play the whole of this track as an encore. What a brilliant moment this will be.

"Dream Theater" will never be my favourite band but they have demonstrated in the past that they had something special and with "Turbulence" they just confirm that they are one much more than just a prog metal band but that they are much more than that.

I will rate this album with four stars. It is my preferred "DT" album so far and is the best "DT" entry for progheads.

ZowieZiggy | 4/5 |

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