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Dream Theater - Falling Into Infinity: Demos 1996-1997 [Official Bootleg] CD (album) cover


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

4.07 | 78 ratings

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4 stars How much can a label influence the final outcome of a product? I thought the only thing the label had done to brake Falling Into Infinity's development was rushing things. I can't say I loved FII at the time, but surely I can say I was very much alright with it because it contained a real gem like Trial of Tears, and what I consider the highest point ever reached by Dream Theater, which is Hell's Kitchen. When Score came out I could get to listen to Raise the Knife, one of the leftovers from FII, which left me impressed, and wondering why on Earth Dream Theater didn't include this beautiful suite in Falling Into Infinity. So I looked more into it, realized the story behind it, and wondered if we would ever get to listen to the original version of the release, the way Dream Theater have conceived it in the first place. And the day came.

This record opens up with a bang, with that Raise the Knife off Score, which left me so interested; I'd like to underline how perfect the performance was in the RCH show, this song was performed with no flaws compared to this demo version, taking it off the ending result was pretty much a crime. Where are you now hits thereafter: this song is pretty nice, and it comes as a quite pleasant surprise, with a nice little solo too. Then comes Take Away My Pain, starting off with LaBrie. The song has a definitely different feel (Additional lyrics) and the solo is extremely passionate. In this version you can see how strongly Petrucci conveys his emotional charge into this track, trying to make it sound as good as best as he can, likely nailing it. You Or Me is a shocker. Different chorus, and instrumental part... Desmond Child literally slaughtered this song, comparing both the beginning concept and the final outcome. Anna Lee is pretty much the same as the record version, but Burning my soul definitely isn't. Beginning with hell's kitchen patterns, more lyrical works, no computer voice, and a beautiful introduction of what then became Hell's Kitchen within the song. The only bad thing, perhaps, is a bad scream attempt or whatever by Labrie closing off the song, but this doesn't take too much away from the minutes that come before. The way it used to be is another very pleasant surprise, along with the energetic Cover your eyes, and Speak to me, which appears perhaps catchier, but still a very nice piece of music, with a very vague Space-Dye Vest (one of my fav songs bt DT) feel in the vocal performance. As for the other songs, the main variations are Lines in the sand with no backing vocals belonging to people that aren't LaBrie (which is good considering the song), and Hollow years with extended lyrics. Not to mention what then became Metropolis Part II: Scenes from a memory, with parts which then went into The Dance of Eternity and Overture 1928 (and all the album, after all, since Ov.1928 covers basically all the songs). The central part sounded brand new to me, and pretty good as well. With vocals this would have seriosuly become a killer epic a-la Change Of Season.

Considerations. 1. If this album came out as it was supposed to, we would not have had Scenes from a memory at all. But we would have had a wonderful epic and no one knows what in SFAM's place. 2. Derek Sherinian took most of the blame for no reason, since he contributed to one of the two universally recognized masterpieces of Dream Theater SFAM, he was often appointed as a scapegoat for FII with no real fault. 3. This version of FII will surely force everyone who thought it was a bad album to have second considerations. 4. If, like me, these days you happen to pass by a Dream Theater concert, see if you can manage to get a hold of this brilliant version, it's worth it: until you've listened to this one, you can't say you've ever listened to Falling Into Infinity.

Behemoth | 4/5 |


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