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Dream Theater - Metropolis Part 2 - Scenes From A Memory CD (album) cover


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

4.29 | 2760 ratings

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The Ace Face
5 stars As a lot of people above me have said, Dream Theater "pull out all the stops" and "use every trick in the prog book". And yes, they seem to have done just that on this, their masterful rock opera. Its not so much a prog metal album as it is a mix of classic rock, symphonic prog, and heavy prog. They know how to tear your heart with gorgeous melodies, and then frighten the heck out of you with the intensity and evilness of their riffs and themes, and finally blow your mind with their genius and technical skills. Amazing album, great opera.

Regression: Mysterious opener, spoken words from the psychotherapist bringing the listener with him into this other world of Nicholas's memory. Nice acoustic guitar and soft singing from Labrie. He may not be a great singer, but his voice suits dream theater's music very well, and no one else could do it.

Overture 1928: A traditional overture in that it introduces melodies and themes that will reappear in the songs to come, great showcasing of the 3 major instrumentalists, as well as their ability to change time signatures on a dime. I love the lead in to the next song...

Strange De Ja Vu: a good hard rocker with great use of vocal overdubs. Labrie Sings in a lower octave and has distant, overdubbings of himself singing an octave up, giving a spine-chilling feel to the song. it alternates between soft and heavy, riff-laden parts as it gives the listener some kind of idea of what Nicholas has been dreaming about.

Through my Words: simple piano filler piece, but works well between two giants, Strange De ja vu and...

Fatal Tragedy: piano riff that is a minor key version of the one from through my words, with mystical vocals talking about Nicholas's troubles. Then the riffs kick in, taking us into the twisted world that is Nicholas's mind. We discover a girl has been murdered, a fatal tragedy has occurred as she was very young. Lament is heard when Labrie Sings "Without Love, Without Her, there can be no turning back", and the song slowly gets heavier as anger takes over as the song kicks into the second half, the insanely fast and intense instrumental section. Here is where Petrucci and Rudess get to completely pull out the stops, and to some extent, Mke Portnoy as well, as he bashes away on the double bass. Rudess keeps switching between a harpsichord sounding keyboard and the synthesizer he makes such good use of. The song ends with a piano outro, telling us the next part of the story: How Victoria died. "Remember that death is not the end, but only a transition"

Beyond this life: begins with a cool 5/4 riff, one of the heavier songs on the album. when the quiet vocal kicks in, Labrie seems to be reading a newspaper article to us. very spine-chilling and evil sounding, it gets louder and louder, and we realize that Victoria's death had to do with suicide, but she was not the one who committed suicide. The murderer of her killed himself soon afterwards, all witnessed by a random spectator. Again, this song has some intense soloing by the two main guys, and in the live version, they have an instrumental section within the instrumental section. However, the song ends on a lighter note.

Through Her Eyes: an express of grief from Nicholas for what he has seen, feeling terribly remorseful for Victoria. The female vocals mix with the piano theme from through my words to make a somber, uplifting ballad.

Home: Mysterious intro with sitar and a nice bass riff, Home is a slow building song that blows me away every time, and its by far my favorite on the album. We learn that the murderer of Victoria had a brother who was in love with Victoria, and that his brother was jealous of that love for he too loved her. this was the reason for the suicide-murder. the main riff and chorus are some of the best of their kind, and the power of the song overwhelms me. The long solo section goes down again, before rebuilding into an epic synth solo, following by a near straight 16th note solo from petrucci. The outro is one of the oddest time signatures, and brings back the sitar from earlier. overall, a masterful epic.

Dance of Eternity: An instrumental showcase for the band, absolutely insane and out of this world. heavy riffing and synth lines are trademarks of this song, along with some great soloing from petrucci, and a ragtime piano solo from rudess, showing us he can do more than just shred. after 6 of the most note-packed minutes in prog history, they cut for a second, and then...

One Last Time: more great piano work from Jordan, and some cryptic lyrics from James Labrie, followed by a guitar solo that was introduced in the overture (seems so long ago!). ending with some really cool piano work, it leads right into...

Spirit Carries On: A sort of accepting of death by Nicholas, seeing that Victoria's spirit is free, and can be at peace. A ballad that works well as a false-closer to the album.

Finally Free: Nicholas is brought out of the Trance, and goes home. Nice upbeat part, leads into a cool piano riff, and the ending theme is introduced: "This feeling, inside me..." the heavy mysterious part tells us that Nicholas goes home and gets murdered by his Hypnotherapist, who is the reincarnation of The murderer, and Nicholas is the Reincarnation of Victoria, seeing as how the line "Open your eyes, Nicholas!" is underscored by "open your eyes, Victoria!". A nice reprise of the one last time chorus, followed by some nice soloing from petrucci. the ending section is great, good drumming from portnoy and a nice riff to end the album on a not-so-nice note.

Overall, this album belongs in a different era, except for the heavy parts, but it is mostly influenced by the 70s, with great melodies and themes. Dream Theater's Best, and a one of a kind album.

The Ace Face | 5/5 |


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