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Dream Theater - Master Of Puppets CD (album) cover

MASTER OF PUPPETS

Dream Theater

 

Progressive Metal

2.00 | 114 ratings

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Petrovsk Mizinski
Prog Reviewer
1 stars I am a big fan of the original album, easily one of my favorite metal albums of all time. Of course, it still remains an enduring land mark in the history of thrash metal and metal in general, among many fans of heavy metal. Here, we are presented with Dream Theater's cover version of the entire album, which would surely spark some curiousity in many people as to how well they could do it. I am a big fan of Dream Theater, but before I continue I would like to make it clear that I do not think everything DT has done is gold. You will notice upon listening that the production is not as good as it could be, but it isn't a major problem and certainly I've heard far worse production on many other albums than this one.

We start off with Battery, which makes us feel for a short while perhaps we are off to a good start. Sure enough, as soon as what was originally lead guitar and is now keyboards kick in, the proceedings immediately begin to develop a sour note and this feeling unfortunately rears its ugly head far too many times as the album continues along. Sure enough, Petrucci, Myung and Portnoy nail the rhythm section very well, but one cannot help but think James LaBrie's vocals do not even come close to working well in this context. Petrucci doesn't play the solo perfectly, but since he is Petrucci and not Hammett, I can live with this, but as you listen you can hear where there was once rhythm guitars, there is simply space and Myung's bass playing and it certainly feels like that space could have been filled up to make it sound bigger.

On to the title track, a track that is absolute legend among many metal fans, but this version does not stand much of a chance of living up to that standard. The first power chord struck by Petrucci is not played as staccato as the original and while you can argue it doesn't matter so much, it just seems to throw me off and feels weird to my ears everytime. Kicking into the main riff, it is very obvious the song has been slowed down here, by about 3-4bpm, which might not sound much, but it does well to really reduce the power of the song. LaBrie's again less than suitable vocals kick in, and detract from the power of the original even further. On the original, Cliff Burton's bass wasn't very apparent, but here Myung's bass is even lower in the mix, making for a somewhat thin sound overall. We reach the instrumental interlude, and the original great sounding harmony just doesn't sound as great here. Fortunately the solo for this section was done well. The rest of the track as is before, slower than what is should be, and the inclusion of Jordan Rudess' keyboard solo halfway through the fast solo is not a welcome sound to my ears.

The next track, The Thing That Should Not Be, sounds so uninspiring with James LaBrie's vocals that I cannot force myself to listen to it much more and again the use of keyboard solos is just plain awful.

On Welcome home (Sanitarium), LaBrie's seem a little less cringe worthy here, but not by much. This song was done fairly well admittedly, and is so far one of the better tracks on here. The rhythm section works fine and Petrucci's solo sounds pretty good even if it doesn't quite sound like Hammett's solo, but again, we have a keyboard solo to spoil things.

Disposable Heroes is up next, and once the main focal point/verse riff of the song kicks in, the keyboard doing the lead over the top just sounds totally wrong. As for the rest of the song, Petrucci, Myung and Portnoy handle the rhythm with aplomb, but it still can't make up for the lack of suitable vocals. Another fairly reasonable rendition of a Metallica song and still has a decent thrash metal power to it.

Leper Messiah is, like The Thing That Should Not Be, totally uninspiring and very painful to listen to.

Orion holds up much better, due to is being an instrumental. It sounds pretty reasonable, but the most unfortunate thing is the once very beautiful main theme with the harmonised guitars doesn't come off so great in this rendiiton when Petrucci harmonises with Rudess. One bonus, is that Myung's bass is finally really audible here, but perhaps still less so than the original. Myung does a fairly good rendition of Cliff Burton's legendary bass solo. This is the best track off this album and the most emotive.

We conclude with Damage Inc., which manages to thrash pretty well as you might expect still suffers from most of the failings of pretty much all the tracks on this album. By the time it's all over you are most liking going be asking yourself why they covered this album. They made no real positive additions to the original, and even then they didn't make much additions overall, so it just seems like they struggled to find a balance between their own sound on this album and the original Metallica sound. I can not really recommend this album to anyone, except perhaps extreme die hard completionists. 1.4/5

Petrovsk Mizinski | 1/5 |

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