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Dream Theater - Octavarium CD (album) cover


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

3.67 | 1994 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars This has to be one of the most underrated albums on the entire site. I almost can't believe that a masterpiece like this has an average rating under 3.7 stars. This truly is a masterpiece, and in my honest opinion, is one of Dream Theater's best albums. This is stuck in between two average albums, but this is an essential album for any Dream Theater fan, and is also a great place to start listening to Dream Theater.

For people who aren't interested in prog metal, this is a great place to begin your DT journey. It maintains their status as a progressive metal band, but this will appeal to many more traditional prog rock fans. The closing epic is one of my favorite epics ever, this is without a weak track, and it just has a magical feeling throughout the whole album.


"The Root of All Evil"- This is the third part in Mike Portnoy's "Alcoholics Anonymous Suite", and it is one of the best steps in the suite. This is more of a straightforward metal song, but it has its progressive moments. This song really rocks, and has a great main riff. It introduces the theme to the title track at the end, and it ends on a sort-of cliffhanger for anyone that gets to know the music to this album well.

"The Answer Lies Within"- This is just a beautiful song, nothing more, nothing less. It proves that Dream Theater isn't all about shredding and brutal complexity. This is a very melodic song, with great orchestrations. This may disappoint prog fans, being that it isn't progressive, but if you can just forget about that and just enjoy the song, you won't be disappointed.

"These Walls"- This is a cool song with a great riff and a nice chorus. It has a cool opening with distorted guitars and has a great synth line. The outro gets me every time, and it just ends perfectly. This is one of my favorite songs on the album.

"I Walk Beside You"- This is a more straightforward song, but it has great chord progressions with excellent changes from light to dark. It starts out kind of dark, but then just has a beautiful chorus. I really love this song, and while it may disappoint some who are expecting something else, if you're listening to the music for what it is, it's hard not to like this one.

"Panic Attack"- This is the heaviest songs on the album, and shows the skills of the band. It has an incredibly difficult guitar solo, proving why John Petrucci is one of my all-time favorite guitarists.

"Never Enough"- One word can describe this song- Muse. I can't say I'm a big fan of them, but this is an excellent song with Muse sounds at times. The solos during the middle of the song are very good, and this is an exceptional song.

"Sacrificed Sons"- One of my all-time favorite Dream Theater songs. It is about the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York, and it definitely does an excellent job. It accurately captures a mood that makes you feel upset and angry at the same time. It has very dark piano chords that really are very good. It has a jam session that progresses back into the main theme perfectly. A masterpiece without a doubt.

"Octavarium"- This is another excellent Dream Theater epic that is easily in my top 10 songs over twenty minutes. It opens with a Pink Floyd-sounding opening (reminds me of Shine On You Crazy Diamond) and after it keeps building a synthesizer comes in and really is one of the great moments in music. The song progresses into a cool part that builds into a raging, almost gothic metal section that goes back into the main theme incredibly. The song ends with a French horn melody that just ends the album incredibly.

Well, there you have it. I know I'm by myself giving this a 5 star review, but I feel this really deserves it. It ranges from sounds by Pink Floyd to Metallica to Muse to Yes. I don't understand how this can get criticized for not being "original" enough, but I certainly find it to be far more than original. It will appeal to a wide range of audiences as well. I love progressive metal, and I'm not disappointed, and I know traditional prog fans who like this as well. There are excellent epics, and without a weak track, this deserves a 5 for sure.

5 stars.

J-Man | 5/5 |


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