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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 | 1464 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

J-Man
Prog Reviewer
4 stars 50% Decency + 50% Masterpiece = 6 Degrees

That equation is exactly how I can describe this album. The first disc is passable, and not really recommendable. The second disc is a pure masterpiece without any flaws or kinks. The result is a mixed bag, but it is essential because of disc two alone. The style of music that is played here is varied as well. The first disc is similar to the type of music that is played in their following album, Train of Thought. Disc two is a symphonic concept piece in the vein of Scenes From a Memory.

DISC ONE:

"The Glass Prison"- The opening song is also the first song in Mike Portnoy's 12 Step Suite. This is one of the heaviest songs in the Dream Theater discography. After a really cool opening with a classic Jordan Rudess solo, a crushing metal riff enters. John Petrucci delivers an impressive shred-guitar solo, and distorted vocals soon enter. This song is very complex and is filled with switches between sections. As one of the heaviest songs Dream Theater has available, it does its job. Overall, this is an okay way to open an album, even though it has some sections I don't really love.

"Blind Faith"- After the very thrash-sounding previous song, this opens with an alternative-rock sounding beginning. The chorus is excellent on this song, and is surely the highlight. I love the instrumental section as well. I think Jordan Rudess does a great job, especially during the organ solo.

"Misunderstood"- This is probably my second favorite from disc one of this album. I absolutely love the melodies of this song, and I think almost everything is perfectly executed. James Labrie does a great job vocally, mostly because of the strong melodies that weren't really present on the previous songs. This song is much more inspired than the previous two songs. However, I think some sections do not fit in with the rest of the song, and it sometimes feels a little disjointed. Still, it's a fairly enjoyable piece.

"The Great Debate"- This song is very dark, and is focused on the controversial issue of stem cell research. Featuring eerie melodies, heavy metal riffing, and wonderful builds, this is another highlight from disc one. It has moments that remind me of Porcupine Tree, and some classic DT moments. The songwriting is excellent, and the drumming from Mike Portnoy really shows his chops. Probably my favorite off of disc one.

"Disappear"- Most of the songs prior to this were very heavy, but this is a lighthearted song that is fairly enjoyable. It has some parts that really don't fit, but it is a decent composition. Very dark and melodic sounding.

DISC TWO:

"Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence: Overture"- I consider this opening to be one of the finest in progressive rock & metal. From the beautiful orchestral melodies to some heavy metal riffing, this is a perfect opening in my opinion. I love the use of the orchestra, and I really think it adds another layer to the music. Absolutely wonderful.

"Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence: About to Crash"- After the epic opening, this section opens up with a light piano melody. When the whole band soon enters, Jordan Rudess delivers a great synth line. This is exceptionally melodic, and is one of my favorite sections in this epic song. The guitar solo near the end is noteworthy.

"Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence: War Inside My Head"- After the two rather lighthearted tracks, this song is a heavy prog metal song filled with an excellent riff. The keyboards are excellent in contrast from the heavy metal riffing. Another excellent section!

"Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence: The Test That Stumped Them All"- The previous song was rather heavy, and this continues the pattern. One of the finest metal riffs I've ever heard with a rock solid drum beat, filled with prog complexities. The keyboards are excellent, as is the rest of the musicianship. The short jam near the end fits the song perfectly, and it shows what a talented band Dream Theater is.

"Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence: Goodnight Kiss"- After the previous 7 minutes that were more on the metal side, this is a beautiful ballad-like song. The vocal melodies are perfect, and it shows what a great vocalist James LaBrie is. The guitar solo near the end is fantastic.

"Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence: Solitary Shell"- This is intended to be like Peter Gabriel's "Solitary Shell". It opens up with acoustic guitar and a synth line. The melody during the chorus is excellent, as is the rest of the song. The instrumental section near the end is excellent. It has a latin sounding guitar and piano solo, and some really cool keyboards before and after this section.

"Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence: About to Crash (Reprise)"- This is supposed to be a reprise of the second song in the suite. It has an upbeat opening, using some of the main themes to the album. When the vocals enter it continues on a guitar riff, and then uses the chorus of the original song. The instrumental section near the end is excellent.

"Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence: Losing Time / Grand Finale"- This has a symphonic opening using some of the themes to the song. Pure symphonic bliss is how I can describe this section. An absolutely perfect end to this epic song. The melodies, arrangements, and chord progressions are all wonderful. What a great way to end this album!

Conclusion:

Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence is a great album. I think Disc 1 is mediocre, but Disc 2 is a pure masterpiece. I would rate disc one with a 2.5 star rating, and disc two with a 5+ star rating. The natural rating is easily a four. I consider disc two to be some of the best work Dream Theater has ever done, and disc one is still average. If only for the title track alone, this album is essential for any prog metal fan.

4 stars.

J-Man | 4/5 |

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