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Dream Theater - Awake CD (album) cover

AWAKE

Dream Theater

 

Progressive Metal

4.11 | 1529 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

crimson87
Prog Reviewer
5 stars The ultimate Dreamtheater Album!

After the success of Images and Words , Dreamtheather made a sudden change and created a much darker record. This album is not easy to get into mainly because of it's length. 75 minutes high quality progressive metal. However after the fifth or sixth listen it becomes a very rewarding experience , the band made eleven songs ranging from ballads , instrumentals , pure metal songs (with a twist) and potential hit singles.

The mucisianship is flawless , and what I like the most about this record is that every single second seems to have a purpose. You know , lots of times DreamTheather is criticized by being show offs and overdoing it( i include myself on this one) . But in Awake , they seemed to restrain themselves a bit in favour of music and composition , which was a great decision.Another particular aspect of the record is that , although is not a full blown concept album like SFAM it seems to drag a concept musically speaking , probably this is due to the middle part of the record which includes the 18 min suite A man beside itself and the duet Lie/The Mirror , the first part seems to concentrate on the subject of solitude and the second one on deception.

The dark , haunting athmosphere of the record was mainly created by Kevin Moore's keyboards. I will dedicate a couple of sentences to this mucisian and his performance in my review as he is , in my opinion the most talented and underapreciated mucisian the band ever had. His keyboard playing is so different from Rudess's. While the second one seems to carry a marathon of endless soloing with Petrucci , Moore was focused in adding the textures and little details to the record , the ones you keep on discovering after several listens ; much like Richard Wright or Chick Corea. As an example you may try the last three songs on the album

Of course , Kevin Moore can't make a DreamTheather album on himself. All the others members of the band were at the top of their game too with a slight emphasis on James La Brie , he really changed his singing from one album to another using different vocal tricks. Petrucci's guitar seems to have been downtoned a bit to help to enhance the heavier mood this album has. While Portnoy's drumming is solid throughout the record and lives up to his expectations especially on an all time favourite like Erotomania. Myung's bass... though I can hear him more than on Images and Words and the few I hear is exellent I would like to hear a remastered version of Awake to concentrate on his skills.

Suming up , I think it's a shame that DreamTheater did not follow this path but we always will be expecting for an album like this to come in the future.

The best progressive metal album I have ever heard. Masterpiece status.

crimson87 | 5/5 |

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