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Dream Theater - A Change Of Seasons  CD (album) cover

A CHANGE OF SEASONS

Dream Theater

 

Progressive Metal

3.64 | 521 ratings

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ZeroDreamPlasMaximus
5 stars This is a very odd CD. It's classified as an EP, but is longer than DREAM THEATER's first two studio albums. There is also the fact that ''A Change of Seasons'' contains only one studio track, and four live (and at first glance, seemingly throw-away) tracks. This EP was meant to tide fans over between the release of ''Awake'' in 1994, and the release of ''Falling into Infinity'' in 1997. In my opinion, the EP went above and beyond its requirements and delivers material that demand that ''A Change of Seasons'' be ranked among DREAM THEATER's best releases.

The EP starts out with the title track, 'A Change of Seasons,' the band's first attempt at a full blown epic (not counting 'A Mind Beside Itself' from ''Awake''). Unlike DREAM THEATER's other epics, 'ACOS' doesn't display too much blistering musicianship, instead opting for a more atmospheric, melodic, and soft approach to the music. Opening with a somber acoustic guitar passage from John Petrucci, with Derek Sherinian's keyboards peppered thrughout, before becoming much heavier. James LaBrie sounds vocally on top of his game here; he seems to have somwhat recovered from his food poisoning incident, although you can tell he doesn't go into ultra high territory here. The rhythm section of bassist John Myung and drummer Mike Portnoy, bring their A-Game to the table too. Also, honorable mention must go to Portnoy for his lyrics. The lyrics deal with the death of Portnoy's mother, and as a result he has written his most touching lyrics yet. The whole entire song is pure genius.

The ''additional seasonings'' come in the form of four live bonus tracks, recording in a London club in early 1995. The first seasoning is a cover of Elton John's masterpiece 'Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding'. Derek Sherinian really shines here, especially during the intro to the 'Funeral' segment with his mesmerizing organ melody, and during the 'Love Lies Bleeding' movement with his bouncy piano rhythm.

Next they tackle a cover of Deep Purple's 'Perfect Strangers'. I found myself nodding along to rhis song, with the whole band on top of their game, especially James LaBrie, doing his best to emulate Ian Gillan's shrieks.

Then the band decides to do something interesting: A Led Zeppelin medley, consisisting of 'The Rover', 'Achilles' Last Stand', and 'The Song Remains The Same'. DT can't really pull of LZ perfectly, but it's still enjoyable and fun to listen to.

Finally we have the most interesting beast on here: the aptly titled 'Big Medley'. Of all the covers, this one is their most fun and all around best. On a dime, they change from Pink Floyd to Queen to Journey just like that. Every true DT fan should listen to this song.

The EP ''A Change of Seasons'' shows that variety is indeed the spice of life, as the fun and wonderful covers show. But the true value lies in the epic title track, which is what most progheads will be focused on anyway. Peace.

ZeroDreamPlasMaximus | 5/5 |

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