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Dream Theater - Systematic Chaos CD (album) cover


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

3.32 | 1809 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars Four Stars. This is a good album. Not an extreme landmark masterpiece like Images & Words, but still a good album.

The album has a much more aggressive, and modern feel, the album cover and artwork really does make you think of the same mood as the music does. It does retain its progressiveness. But rather, it goes into a more mainstream progressive metal mood like most of their later albums since Train of Thought. The acceptance is Octavarium. Usually Dream Theater is effective at combining heavy metal AND progressive rock, as well as playing them both separately, and the mood in their earlier albums was usually a progressive rock band who's just playing it harder and heavier than usual. But in these later albums, it's more of a mainstream progressive metal feel, still really good of course. There's the greatest song on the album, In the Presence of Enemies: The Heretic and the Dark Master, which is 25 minutes long split into 2 tracks that bookend the album. This song sets the mood for most of the other songs. And it is extremely epic and wonderful, not such a surreal prog rock epic like Octavarium, but it's more heavy metal with a progressive mentality. Metal played progressively. John Petrucci wrote lyrics featuring interesting stories including a man who's visited by a vampiress at night (Forsaken), a Lovecraftian gothic horror story about a creature sent to unleash an ancient pharoah's curse (Dark Eternal Night), A woman who mourns over her lover's death after he saves her from drowning, and a man who sells his soul to a dark master upon his death in order to return and destroy the soldiers of a fallen angel (In the Presence of Enemies). The other lyrics by Portnoy are about OCD and personal problems with alcoholism, and James LaBrie writes about politics, about war. In this, Mike Portnoy continues the long epic album-long song called the Alcoholics Anonymous Suite, which is the Glass Prison, This Dying Soul, The Root of All Evil, and Repentance, as well as an upcoming sequel and ending.

This is overall, a good album, but not their best, I've heard far better. Lyrically, it's amazing though, especially John Petrucci's lyrics. For purely prog fans who like Dream Theater for that, they won't really care for it as it's too metal. But for Metal fans who enjoy some prog, and progressive metal fans, this is a very great album. Go ahead and buy it. :)

HammerOfPink | 4/5 |


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