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Dream Theater - Awake CD (album) cover


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

4.11 | 1959 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
3 stars Innocence faded

In my opinion, Dream Theater has never again come even remotely close to making such a brilliant album as Images And Words. Awake already sounds much less interesting to these ears than its predecessor. Having that said, there are indeed some great songs on this album too. I am not a great fan of the album opener 6:00 even if it has some good parts. Maybe it is the spoken word samples that annoy me. My favourites here are the great Caught In A Web and Innocence Faded, particularly the former. The organ-heavy instrumental Erotomania is also very good with its Yngwie Malmsteen-like Neo-Classical guitar extravaganza towards the end, but I can't help feel that the track is a little bit too long for its own good and the main riff is not strong enough to be repeated as many times as it is. This leads straight into Voices, which even if a good song feels distinctively subpar in comparison with the Images And Words album. The nice acoustic ballad The Silent Man offers a chance to catch your breath, but it is a rather unremarkable and ordinary song. These three songs (Erotomania, Voices and The Silent Man) supposedly make up a suite titled A Mind Beside Itself, but the three parts sound very much like wholly independent songs to me.

The Mirror picks things up again with a Metallica-like riff and continues with Lie that shares some common themes, but I feel like I'm hearing more of the same. The riffs and melodies here fail to grip me the way they did on the previous album and at this point I'm starting to lose interest. Lifting Shadows Off A Dream sounds very much like a U2 song apart from the middle section. Scarred is the album's longest track. It has some decent parts, but overall I find it overlong and a bit dull. Space-Dye Vest, which is based on a rather simplistic piano line, concludes the album.

A year later saw the release of the A Change Of Seasons EP, and it has always been my firm opinion that Awake could have been an extremely much better album had they replaced at least half of its songs with the great 20 minute plus Change Of Seasons track! That would have made a good album, but even then far behind Images And Words.

As it stands however, Awake is still a good album but no more than that and it is disappointing as a follow-up to the masterpiece that was Images And Words.

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |


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