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Dream Theater - Metropolis Part 2: Scenes From A Memory CD (album) cover

METROPOLIS PART 2: SCENES FROM A MEMORY

Dream Theater

 

Progressive Metal

4.29 | 2141 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

HammerOfPink
5 stars 5 Stars out of 5. This album happens to be Dream Theater's 2nd absolutely flawless masterpiece, the first being Images & Words. Images & Words and Scenes From a Memory can be considered Dream Theater's Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall, respectively. This one is similar to the wall in how amazing it is as an album, and how it is a rock opera that tells a story across the songs.

This album, I believe is definitive of Dream Theater. The Title Dream Theater is perfect for this album, the story is about a man experiencing strange dreams and visions, while the format of the CD is very Theatrical, with separate acts and scenes, just like a theater. Dream... Theater! =) I'm a huge fan of rock operas, rock operas and 20-40 minute epic progressive suites are my favourite types of progressive rock. Scenes from a Memory succeeds Images & Words by picking up a story begun on one of the songs from that song and extending it into epic proportions, taking the listener on an incredible psychodramatic operatic journey through time. Avoiding any spoilers, I'll just say that the story is about a man who is tortured by visions of another world, with a woman who speaks to him in his dreams, and he goes to the Hypnotherapist to find out more about his strange visions, and unravels the mysteries behind Metropolis, The Miracle, and The Sleeper.

At first, it began as a 20 minute song which was going to be released on Falling Into Infinity's aborted 2nd disk, but they made the song into an entire album, which typically flows in together without stopping as usual in rock operas. Metropolis Pt. 1 from I&W is a highly memorable song, and you will hear many of its melodies floating around in the album, which is amazing. Some people say this is just useless recycling of music, but I say it's a link between the two, and a very important one. Being that the sequel to a 9 minute song is 77 minutes long, I'd say that Part 1 is less of a part 1 and more like a prologue, or an overture. But whatever, it doesn't matter.

The album's good things is the incredible story obviously, it's amazing instrument playing (New Keyboardist Jordan Rudess performing for the first time on a DT album, and blowing our minds away! Especially on Dance of Eternity.) All the melodies are highly memorable, and get a good feel to them, and alternate between acoustic ballads, heavy progressive metal instrumental passages, and stuff. It includes choirs, and everything. There's just so much thought put into this album that makes it perfect. They won back that majestic feel that they had on Images & Words, but lost to the dark atmosphere of Awake, and the surreal Derek Sherinian style of Falling into Infinity. Home also features Indian sounding sounds, which is awesome, because I love eclectic styles.

The only real problem I kinda have is the ending, because it's kinda ambiguous, and not what I expected, certainly not happy. It seems like it's going to be a happy ending, but suddenly it gets a lot darker, because there's an extra song after what seems like the last song, that sums up secrets that the main character doesn't know about (this theatrical device is known as dramatic irony) and you can hear the sound effects and the dark atmosphere. I'm not saying it's a bad ending, but it certainly doesn't complete anything for me. Then again, a lot of rock operas are ambiguous and dark like that at the end. Pink Floyd's the Wall circles around right to the beginning, Ayreon's the Final Experiment ends with the protagonist failing to carry his message and help change the world, etc. It also gives me so much suspense... what the hell happened to Nicholas at the end?? But it does have a nice ending, it's just kinda ambiguous.

Another thing is that the story is fairly simple. You can kinda sum up the story in a semi long paragraph, but somehow it lasts 77 minutes, lol. The story is still an amazing one though. =) Very interesting. Although if DT decide to make another rock opera sometime (which I hope they do) I think they should take the story into a somewhat cosmic topic... like Ayreon or Rush's 2112. But that's just me, I've always loved space rock.

The last problem. The album artwork is BORING AS HELL. XD From seeing the front cover I was expecting a lot more, but it just is pages with words, written like a screenplay. Keep in mind all these little criticisms are VERY minor, and don't even really matter.

Anyway, this album is the sequel to the best song on the best album they had yet. And it's simply utter perfection Dream Theater's always good, but man, THIS and I&W I can't stress enough, they are the vision of perfection. THIS is the reason why so many new progressive metal bands copy off of Dream Theater and attempt to be a hundredth as good as they are.

Go out and buy it. No no, don't say anything, just go out and buy it. NOW. =)

HammerOfPink | 5/5 |

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