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Dream Theater - Black Clouds & Silver Linings CD (album) cover


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

3.45 | 1636 ratings

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2 stars Black linings and silver eyelashes...

Dream Theater are a good old horse...

No, no time to reminisce. This is their new album, and what do I think? I think a lot of things. I think "Hm, I want some Dr. Pepper" and "Days of Our Lives is on, so I can't listen, now." As you have all expected, the album is heavier and more drums and guitar based than the previous release, which has been going on since their first few albums. They do incorporate some nice themes along the way, and still haven't lost their total adventurous nature, quite yet. The style is definitely metal, not the wishy-washy metal/rock hybrid taken on early albums.

A Nightmare to Remember is a solid affair. The guitars flail powerfully, and the musicians are showing well. But, it seems as if they lose a bit of luster. Labrie is a weak moment, and the special effects grate on me. A dark song, but executed in a bloated fashion. The soft moments are nothing to be amazed by, and the song's ideas are not new by any means. There is of course the requisite shredding guitar solo section, with some fine keyboard whips to go along, but this is certainly not new or experimental. The solos have been heard all before, as well. A competent beginning.

A Right Of Passage has a more interesting overall theme, and is implemented fairly well. This is an interesting song, and hammers deftly. Still, the sound clips don't rub off well, and detract to the overall song experience. When they get to trotting, it rocks like hell, though. Still, the extended length makes for a few watered down moments, and keep this song from being brilliant. Wither is a fair attempt at adding more diversity, but it is so absolutely derivative, that it would be the worst moment on the album if it didn't take up so little space, comparatively. It sounds forced, and it is rather simplistic in approach. The power ballad.

The Best Of Times recalls more upbeat metal, and Petrucci dominates it, as to be expected. I feel as if this album is just a collection of outtakes and demo recordings from previous, more focused and composed albums. And none of it conjures the same emotional effects. I also believe the lyrics are getting progressively weaker. That chorus is pretty damn catchy, though. Shattered Fortress is the AA end, and returns to more thick metal. The riff bored me, and the referenced material didn't amaze me. Dream Theater is just going through the Dream Theater process, and doing it without as much passion or feeling placed into it. It sounds epic, enough, but this is to mask the covert shallow nature of it all. the song flows poorly, and isn't assisted by any complex utilization. Those aggressive vocals are bland, and I'd have preferred the not go this route. Required solo segment follows. Yeah, we know you can play, now do something interesting with it. Although they punch furiously when they want to.

The Count Of Tuscany is the grand finale, and generally does what the new fans wanted them to do. It is an epic in the vein of A Change Of Seasons, but doesn't do half as much for me as that mammoth track. This seems to be just a vapid run through a few basic themes that sound stitched together haphazardly. The melodies are not carefully crafted, and the heavy metal amplification and presentation leaves a fine bit to be desired. To be honest, quite a few moments in the song bored me, and I wish it was not as long as it is. Not half as entertaining as Dream Theater's early epic songs, and banally derivative. There is almost no chance of real emotional impact, ether. A messy, but good end to a mediocre album. Well, on the high side of mediocre.

Best Moment - A Right Of Passage

Worst Moment - Wither

** Solid Stars

Alitare | 2/5 |


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