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

BLACK CLOUDS & SILVER LININGS

Dream Theater

 

Progressive Metal

3.44 | 1239 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Roland113
4 stars Black Clouds and Silver Linings: We haven't had enough reviews of this album over the past week so I had to chime in my two cents worth.

For starters, this is one of the best albums of the Rudess era, the music is great, Petrucci's playing is top notch, LaBrie's voice sounds better than it has in a while and Rudess doesn't seem to be trying to see how many notes he can fit in every single measure of ever single song. Ok, the last one may have been a bit of an exaggeration, how about this, Rudess really works well in a band environment on this album.

All six songs on the album are at least 'pretty good' in my opinion.

'A Nightmare to Remember' has a spine tingling bit in the middle, the 'beautiful agony' bit if you will. It's one of those classic Dream Theater moments with Petrucci playing a really tasteful background lick. LaBrie has the room to shine here, unfortunately the lyrics that he's singing are the weakest part of the album. More on that later.

'A Rite of Passage' is really catchy, strangely, I find myself singing this tune a lot, especially just after I've woken up. I think I'm secretly being recruited in my sleep. Eh, it gives me something to look forward to.

'Whither' is a decent ballad and 'The Shattered Fortress' is a good ending for the twelve step suite. The best of times is obviously a touching tribute to Mr. Portnoy's father and I can respect the sentiment.

'The Count of Tuscany' is the twenty minute epic finale to the album and tells the story of John Petrucci getting the heck scared out of him. It's a great song, the chorus is catchy, the guitar sweep solo at the end is really pretty as well.

My biggest issue with the album is that the lyrics are not on par with what Dream Theater is capable of. In many cases, most notably Nightmare and Tuscany, the lyrics are repetitive and immature. I think 'The Count of Tuscany' could have told a much more compelling story had the lyrics been better. Maybe a recount of a terrifying experience or an insightful look at the differences between different cultures. Instead, we get a sophomoric dialog that really detracts from the song. Please, there is no need to use the word 'Man' in every line, change it up here and there, try using the word 'bro'.

To a lesser extent, Mike Portnoy's growling vocals are over done in my opinion.

Despite my issues with the lyrics, this is a four star album, better than anything since Six Degrees at the least and possibly the best of the Rudess era.

Enjoy

Roland113 | 4/5 |

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