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

BLACK CLOUDS & SILVER LININGS

Dream Theater

 

Progressive Metal

3.44 | 1213 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

stewe
2 stars I've decided to write some of my observations to the most popular album of previous weeks, for me quite a controversial one:

A Nightmare to Remember - opener, tries to be dark, gothic. Seems to me forced and uninspired. LaBrie is overplaying everywhere. Unpredictable twists are ironically predictable. Obligatory mellow passage and 7/8 part is average at its best. Lyrics are very simple, almost laughable in LaBire's presentation. Some absolute pointless soloing follows and then returns the "dark" passages, but speeded up. 1,5/5

Rite of Passage - opening "arabic" theme you've probably heard many times, extermely unoriginal (ToT, SfaM...) to me. Chorus which seems to be supposed like sing-along one, is very unconvinicing. Again second half belongs to showing off speed of Petrucci/Rudess solos, men we know you are fast...but what's the point of that. Sounds really stiff. Worst song on the album. 1/5

Wither - typical ballad of the album. Simple song, not that bad. Arrangements here are like from soap opera. LaBrie again sounds strange on places, a bit funny. 2/5

The Shattered Fortress - interesting medley of Portnoy's saga, with some forgettable new riffs and many solos going nowhere. The Glass Prison part (my favorite) is prominent here. 2/5

The Best of Times - Portnoy seems to me hadn't his best day when wrote the song dedicated to his father. It is based mostly on one sugary theme (beginning until 2:50, around 6:20 and 8:00 until the end). Lyrics are very simple almost ridiculous (rhyme like day-days-okay) and straightforward, plus blended with LaBrie's performance unfortunately sound very cheesy. Some nice guitar playing here and there though, finally. 2,5/5

The Count of Tuscany - wow, here I'm unexpectedly blown away. It sounds like they really composed while having an inspiration. It begins with very beautiful Petrucci's intro. I can feel the tension, atmoshpere, intensity of musical adventure. Rudess's whirligigs have the sense, and he shows us some wonderful synth parts. And what a complex structure. After four minutes of instrumental, the furious part begins. LaBrie is not bad there. Nice verse and refrain. Interesting layered and unisono solos peak into atmospheric passage (a bit like intro to Rush's Xanadu or that stuff). Then sad, tearful passage around carefully culminating acoustic theme and LaBrie's good-sounding restrained voice follows, leading to grand finale, but without too much pomp, just right. Probably best epic since A Change of Seasons. A big surprise. 5/5

So this album in the end isn't easy to judge as a whole. Generally it is getting worse with every new listening, except for The Count of Tuscany which does the opposite for me. I read that the album is return to their roots. In my opinion it's nonsense. They simply can't, because Rudess somehow lacks the feeling and melancholy Moore created with his registers, besides his non-replaceable songwriting skills. It is quite logical continuation of Rudess-era albums, more accesible than SCh, but again a bit more questionable for me in its purpose or meaning. But the last song gives me still a hope for better times of Dream Theater.

stewe | 2/5 |

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