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Dream Theater - Octavarium CD (album) cover

OCTAVARIUM

Dream Theater

 

Progressive Metal

3.66 | 1521 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
5 stars Review # 469

Following the very metal heavy sounds of Train of Thought, Dream Theater opened up their veritable can of prog worms to produce a fan pleaser with heaps of prog elements including the multi movement suite epic tacked on for good measure - result a very accessible and highly revered album.

The musicianship is absolutely brilliant. Rudess and Myung shine on this album as they play some intricate passages that far surpass earlier work. Portnoy is great on drums as usual and I am particularly impresssed with the vocal performance of LaBrie who is at his best on each track. The effort is excellent. Interesting to note that Petrucci does not launch into complex lengthy guitar solos, the band are really working together as a unified organised unit.

It begins with the riff heavy Portnoy penned The Root of all Evil, beginning with a soft piano that builds to a fortissimo of keyboards and bass.

The Answer Lies Within is a quiet ballad that is melodic and ambient.

These Walls blends symphonic prog with heavy guitar effectively. The wall of sound of synths is wonderful.

I Walk Beside You is radio friendly and the most accessible on the album, though not necessarily a great track, it is at least tolerable.

Panic Attack features a good bassline showcasing Myung's prowess and the track is one of the highlights.

Never Enough features prog riffs and very competent keyboards.

One of the best tracks is Sacrificed Sons which begins with the 9/11 report and therefore clearly a tribute to the disaster that changed the world. Everything about this is great especially LaBrie's emotional performance.

I loved most of all the epic that clocks in at 24 minutes, Octavarium. Live on 'Score', this is a treasure with an amusing animated clip to complement it. The 'Shine On' Pink Floyd intro is marvellous showcasing Rudess' continuum keyboard gadget, as seen on 'Score' DVD and this continues for quite some time before the guitars chime in, acoustic, slide and fuzzed distortion. A very melancholy ambience is created.

The prog references are interlaced in the lyrics as seen here:

III. Full Circle Sailing on the seven seize the day tripper Diem's ready Jack the Ripper Owen Wilson Phillips and my Supper's ready Lucy in the Sky with diamond Dave's not here I come to save the Day for Nightmare Cinema show me the way to get back home Again

Flying Off the Hand With careful with That axe Eugene Gene the dance machine messiah Light my Fire gabba, gabba Hey hey my my Generations home again

It builds up to a crunching heavy riff and La Brie screaming 'Trapped in this Octavarium'!

It finishes the album on a high note and you know you have heard one of the best DT tracks in their history. The live version is as accomplished as this studio version, in some ways even better. Conclusion ? this is one of the best DTs and well worth grabbing at your earliest opportunity.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 5/5 |

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