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


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

3.43 | 1525 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars I checked out this album simultaniously with Riverside's latest and thus it was interesting to see how both albums had their respective effect on me after many repeated listenings. What struck me immediately was the difference in accessibility of both albums. Anno Domini had a hard time getting into my system but this latest by DT had an immediate impact on me and the songs appeared not too hard to digest.

Nightmare to Remember was in fact the first track of this album I got to know because it was played often on Morow even before the officail release (same as A Rite .. by the way). I liked this because you get a bit of an idea what the album is about. So this opener was just a matter of getting to know it even better and listen more to the details and such. This is a real DT track to me, the ones you expect from the band, not excessively original but just a very good song. 4*.

A Rite of Passage is apparently chosen as the weaker track by most and gets bashed heavily I noticed so far. I always tend to give those an extra chance unless of course they really prove to be weak. This isn't poor or even mediocre by any means to me, ok it's not outstanding but to call it a total waste is too negative for me. I would like to call it (very) good but no more. 3,75*.

Whither is the lesser one of the lot for me though even this one isn't really poor. It's a typical "Octavarium" track, accessible and not really metal. 3,25*.

The real let off for me is The Shattered Fortress which is copying too much from DT in the past. Okay, I know it's part of The AA-suite and probably has an excuse because of that but it makes a cheap impression and unoriginal on me. On itself not bad music here but I can't appreciate it because of mentioned reason. 2,75*.

Fortunately DT saved the best for last with two near masterpiece tracks to finish with. First The Best of Times which is all things considered the best track of the album for me. Partly a ballad, partly simply a wonderful composition with even classical undertones at the start. 4,5*.

The most debated and maybe also debatable track of the album is The Count of Tuscany. With first few listenings I didn't pay too much attention to the lyrics (as a Dutchman I still have to translate to notice everything) and the composition was excellent (and even more than that) to me but then I did start noticing the lyrics and the track lost some of its lustre. After it all has sunk in more I can say the positiv feeling wins in the end. 4,5*.

So not really an equable album where my appreciation is concerned and certainly not a masterpiece in my opinion. Last two tracks save the album and the excellent status I have to say. So another four star effort by our leaders in the prog metal scene. A slight setback compared to Systematic Chaos but I wouldn't want to call it decline really.

progrules | 4/5 |


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