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


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

3.43 | 1526 ratings

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3 stars Another two years, another Dream Theater studio release...

I found Systematic Chaos to be pretty mediocre to say the least although I did enjoy the last two tracks which made me believe that the album was slightly better then I gave it credit for. In fact, I was so impressed by those two compositions that I wrote "Hopefully it's a sign of the things to come".

When the first track details for this album were unveiled I got my hopes up since the tracks lengths indicated that the band was going towards the style that I enjoyed the most i.e. the lengthy progressive epics. After finally listening to the album I have to say that Dream Theater didn't really disappoint although it's still not enough considering this bands potential. Let me clarify:

A Nightmare To Remember is a decent tune although, just like everyone else, I'll have to criticize Mike Portnoy's vocal performance plus the solo bits felt really lame since it was just your standard Dream Theater affair. It wouldn't kill them to give us something new once in a while. Unlike most of the others I happened to like the two singles. In fact I think that A Rite Of Passage and Wither were the first two decent singles that Roadrunner Records have produced! Although I find the album version of A Rite Of Passage less appealing since the progressive parts feel disjoint in comparison to the rest of the song (plus the whole iPhone solo and stuff just sounds weird).

The Shattered Fortress is basically a rehash of the previous steps in the AA-suite with very little new material. I don't really see the point of adding on the motifs on every next track unless it's a full circle process, meaning that The Glass Prison should also include the motifs from The Shattered Fortress but that idea was apparently not implemented. Instead Mike and the band created new motifs for every new album without actually carefully crafting a a concept series.

The Best Of Times is a beautiful song that I probably enjoy the most from this entire album although it is way too long and could easily have been edited down to a 7-9 minute track. The final epic track titled The Count Of Tuscany is considered by most fans to be the album's one true masterpiece which is understandable if you only listen to the music and ignore the lyrics, but I just can't do that and have to experience some of the worst lyrics ever written by John Petrucci. Fortunately the more recent reviews have started sharing my pain which I'm grateful for.

Overall it's a decent effort but by Dream Theater standards, decent is never enough!

**** star songs: A Nightmare To Remember (16:10) A Rite Of Passage (8:35) Wither (5:25) The Best Of Times (13:07) The Count Of Tuscany (19:16)

*** star songs: The Shattered Fortress (12:49)

Total rating: 3,83

Rune2000 | 3/5 |


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