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Dream Theater - Distant Memories - Live in London CD (album) cover

DISTANT MEMORIES - LIVE IN LONDON

Dream Theater

 

Progressive Metal

3.64 | 29 ratings

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dougmcauliffe
3 stars Overall, this is a solid live album featuring the entirety of Dream Theaters 1999 classic "Scenes From a Memory," as well as an assortment of tracks from their 2019 release "Distance Over Time," finished off with a couple stragglers from their two last albums with Portnoy. The sound quality is really nice, balanced and punchy, there's some pitch correction on the vocals in spots, but it mostly sounds good enough to me for a guy whose pushing 60. I find the only times the vocals kind of irk me are when James Labrie improvises or deviates from the original melody or delivery which tends to lead to him over singing. Everyone else is 100% on the dot, and it's especially nice to hear some John Myung in the mix. I actually saw them on this tour and unfortunately, I found the concert mix to be way too loud and muddy to really enjoy. I was also much more of a casual Dream Theater fan at the time, so the first set didn't do it for me. So with that said it's nice to be able to appreciate this tour and setlist more with this live release. For the actual songs in the set, I think they chose most the best tracks from Distance Over Time with my favorites here being "Pale Blue Dot," and "Barstool Warrior." One of the bonus tracks "At Wits End," is another super solid cut, if I could chose one more song to throw into the set from Distance Over Time i'd probably chose S2N which is a favorite of mine. We also get an official live version of Nightmare to Remember finally, I enjoy this version a lot because it cuts out the goofy Mike Portnoy "growl" vocals found in the latter half of the song. Some of my favorite metal bands use harsh vocals, but Mike Portnoy uhhh..... doesn't got it. Mangini and Rudess really shine on this track adding some new and fresh flourishes on top of the already well established parts found on the studio version. The other non-Scenes or Distance Over Time cut is In The Presence of Enemies Part 1 off Systematic Chaos which is another track I'm a big fan of. James Labrie does a really fine job on this track as it seems to be a comfortable fit for his current range. Being a little picky, I would've liked to have seen maybe one more album cut from their discography make the setlist as this show only covers 4 out of their 14 studio albums. As for the second set, they play all of Scenes From a Memory and overall, it's just a solid and energetic performance of an album many of us here love. I find that Jordan Rudess incorporates some new sounds he's picked up over the years to really expand on some of his original parts. I see this as a nice change-up and alternative version of the album that I can see myself reaching for and coming back to. Overall, if you're a fan of both Dream Theater new and old, this album is certainly worth checking out. This likely isn't going to go down as one of their best live releases since they more or less stick to their guns and don't really stretch their legs too far outside of the studio versions. But it's good to finally hear some of these Distance Over Time songs live as well as Nightmare to Remember.

I'm somewhere between 3 and 4 stars, today I'll give it a strong 3 stars. Fans like myself will enjoy this release, check it out.

dougmcauliffe | 3/5 |

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