Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Dream Theater - Systematic Chaos CD (album) cover


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

3.31 | 1752 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Prog Reviewer
4 stars Well, It took me a lot of time to have the right things to say about this album... but after all the controversies it cause on it's realase date and that year I think the opinions are less intense and more accurate, hope mine is as well...

Checking most of the reviews, it's very evident that most of the "new" fans -those converted since Train of Thought- are very pleased with the album and most of the "old" fans hated it. Well, I think is not as good as those say and not that bad as the other...

The Goods: It's a very ecclectic album which points at a more wide range of styles so you can hear some "Evanescence kind of" song, a more Queen kind of song, more "Metallica under esteriods" rffing and even death metal growling which helps to be more wide and explore more. For me it's OK because DT and progressive rock is about change and evolve and DT has proved once again that they can leave behind their "Rush mets Queensryche" old sound and experiment with good results in a more post-prog and heavy prog elements.

They have not lost their quality as musicians, you will find great soloing, long songs with great instrumental passages, and excelent work by Petrucci, which is the most prominent musician on DT, who never dissapoints in non of their albums... Labrie made a great job on this one, I know there are a lot of haters of his style, but he shows that he's becoming better with age, more controled and focus but with the same strength and capabilities. The production is quite OK and the overall sound is at the top. Both parts of In the Presence of Enemies, The Dark Eternal Night and Prophets of War are the highlights but there are different stuff for most people.

The Bads: The Keyboard sounds sometimes sound too much forced to fit with the music. Not always, but sometimes it's evident that Rudess lacks from creativity and solved whatever part making a fast solo with a very sofisticated synth rather than developed an original piece of work like Kevin Moore did -sorry the comparisson, but I have to make it- and many times prefer to double the guitar riff than making a original key part...

Another bad thing, and I think the most evident is the bad lyrics we have here. I always consider DT as a band who thought well the themes and never miss the point talking about fantastic stupid things... but when you hear something about beasts unleashed, vampires, and devils and angels battles -even if they were talking metaphoricly- it's kind of sad. Those songs have a few interesting lines but at the end, I could not care less about this fantastic creatures and feel a lot uninterested on the themes. I think that the lyrics are complement of the music and feel sad to not enjoy the music because the lyrics were so useful... but there are still some good lyrics like Repentance which is mellow and touching, PoW which is interesting theme and Constant Motion, which is an aproximation to Portnoy state of mind... so, less points by these...

And the other bad thing is Portnoy singing, each time we get more and more lead vocals from Portnoy and I'm starting to hate it really... Labrie is a capable singer and he's great so leave him sing the parts... Portnoy and Petrucci have an excelent texture of voices to make chorus, just like in Metropolis Pt_2 so, please, stop doing lead vocals...!!!

At the end, I think that maybe is their most weak album from this century, but is above any other prog metal band out there. If you come with an open mind and ready to hear a lot of soloing and most of the widest metal music you can possibly hear, you will be satisfy. Don't put too much atention to the lyrics and enjoy... but if you don't know Dream Theater yet, please go and start with Metropolis Pt-2 or Awake... 4 stars because I consider it an Excellent addition... not their best -by far- but it's great still...

jampa17 | 4/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this DREAM THEATER review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.