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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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4 stars 24 years after their formation, Dream Theater is still a force to be reckoned with, even if their ability to create the truly magical moments doesn't pop up too often these days.

In this latest studio effort the band serves up a production best described as a good example of solid craftmanship. The compositions are well written, well performed, have a good fluency throughout and should cater for most of their fans yearnings as far as new music goes. Add brillliant instrumentalists and a vocalist thankfully restraining and controlling his voice in a manner other metal singers should take not off, this in itself makes for a very good album. It's also rather interesting to hear how the works of bands like Medadeth and Metallica have influenced the sound of Dream Theater, in particular in the first two tracks, while there's quite a few nods in the direction of Canadian trio Rush in the final two efforts here, especially on The Best of Times.

But while this is a good example of high quality progressive metal - especially if skipping the rather cliched ballad Wither - the songs are predictable, and the number of passages that serves up breathtaking moods or sounds are mostly missing. The workmanship is excellent but the creativity somewhat on the barren side, lacking the finer details and subtle effects to take this production up into the brilliant department.

Even final effort The Count of Tuscany, which is a clear album highlight and indeed a brilliant number, is somewhat barren in that respect. But there are moments of sheer brilliance there, passages with eerie undercurrents and a subtle darkness that gave me associations to an artist like King Diamond. A nice little details that has the effect of transforming this workout, adding some uneasiness to the procedings whick makes this a number one wants to investigate time and time again.

I also think that most tracks here are a bit on the long side. Whileopneing number A Nightmare to Remember does have it's fair share of intriguing themes they could have been just as well explored in 10 minutes as in 16, and similar can be said of most tracks on this CD. And personally I suspect that some critical editing on all tracks would have resulted in a better album overall.

Windhawk | 4/5 |


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