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

BLACK CLOUDS & SILVER LININGS

Dream Theater

 

Progressive Metal

3.45 | 1644 ratings

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Sowilo
4 stars Not a perfect album, but in my opinion the best Dream Theater has done since Six Degrees.

On the last two albums, Systematic Chaos and Octavarium, it seems as though Dream Theater was borrowing from its inspirations a little too much. It was Muse in particular that seemed to be emulated, especially on Octavarium. But all of that is gone here, minus the relatively appropriate Rush-isms on The Best of Times. They sound like themselves again, and they're writing better songs than before.

The album starts off with A Nightmare To Remember, which for me is excellent for the first 8 or so minutes, particularly the now popular 'beautiful agony' section. After that, it gets into a somewhat wanky instrumental interlude, and that's where it loses me a bit, but it's still listenable. After that you have the singles, A Rite of Passage and Wither, which are pretty good songs - not stellar or groundbreaking, but pretty cool to listen to anyway. Next is The Shattered Fortress, which, for what it is, makes an excellent closer to the 12 Step Saga. Then my two favorites on the album are The Best of Times and The Count of Tuscany. The Best Of Times has a relatively simple, major-key sound which we hadn't heard Dream Theater do properly in quite some time - it's very refreshing. And to top it all off, we get one of Petrucci's most heatfelt solos ever. As for The Count of Tuscany, the first 3 minutes and the final 5 are worth buying this album alone - stellar moments.

Sure, this album had it's flaws - a little too much doodling on a few tracks, the less than impressive lyrics, especially on The Count of Tuscany - but on the whole this album succeeds in what it sets out to do. It's another solid Dream Theater release, and that's enough to hold the Dream Theater fans off for a couple of years.

Sowilo | 4/5 |

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