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OCTAVARIUM

Dream Theater

 

Progressive Metal

3.65 | 1574 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

DisgruntledPorcupine
3 stars A good album, but not amazing

Octavarium may not be great, but is definitely a step up from Train Of Thought. Most of the tracks on this album are good, but not great. The title track is absolutely stunning and their 2nd best song in my opinion, next to A Change Of Seasons. The rest of the album, however, is lacking in some areas that will be explained later.

A description of the music: Octavarium has a couple tracks with a mainstream-ish tune, like Falling Into Infinity. However, I find the tracks are a little more well done here. "Root Of All Evil" is one of the heavier songs on the album and contains some pretty good lyrics and a catchy main riff. "The Answer Lies Within" is a very simple piano ballad. "These Walls" shows our first shred of mainstream in this album, but I find is a very good track with a memorable chorus. "I Walk Beside You" is also a mainstream track, however it's not nearly as well done as "These Walls" and has an enormous amount of U2 influence."Panic Attack" contains some Muse influence on vocals and is the heaviest track. A not-so-good track that gets a little repetitive and has a pretty bland instrumental section. "Never Enough" sounds so much like "Stockholm Syndrome" by Muse that I think they shouldn't have bothered putting this on the album. "Sacrificed Sons" has some sub-par lyrics, but has an amazing instrumental section and at the end of the instrumental section (and also at the end of the song) is a very memorable riff. The title track is a 24 minute epic with a "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" influenced intro and should cater to many fans. It's one of their best songs and will be explained further later.

PROS:

Less excessive shredding: This should be a relief for some as this doesn't contain many shredding solo's as many people hate.

Choruses: The songs "Root Of All Evil," "These Walls," "I Walk Beside You," "Sacrificed Sons," and the "Medicate" section of the title track all contain great choruses.

The title track: The 24 minute epic title track is pure bliss. The beginning should put many through nostalgia of "Shine On You Crazy Diamond." The section titled "Medicate" contains a catchy bass groove and a chorus to the tune of what I call "The Octavarium Theme" as it is repeated a few times and is played at the end of "Root Of All Evil." This chorus is one of my favourite moments in all Dream Theater history. "Razor's Edge" contains nods to things that Portnoy likes. Some songs are mentioned in the lyrics such as "Supper's Ready," "The Cinema Show," "Careful With That Axe, Eugene," and many more. "Intervals," while it contains screaming vocals, I find works as an incredibly effective climax. It also references every song on the album in each stanza. "Razor's Edge" contains one of Petrucci's greatest solos. Just amazing... The horn section repeating The Octavarium Theme at the end combined with this makes my favourite outro to any song ever.

CONS:

Soloing time: Well I mentioned the fact Petrucci has less shredding as a pro, it is also a con. The con being he has barely any solos whatsoever.

Too much influence drawing: Well it is okay to draw SOME influence from other bands, this album does to the point it may seem very unoriginal at times. Especially in "Never Enough" sounding like "Stockholm Syndrome."

Mainstream sound: Some people just can't tolerate the sound of mainstream in their prog. I, to an extent, am that kind of person. "These Walls" I can take because it is still a very good track. Some of the rest, however, is not nearly as successful.

Song ratings: Root Of All Evil: 9.5/10 The Answer Lies Within: 7/10 These Walls: 9.5/10 I Walk Beside You: 5/10 Panic Attack: 3/10 Never Enough: 3/10 Sacrificed Sons: 8/10 Octavarium: 11/10

Recommended for: Fans of some mainstream rock. People who like instrumental sections without many guitar solos.

My rating: 3 stars. The title track alone makes this worth a listen in my opinion. Most of the rest, however is nowhere near the quality.

DisgruntledPorcupine | 3/5 |

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