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Dream Theater - Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence  CD (album) cover

SIX DEGREES OF INNER TURBULENCE

Dream Theater

 

Progressive Metal

4.13 | 1477 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Juan.Pablo.Gonzalez
5 stars Dream Theater are the flagship band of Prog Metal. Their wide range of influences allow them not only to bring the best from the classic prog and metal worlds, but to use their virtuosity to create an unparalleled sound.

Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence was a hard album to put out. Why? Three years before its release, the band put out what many consider their utmost magnum opus, Metropolis, Pt. 2: Scenes From a Memory. So how does a band produce a follow up that will not be shattered by the shadow of its predecessor? Dream Theater took it easy and came up with a great solution:

-A Double Album with nearly 100 minutes of music, 42 of which are ONE song!

And, oh boy did it live up to its very hyped predecessor.

Track By Track:

The Glass Prison: Mike Portnoy was an alcoholic for some 15 years. In April 2000, he consumed his last alcoholic drink, and did drugs for the last time. After completing the 12- step program, Portnoy set himself to create a massive suite on the subject, and release its parts album after album, as he had planned for years. TGP is the perfect start for the suite. Its chaotic chanting and sinister riffing create the atmosphere of a life sunken in alcohol, and the virtuosity of DT is clearly exercised in the instrumental sections.

Rating: 9/10

Blind Faith: If Dream Theater were a much more mainstream band, this song would have stirred up controversy in all directions. But they're not , and they know it. Thus, the religion- themed Blind Faith criticizes the worship of a god people cannot see. Although at first the band is trapped in a Verse-Bridge-Chorus structure that can become quite worn, the instrumental bridge saves the day. A great zig-zag between Petrucci and Rudess, which would make such musical moments a remarkable feat of Dream Theater Mk. VI.

Rating: 8/10

Misunderstood: There's no other way to describe this song but to refer to its title. This song is somewhat underrated and misunderstood. Clocking at 9:33, it has two main sections: an initial, V-B-C structured section, and a very electronic second one. Quite experimental. While not as proggy as one would expect from Dream Theater, it is not bad at all. Still, it is the lowest rated song in this review. One had to be. It's not bad, but it doesn't quite live up to the other songs in the first disc.

Rating: 6.5/10

The Great Debate: Another could-be-controversial song, The Great Debate takes on the subject of stem cell research. Basing itself on the principle of "Are you justified in taking life to save life?" it doesn't quite take a side, but rather leaves the doors open for the listener to make up his/her mind, by exposing pros and cons, and with verses like "Moral guilt and science have collided" and "You could walk again" and even "Someone else's fate we are deciding". Musically, TGD is an outstanding piece. Its fast intro flows into the verse section and then into one of the best instrumental sections DT have ever put out. Keyboard solos with Synth leads, voice and string pads, time changes, SHREDDING guitar solos and epic melodies make this piece a must-hear.

Rating 10/10 (Was there ever any doubt?)

Disappear: After such a monster, and taking into account what we still need to digest, a short, calmed song is merely logical. Taking up on a slow 5/4 melody/soft guitar section, the sorrowful, painful lyrics come in with a reverb that haunts to the chill. "Blue sky, I'll meet you in the end.", "Free me, and rest till I'm with you", "A day like today, my whole world has been changed. Nothing you say will help ease my pain". Verses like these are quite touching amongst the slow, mellow guitar and pad duo. Finally, Disappear ends with a somewhat epic final section, which gives the first disc yet another high note. DT did good in placing this song directly after TGD and directly before the soaring musical monster that lurks in the second half of the album.

Rating: 9.5/10

SIX DEGREES OF INNER TURBULENCE

A soaring, epic song with six stories of mental illnes, SDOIT is probably DT's magnum opus. I really find it hard to call ONE song or album as such, and maybe I'll use the term somewhere else in DT's discography, but SDOIT is one of DT's absolute BEST.

I: Overture: It's more than clear that Jordan Rudess came up with most of this. His classical formation is evident here, and the band do a f***ing great job in making this sound not like them but like an orchestra. It features themes and references to most of the following movements of the song, and flows directly into the next one. A first for DT, and a job well started.

Rating: 10/10

II: About to Crash: The beautiful piano intro that was born from Overture like Eve from Adam gives a great relaxing bump for the upbeat 7/4 riff that starts this movement out. DT rarely have a very developed idea of what they will talk about in their lyrics when they compose the music, but here, the two marry perfectly. The bipolarity of the music itself gives the listener a perfect idea of the character's state, and the lyrics are quite pictorial and clear.

Rating: 9.5/10

III: War Inside My Head: I don't know why people criticize this movement for being short. DT didn't compose it on its own, as they were just working on ONE song. Besides, what else is there to add? God musicianship, clear lyrics, perfect atmosphere, paranoia. What else is there to add?

Rating: 9/10

IV: The Test That Stumped Them All: Schizophrenia can become quite the chaotic suffering. Paranoia, disorder, chaos overall reign this movement, which emphasizes not only on the patient's state, but in the mystery of the disease, the mysteries surrounding its nature, causes and cures (hence the name of the movement). Though musically monotonous, it showcases the best of Portnoy, Petrucci and Myung's virtuosity.

Rating: 8/10

V: Goodnight Kiss: After the chaos brought about by movements III and IV, peace and sweetness make an unlikely and short appearance. Goodnight Kiss starts with an intro that should have been shorter, and the mellow lyrics are a bit forced when they reach a high point in tone while keeping the relative silence. Then, chaos and desperation reappear in a sick combination of sinister, helpless music and chaotic soundscapes. While not a low point, this is probably the least strong of the movements

Rating: 7.5/10

VI: Solitary Shell: A common perception of autism is that the ones who most suffer from it are relatives and not the patients themselves. While that is not 100% true, this movement's upbeat music and somewhat happy lyrics really make that point stand out, placing the isolation and the abnormalities as mere traits of yet another person. A really high point, considering the chaos of the first half of the song, and the musical experiments within. A low point of this movement is its less-than-perfect performance live, but in the album it's excellent.

Rating: 8.5/10

VII: About to Crash (Reprise): What? A reprise? More on bipolar disorder? Yes! Focusing more on the internal conflicts of the sufferer herself, rather than on an outsider's PoV, the Reprise features not only a very good companion to its sibling, but some astonishing musical moments just before its end. Maybe DT could have elaborated more on the instrumental section at the end of this movement, but a musical cycle must not be disturbed.

Rating: 9.5/10

VII: Losing Time/Grand Finale: Perhaps the saddest of the stories, Losing Time is filled with loneliness, sorrow, detachment from oneself, and overall melancholy. However, its lyrics imply that this is more outside pity, as the character is rather detached and apathetic, suffering from Dissociative Identity Disorder. She loses time and parts of her life between her multiple personalities, and doesn't seem to retain any of her experiences "She doesn't recall yesterday. Faces seem twisted and strange". A very mellow movement that is then abruptly interrupted by a very altive conclusion of "The Turbulence Deep Inside", and gives reference to each of the previous degrees. The great movement ends with a gong, thus ending one of DT's most perfect and epic masterpieces. This finale is just logical.

Rating: 10/10

Overall Rating (Six Degrees... Song): An very obvious 10/10

Overall Rating of the album: 9.7/10

Juan.Pablo.Gonzalez | 5/5 |

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